July 27, 2009


Our flight to New York only took a little over an hour, but we had the smallest plane you could ever imagine. I'm used to giant planes with hundreds of people crossing the ocean into Europe. This plane however, well it carried a maximum of 39 people not including the pilot and airline stewardess. I was scared, very scared. I don't like being in planes to begin with and now Sean wants me to go into the world's tiniest plane ever?!

Here Sean and I are waiting at the gate:
Here's the inside of our plane. Notice the single row on the left-hand side and the double seats on the right. Now multiply that by 13 and that's the maximum number of passengers allowed on the plane. As you can probably tell, it wasn't a full flight that morning.

Sean's face of excitement:My face of excitement. I look super happy despite being terrified that we were going to die.
Quatchi managed to stow away in my carry-on for the trip to New York. What a cheeky bugger!Good thing he's small enough to sit on my tray.
We purchased week-long transit passes which really helped us out during our stay. Too bad the first machine we used ate $30 of my money. Now I have to wait 15 business days before NYC sends me a cheque for my missing money. We took our first trip to the Washington Park area.

July 26, 2009



I'm a foodie.

I'm hungry.

It's almost midnight.

What do I decide to eat as a midnight snack?

Well none other than spaghetti with marinated artichokes and parmesan, of course. Followed by a square of Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar. Mmmm....(Good grief. If anyone knows how to fix the direction of this photo, please let me know.)

Close-up of the artichoke and pasta goodness:
It was a choice between that or multigrain flax crackers with peanut butter and banana slices.

See, New York has ruined me.


I'm back home from New York today. It's been bittersweet because, while it's great to be back at my less-than-36C-town, I loved New York City.

My stomach didn't quite feel the same way.

Having barely eaten any veggies or fruits throughout the duration of our four-day trip to NYC, I've been very conscious about what I've put into my body today. After four days of amazing-but-not-so-healthy food, what's the first meal I want to eat when I'm back home? Well, a giant salad of course! And today I went to great lengths to make this one spectacular. As you all know I'm a huge fan of the sweet-salty combo (Mo's Bacon Bar, anyone?) and this salad was no exception. It contained iceberg lettuce (all we have on hand right now), Bing cherries, a nectarine, cucumber slices, some BBQ pork slices (I need protein that does not involve fried eggs or hot pastrami) and a couple slices of a tomato that I cut up. Yes, that's right...I've been craving fresh produce so much that this salad actually includes raw tomatoes. Sacre bleu!
Earlier this afternoon I had a cup of Trafalgar Square tea from Alice's Tea Cup, which contains Mauritian black vanilla and peppermint tea. I added a bit of agave for sweetness and it's a really lovely cup of tea. Mmmm...black vanilla tea from Mauritius. It's my absolute fave and hey, from my own culture--wahoo!

Dinner tonight consists of baked organic honey and garlic chicken wings and a salad containing iceberg lettuce, a nectarine, a peach and some cucumber. I'm going to see if I can find any blueberries in the fridge. It's foraging time! Oh and my "recipe" for baked chicken wings involved dredging the raw chicken wings in flour (I couldn't find the whole wheat), cayenne, garlic powder and salt. After baking for about 30 minutes, I then tossed them in some honey and more garlic powder and a tinge more salt. Absolutely delish!
My stomach never really runs at a regular pace when I'm on vacation. Just ask Sean about Cape Cod. Or rather, no, don't. Anyhoo, I plan on making more recipes from my Eat-Clean Diet book tomorrow. I've got one more day off before going back to the daily grind so I'm going to try and take as much advantage of it as possible. On the menu for tomorrow is buckwheat cereal as well as flax pudding.


This is day one of our trip to New York City. I had never been and Sean had only been once before, I think. It was a very last-minute trip but we got an awesome deal via RedFlagDeals for airfare and hotel at a super swanky hotel in Manhattan. Here are some shots of our hotel room.

