Fellow Eggnoggins Unite!

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Are you a nog head? A nog-a-holic? A num num nog lover? You do not need to hide your milky egg shame any longer! You are in a safe space here because I LOVE EGGNOG TOO!

This holiday drink is so divisive among people, either you love it or hate it….it is basically the cilantro of December!

eggnog caloriesI am a purist, I like the full fat classic eggnog. I sometimes will dilute it with a little 1% milk but lets be honest, if you are sliding down the eggnog rabbit hole then you have made peace with the calories! To make it even more indulgent I will pour it over vanilla ice cream with a couple extra sprinkles of nutmeg! Eggnog with fresh banana bread…oh snap, give me a minute to compose myself! HEAVEN!

Adding booze to my nog is not my thing but I love all the different names for boozy nog: The Modern Bartender’s Guide from 1878 distinguishes “plain egg nog”, “egg milk punch”, and “milk punch” from one another. It also includes variations such as “Baltimore egg nog”, “General Jackson egg nog”, “Imperial egg nog”, and two types of “sherry cobbler egg nog”, as well as “sherry cobbler with egg”, “mulled claret with egg”, “egg sour”, and “Saratoga egg lemonade” (also called “sea breeze”)….I am more of a rum and nog if I am going to go for it…I call it “Fun-time Nog”!

But “Fun-time Nog” is not the real name, rum + nog is actually how we got the name “Eggnog”. The term is a combination of two colonial slang words — rum was referred to as grog and bartenders served it in small wooden mugs called noggins and that is how the first drink was named, egg-n-grog and later as eggnog. #TheMoreYouKnow

Starbucks makes a delish eggnog steamer, Walmart has a great eggnog scented candle keep calmthis year, eggnog pancakes are the most delicious variation on traditional pancakes (my fave recipe is below) and when I visit Winnipeg later in December I am hoping to get my nog loving hands on some eggnog cream filled eclairs from La Belle Baguette. In Saskatoon at Homestead Ice Cream they make a really great eggnog ice cream. We are going to the Cayman Islands this week and we will be making eggnog mudslides! Check my twitter/facebook this week for an update.

What is your fave nog recipe? Are you a purist? Or are you a non-nogger? If you are we can still be friends but like distant friends, not inner circle…..in the words of Demi Lovato “I am sorry not sorry”!

And now this…

Fun: My three favourite songs right now that make me stupid happy are: Bend by Ria Mae, while re-watching Office Christmas Party I fell in love with Electrify by Oliver and at yoga this week during the shavasana she played Tree to Grow by the Lone Bellow. All three are on repeat in my car and when I work out!

Fitness: Speaking of working out….winter running, biking, snowshoe racing or even cross country skiing for that matter,  I am all in for wearing my downhill ski goggles. I am so over having frosty eyelashes and frozen cheeks! I got a sweet pair from Sportchek, you don’t need to spend more than $40 for a decent pair. I may even wear them dog walking, that should get the neighbours talking!

Food: Here is the most delicious eggnog pancake recipe from “Let’s Dish Recipes” that I promise you will devour these this December! Fluffy, noggy and I like to add extra nutmeg because well…tis the season! Click here for the recipe.

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Fashion: Ok so I have seen now a couple gals wearing velvet on air and I gotta say I am not a fan. In real life it looks great but on tv I feel it’s just too shiny and I am just not loving it…but I am loving this sleeveless sweater top from Le Chateau, it is also currently on sale which makes me wanna marry it! (please no comment on my Bert who loves Ernie eyebrows, occupational hazard).

 

 

Be Great!

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I am ready to move to NYC!

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Over the past 15 months I have lived in a meth lab, a bug infested suite, across the street from an exhibitionist, underneath a racist hypochondriac and now in an amazing house with a micro kitchen.

In my kitchen I have a hot plate, a toaster oven, a toaster and a microwave. For someone who loves cooking as much as I do, I was super hesitant about not having a full oven to use but as my husband says “it will build character”. I’ll be honest, the first couple weeks I ate a lot of sandwiches and packaged salads. Then I decided I needed to embrace my new surroundings….and that is when my micro cooking began. Here is what I know – a cook top hot plate is not great (Salton portable infrared cooktop), the heat isn’t even and the element is very slippery…slippery with a steep ledge making me very nervous. My parents used an old coil hot plate and it was super easy. So in my world, cheaper is better. BUT using the toaster oven has been an awakening!

I use the Cuisinart Deluxe Convection Toaster Oven Broiler. It warms up quickly, provides even heat and can easily cook 5 chicken breasts at one time. It is great for baking too. Yes, baking cookies takes longer because you can only bake about 5-6 at a time but the wait is worth it (especially the recipe linked below). I have cooked a roast, made phyllo pastry, roasted veggies and made a yummy gluten free pizza! I would consider having one of these machines on hand if you are cooking for one!