Quatchi on the super, amazing, comfortable bed with the most amazing pillows ever:
One of the side bed tables:The closet that lights up when you open it, complete with iron and ironing board:The chaise lounge with many fluffy cushions:
Here's a 3-parter of the desk area:
Here's a shot of the flatscreen TV, complete with Sean's name on the screen!
Here's the bathroom sink/counter area. It has a fancy sink...it's a translucent orange-y bowl. It even has a vanity mirror that lights up:And a close-up of the fancy sink:Next up is the toilet, which is shaped like the one I have at home but cooler-looking. There's even a phone in the washroom--next to the toilet, no less. That was a bit weird. And last, but not least, we have the best robes ever. We could have taken these home. In fact, the Essex House even urged us to take them home--except that they'd bill us $100. For each robe!And did you know that you can actually purchase things from a desk drawer? Here are your selections:But be careful, because those candies and chocolate-covered what-have-yous, will cost you at least $12US.

I've only stayed in two hotels really and this was the best. It's definitely going to be the hardest to beat in terms of quality of bed, shower, pillows, blankets, towels and other amenities as well as wait staff. There's even a spa and it was on the floor that we were staying on but trust, it was ridiculously expensive. A one-hour massage was $160US!

Essex House, I love you and miss you already.

July 22, 2009


Sean and I arrived safely in New York. We are currently staying at the Jumeirah Essex House, across from the southern part of Central Park. It's awesome in Central Park! Unfortunately I didn't take any pics of it (this time) but I never knew it had all kinds of baseballs diamonds and playground areas and the like. I thought it was like boring, old Queen's Park in Toronto, which is basically just a big patch of grass with the occasional bench. Here's a view of our hotel from Central Park:After sitting down on a huge pile of rocks (I'll try and get a photo of that later during our trip), we headed over to Alice's Tea Cup, but not without going to the wrong end of town. Who knew it was on the West end and not the East end? Not me! I say that my directions are terribly because I am excellent at reading maps. Life has to balance itself out somehow, right?

Anyway, we made it to Alice's with a little bit more walking and wouldn't 'cha know it, it was full of females! Sean turned out to be the only male in the place besides the wait staff--hmmm. After taking a good look at the menu we decided to share "The Mad Hatter" which consisted of two small pots of tea, three scones with preserves and cream, two sandwiches, a dessert and assorted cookies. Needless to say, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. Despite telling Sean that I was ridiculously hungry, which I was at the time since I hadn't eaten breakfast that morning, it was a buttload of food! And it came on three-tiered tray thing. Here's each level:

For the scones we chose banana blackberry, chocolate almond and mixed berries:Those scones don't look that huge but trust me, they're gigantic! Sean and I just happened to pick the types that are made to the biggest. They were so good. I'm still thinking about these scones.

For the sandwiches we chose black forest ham with gruyere on semolina with raisins and fennel (the two latter were actually baked into the bread) and the albacore tuna with cornichons and shallots on semolina with black sesame seeds:The ham sandwich is on the left and the tuna on the right. Sean's peeking out from behind. And I don't know about you but I'm not a big fan of tuna salad sandwiches--they're always a little bit too dry--but this one was delicious! I think it was the mix of cornichons, shallots and whole grain mustard vinaigrette that made it extra delish.

For dessert, we chose the mocha chocolate chip cake to share and had a bunch of assorted cookies:Now I know that's the worst photo of desserts ever, but it was my first attempt at food porn while in New York. It's bound to improve from here--and obviously I didn't take the photos in order, ha!

So far, New York is awesome!

July 18, 2009


Sean and I had a wonderful dinner at one of the only vegan restaurants I know about in Toronto. Fressen is located on Queen West, which is a major street for hipsters, but also down the road from where I used to work.

Anyhoo, after a screening of Jaws and snacking on too much popcorn (IBS-related cramps ensued), I told Sean that I wanted something "fresh" and light to eat for dinner. We decided between Irie, a Jamaican food joint--I've eaten there a couple of times before and loved it--or Fressen, the vegan place. We settled upon Fressen because it had been a while since we had both eaten there.

I don't have any photos of the dinner because well...it was a little bit embarrassing. Not many people know that I have a food blog and well, we were right across from the bar and the bartender was a little too cool for me (read: I felt too nerdy). I did try and see if I could take some pics with my cell phone but alas, it was just too dark!

A little background info on Fressen. They serve vegan dishes, all are priced at $9 and it's recommended that a couple get four dishes. The four categories are salad, crispy, starch, stew and vegetable. Sean and I opted for the soup first. It was a yellow...some sort of squash I think, and it was spicy. There was a drizzle of something red on top...perhaps a spicy oil? Sorry for the crap description. It's the only thing I can't really remember. Oh another thing...they had these totally awesome bowls that housed the soup; it looked like those egg chairs but on more of a slant so the soup wouldn't fall out.

Next up were the taro and corn dumplings. It came with a mango salsa and greenss. These were fried and so freaking delicious! Unfortunately the soup was making me ridiculously full and so I couldn't finish it and as a result, was getting full just eating one dumpling!

Our second "main" was a spinach blini sandwiched between an avocado and corn salsa with pepper puree on the side. This was mighty delicious as wel. Lastly we had the hand-made flax fettucine with mushrooms and grape tomatoes with pesto on top. I opted to mix mine together and holy crap, I had forgotten just how cool fresh pasta was. This was seriously exquisite. I could eat it everyday. Unfortunately, I was terribly full by that time and still had half a tall glass of apple, lemon and ginger juice to drink, so I gave the rest of my pasta to Sean who dutifully complied.

It was a fantastic meal although I was having a food baby at the end of it and Sean and I had to take the subway back to Bloor Cinema, instead of walking the 20 minutes.

July 15, 2009


It's been a while since I've made myself a proper bento for lunch/dinner. I blame the flu, among other things, but not today. Look at what I had for lunch:
Why it includes so much of the first three colours of the rainbow, I don't know. Anyhoo, it is roast potatoes and free-range chicken with a side of fruits including a nectarine, apricot, cherries and some lychees hiding at the bottom. Very delicious! (Damn the vertical photo.)

And despite looking like a very paltry amount food, I was actually very full and couldn't finish all the fruit. Something's happened to my stomach while I had the flu and I'm not sure I like it. It's like I had a free, no-surgery gastric bypass. I just can't eat as much food in one sitting as I used to. I suppose there goes my trip to the Mandarin for its awesome buffet. Oh well. I guess that's not a big loss considering I can't really eat shellfish anymore either.

As I type this, a bowl of dinner sits beside my laptop only about half-eaten. I just can't help it anymore! And to think, I even took a smaller amount of rice because I wanted to fill up on my dad's mashed pumpkin. Dinner tonight was baked salmon with lemon, rice, mashed pumpkin (so good!) and some kind of vegetable that I don't know the name of. Anyway, I just couldn't finish it all. It looks sad. I probably had a little more than 100g of salmon and about 2/3 of it remains in the bowl. Most of the pumpkin is gone but bits of the rice and veg are still around too. Adjusting to this "new" stomach is really difficult. It's going to take a lot of time for me to fully adjust.

July 9, 2009


I cheated a little bit and went out with Sean this morning. I had just about had it with staying home and on the promise that I wouldn't get him sick (hahaha), he picked me up after work today and we had the best morning at Tim Hortons and in the parking lot. The weather is absolutely glorious today and I'm glad I got to spend a part of it outside. I actually think that the fresh air did me some good because I've barely coughed all day.

(Right now the house smells like meat and it's making me want to throw up. Not that I'm a vegetarian or anything like that, but sometimes the smell of meat cooking, especially if it's stewing in the pressure cooker, makes me want to throw up.)

Anyway, it had been a week since I had seen Sean and of course I had completely forgotten what he looks like--this happens often when I don't see him for a while...I can picture his features but not all together as part of his face. We ended up wearing matching sweaters. I was wearing a light, yellow sweater from Old Navy with horizontal yellow and light yellow stripes while Sean showed up wearing a yellow zip-up hoodie with yellow and thin blue stripes. Not our finest moment but it was good times. Maybe the uber yellow did put me in a happy mood.

Here's my dinner from last night:A strawberry banana smoothie made from unsweetened almond milk (what was I thinking??), several picked-from-the-farm berries, a banana and some ice crubes (a spelling mistake but I like it).

And a plate of Catelli Smart rotini with dad's homemade tomato sauce--without the fish that accompanied the sauce. On the side is a simple cucumber and yogurt salad. Tres delicious but as always, I made too much pasta.

Sean's going away to some place in Montreal called Lake Memphremagog with his dad and friend this weekend, which means that I'll be alone for four days. NOT! This Saturday is my friend Clarissa's birthday lunch. We're going to Pangaea for their Summerlicious menu, which can be found here. I think I'm going with the gazpacho salad, lamb and Niagara shortcake via process of elimination. Summerlicious, for those of you not in the know, is a limited-time offer in which restaurants in the GTA offer a prix-fixe menu of $15-45. It's a great way to get a taste of a restaurant that you might not otherwise be able to afford (Canoe, I'm looking right at you.) Sean and I have been to a couple of restaurants in the past during Summerlicious or Winterlicious (winter-season) and neither time did either restaurant disappoint.

Sometimes it's annoying not being able to eat anything on a menu. Nowadays, I always skip anything listed with chicken and shellfish, not to mention anything heavy with dairy. And sometimes I don't want to pay several dollars extra for that piece of cow or pig. Sometimes I just want a goddamn chicken! Anyhoo, hopefully I'll remember to take photos of all the food and hopefully all four of us don't end up ordering the exact same thing.

Sunday is the long-awaited RIIIIIIIIIBFEST! And yes, it must be said that way each and every time. Ribfest at the Markham Fair Grounds only happens once a year and every year, Sean and I look forward to it with the same kind of zeal as Ralphie from A Christmas Story awaiting his Red Ryder BB Gun on Christmas morning. Alas, this year I'll be without Sean as he'll be at said Lake but I will be joined with the same "crew" that attended last year, and a few others.

Last year four of us decided to go ahead and order full racks of ribs and then split it amongst each other so we could get a taste of four different rib-cookers. In addition to said ribs, I also ate a cob of corn, half a pulled-pork sandwich and an ice cream cone. I was determined not to be outdone by three grown men. This year, I think things will be different. First of all, it'll be my first big meal sick coming down with the flu and in the past week I've realized that I can't "pack it down" like I used to without feeling incredibly ill. This entire week has been a lesson in portion control. Especially after being sick and being forced to eat the exact same thing for 3 days straight, you kind of want stuff your face with just about everything and when you do, the results are not nice.

Just for reading all that, here's a pic of my pretty French manicure:

July 8, 2009


Things I learned yesterday:
  1. Blogger has a real numbering system so it doesn't have to look like the "list" I made yesterday. I should go back and fix that but I won't for example-sake.
  2. I can't get over Ian Holm's "accent" in The Sweet Hereafter and will therefore, probably not get through my first Atom Egoyan movie. It's not that I have anything against Mr. Egoyan. I actually met him, quite a few years ago, at the gallery beside his cinema and he's a very nice man. It's just that for some reason or another, I've never gotten around to watching any of his films.
  3. Dollhouse is coming back for season 2! I seriously thought that this show had been cancelled seeing as how I was the only one watching it. Thanks a lot, TV execs out there. You cancel Firefly but decide to bring this crap back?? (Sorry Joss Whedon, but you should just accept the fact that no show you ever make in the future will compare to Firefly.) Anyhoo, this show is kind of a piece of crap and I don't know why I continued watching it despite complaining about every aspect of it to Sean. (He really puts up with a lot of complaining from me.)
  4. Being sick results in the easiest weight you'll ever lose. I've lost 4 pounds without any help at all. No exercise, no starving myself, no nothing. There are just times when you're sick where you really don't feel like eating anything. I haven't even been in the mood to snack, except that I am craving fruit like there's no tomorrow.
Anyway, that's all I learned about yesterday. Now onto day five. I'm waiting for my order from cherryculture.com. Believe it or not, I ordered nail polish online. Weird, right? Well it gets even weirder because I ordered 19 bottles. Yes, that's right...19 bottles of nail polish! Crazy, right? Well at least it wasn't that expensive and I did get 20% off my entire order. But now I have to wait 1-2 weeks before it actually arrives and we all know how patient I am.

I just subjected myself to one of Taylor Swift's music videos in order to give myself more fuel for my rants about her all-around stupidity. She is so, so awful. I mean, honestly, just terribly awful. The video I subjected myself too was "You Belong To Me" in which she plays the "popular cheerleader" and the "music nerd" who, you guessed it, wears glasses!!! I swear on my copy of The Satanic Bible that if I see another "nerd" wearing glasses because that's the sign of being a nerd...yknow...glasses, braces, a ponytail (think Rachel Leigh Cook from She's All That), I'm going to flip out, postal-deliveryman style. And yes, I do wear glasses but I think I look quite fetching in mine (especially my "art school" glasses) and not so much like a 12 year-old. Anyway, that isn't the only reason why I hate Taylor Swift and would probably punch her in the face if I saw her, but this is my food blog and I'm not wasting time on her.

This is all I have the time for right now. I have to go find a way to go back in time about 10 minutes or a way of burning my retinas without much harm. No pics today, sorry.

July 7, 2009


A few things to report since yesterday:
1) The movie version of Confessions of a Shopaholic just does not compare to the book. The movie has its cute parts but overall, I'd rather have read the book a second time.
2) Game Plan starring The Rock, is just no good. After wanting to watch this movie ever since it was in theatres, Sean agreed to rent it during my week-long vacation in my bedroom and geez, was it awful. The Rock and the little girl playing his daughter had absolutely no chemistry. Maybe that explains why I can't recall ever seeing that little girl in any other movies. I also think that the movie would have been a lot better with Vin Diesel as the football star because a) I find him more personable and b) The Pacifier was waaaaaaaaaaaay better.

And that's it for movie recaps from yesterday. I am currently catching up on season 2 of True Blood and after that, I will probably turn to one of the rented movies if I don't decide to take a nap instead.

Here's my lunch for today:It's just some fried rice my dad made and he specifically mentioned adding my favourite, canned corn. Thanks Papa!

And my drink du jour, a cup of warm milk...mmm...delicious. *sarcasm*
Day 4 is tres boring.

July 6, 2009


It's now day three at being stuck at home, in my bedroom, while I recover from the flu. This morning got off to a great start because I was able to sleep for an awful amount of time and thereby, slept through most of the day. Hurrah!

For the past month or so my body has been so used to waking up at 8-8:30am, that on mornings when I was able to sleep in, my body was not having any of that. So I'd usually wake up around 8:30 or 9 and then try to force myself back to sleep, which would never happen. Anyway, this whole flu thing has allowed me to sleep for 10 hours in a row--although I do wake up after about 8 hours but then manage to fall back asleep.

The second best part of today is that Sean dropped by (while I was asleep) and dropped off a wackload of movies from Blockbuster to tide me over. He rented 11 movies for me! And they range from Toy Story 1 and 2 to Little Children and The Sweet Hereafter--all of which I have not seen.

The other best part about being sick is that you spend no money because you can't go anywhere! Lucky for me I live in Canada where most companies will not ship to (Kiehl's and Shu Uemura, I'm looking at you), but for the first time, it's turned into a good thing. Thanks Martha!

The only thing that I haven't been very happy about is my food options. Here's my current snack:
It's a banana split with peanut butter, a bottle of water and some organic water crackers. The water and tea are the only liquids I've been drinking since Saturday. I've gone through tons and tons of water. My skin doesn't look any better, not that I can notice anyway, but I sure have had to run to the washroom quite a few times.

Okay, that is all.

July 5, 2009


I really shouldn't be typing as my top coat is in the midst of drying on my newly-swirled nails. Can you tell just how bored I am at this point? How I'm going to stay in this house, in my bedroom no less, for the next 4 days is beyond me. I should get my dad to make a trip to Blockbuster stat!

Anyway, here they are and a close-up of the thumb, which turned out to be the best because it's the first one I did.
I used Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Shocking Pink and OPI's Italian Love Affair. I put a dime-sized amount of the Shocking Pink in a silicone cupcake thing and then dropped 3 drops of the Italian Love Affair. I then dipped my brush into the center (where the pink was on top and dark pink on the bottom) and then swirled it onto my nails. Very pretty but I'm not usually down with these pink colours so this is coming off soon. I'll try it with purple and report back. Man I'm bored!

July 3, 2009


(This is actually from July 5...I don't know how the dates got all mixed up)

I don't know why this happened or from where the new obsession came, but I am now obsessed with nail polish. I know that's probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen myself type, but it's true. I've spent hours browsing nail blogs--who even knew they existed?

Oh and I also have the flu. I don't think it's of the swine variety because it's day three today and I feel better than the two previous days. I actually spent 4 hours waiting in the emergency room last night just to be sure. I'm not entirely convinced that emergency room doctors know what the heck they're talking about but until I can see my regular doctor, I'll have to take her word for it.

So from now until Friday, I'm actually stuck at home and mostly in my bedroom--doctor's orders. It's been kind of crappy. I get stir-crazy VERY easily so this isn't the best situation to be in right now. I've entirely watched season one of True Blood on DVD and have spent the rest of my time browsing these nail blogs I've mentioned already. One of the best ones out there is here but I also really like this one who creates her own nail polish by mixing various other nail polishes, glitters, etc called frankens. Yes, you heard me, frankens. Did you even know that custom nail polishes even had a term? Well they do. Aaaaand, just now, I made my first franken:
It's a mix of OPI's It's All Greek To Me, Essie's Cute As A Button, Nicole's Imagine If... (wicked silver glitter, kind of holographic) and Essie's Funky Limelight with a bit of top coat to thin everything out. It started drying super fast because Essie's Funky Limelight is actually a neon shade that dries to a matte finish and dries SUPER quick. I should have added more drops of top coat but this being my first time, I think it was pretty successful.

I currently have the custom colour on my toes but because I a) hate feet and b) have Funky Limelight remnants (do not do neon without a base coat), you'll just have to enjoy the photo above. I think that next time I'll add a ton more of the Nicole Imagine If... It serious is an amazing silver glitter. I'm actually contemplating going out and buying another bottle.

Another franken I made today involved OPI's Purple with a Purpose (awesome purple!), Nicole's Imagine If... and some Prorance #41, which is basically glitter with star shapes in a blue base. Here's the result:
Here's what my fingertips look like right now:The magenta/fuschia glitter is from a gel refill I did almost a month ago. It's been so long since I've gone and I desperately need a refill but I was supposed to get one on day two of the flu. So now I have to wait until 5 days and I think I'm going to barf because my nails are so long. I hate them. I'm normally a short-nail kind of gal and these are driving me nuts. Anyway, my ring finger is the original franken with 2 coats of Nicole's Imagine If with a star-shaped glitter from Prorance #41. The pinkie is just the franken with a star-shaped glitter and some of the Prorance blue base to set it. I like the pinkie a lot...I just wish the blue weren't so apparent.

Here's a close-up of my pinkie. You can't see the blue so