As for micro cooking it has it’s advantages too, you make smaller batches and I find I eat less because I just literally can’t be bothered to cook. If and when I move to New York and live in a 200 square apartment I will be so ready!

And now this…

Fun: I know I am late to the party on this one but I really enjoyed the movie Spider-man; spidermanHomecoming. It was funny, fast and for a non-Marvel fan, I really liked it. Don’t waste your money on Bad Moms 2 (I was a fan of the first one), this one has no heart and it gross just for the sake of being gross (and I love me some gross, this did not scratch that itch).

They have totally set it up for a third installment, I wont be going.

Fitness: This past week I have been super sick (stomach flu, I will spare you all the terrible details) and as a result I was super stiff and needed some yoga. So, I did a “first time free” visit to One Yoga for their gentle yoga class, it was exactly what the body needed. I had never been to their studio before but I will totally go back. The vibe was nice, the space was good and the instructor new her stuff. Back to crossfit this week with a yoga peppered in.

Food: My favourtie cookie right now is chocolate salted caramel and I use the Chipits chipitsbrand chips. Follow the recipe exactly on the back of the bag and trust me they will be the show stopper at any party!

Fashion: I am trying to embrace the whole velvet trend and according to Marilyn Denis for the holiday season your outfit should have just a hint of velvet on it some where! I bought a pair of fitted black pants with a velvet stripe down the side….I feel like they look like fancy track pants so basically I win! Slip on, black, velvet, and I could do karate in them! BOOM! Are you doing the velvet trend? I think it looks questionable on tv so this will be a strict off-air outfit.

Be Great!

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Yikes! It’s been a year!

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I am officially the worst blogger on the internet!

It’s been a full year since I sat down and wrote a single word…so much has happened! I have moved 3 times since last November, ran a triathlon, won tickets to SNL (dream come true), saw a woman in Windsor pull her false teeth out, shove them in her bra and offer people “south of the equator services” in her mini van, got trapped in an elevator for 4o minutes in Regina during a heatwave, floated in two different mineral pools/lakes, gained a butt load of weight (it’s also in my legs and gut to be exact), ate a 2 foot long hotdog (explains the weight gain), finally found a hair conditioner to help my over-styled tv hair and started doing crossfit.

Let’s start with my hair and crossfit, the important stuff!

I have super thick, coarse hair with a natural wave, so over styling it can dry it out and make it brittle. I try to not wash it all the time, usually about every 2nd to 3rd day if I use dry shampoo (ps. I love Batiste and I find the best price at Winners at $7.99/bottle). I have CCMAtried everything to help my thirsty hair. I mashed up avocado and massaged the guacamole on there (It looks super gross when you wash it out it looks like baby puke) and it did nothing, I paid for a “moisture steam treatment” in a fancy Toronto salon with zero change expect I was out 60 bucks, I did get a “Titanium treatment” here in Saskatoon and it did do some good, I bought Olaplex (which almost every TV gal swears by) and it was just ok not worth the price tag, but this weekend I bought the Marc Anthony at home Coconut Oil hair mask at Shoppers for $2.99 and hot damn, it worked! My curls came back right away and my hair feels super soft!

What I did was  – washed my hair, slathered on the mask and then put on a disposable shower cap and let it sit for an hour. I know some folks leave them on all day and then rinse them out but I got tired and wanted to go to bed. After rinsing it out my hair instantly felt great and I smelled like the beach! Give it a whirl! Even if it doesn’t work for your hair type you are only out $2.99!

Now on to crossfit – this is a complicated relationship. I am pretty injured right now, in fact it would be shorter list to type what is going right with my bones and muscles, so it makes working out and lifting heavy a struggle. There are some CF classes where I am

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Maybe fewer of these?

pushed to the limit and completely exhausted, but then there are others where I just don’t feel anything because I physically can’t do the WOD (work out of the day). I really enjoy the couple who run the gym and they are supportive of my injuries but I’ve been at it now for 5 months and I have seen zero physical changes plus I am not lifting any heavier. I know a lot of the size part is diet related (all of it is diet related) but I have been really making a huge effort to eat better for the last 3 months. Is it stress? Is it that Crossfit isn’t working for me? Is it my metabolism? Is it working on a morning show and lack of sleep? Maybe I will invest my cash in a fat tire bike, I am desperate to own one! Have you tried one? Was it the best time ever?

Here is some other stuff:

Fun: Watch “Big Mouth” on Netflix if you wanna relive your teenage years and at times be super grossed by the memories of your youth. Click the link for the trailer. Ps. it’s a cartoon with some of the top comics out there right now…Nick Kroll, you are gross and I love your perfectly weird mind!

Fitness: Well this is complicated as mentioned above. All I will say here is be kind to your body, fuel it properly and add box jumps in to every other work out…they work your entire body and you will look like a seriously elite athlete! Happy jumping!

Food: I am dabbling in new oils, avocado specifically. Got a recipe? I am all ears! Plus my goal for this month is too use more fresh herbs verses salt to season my food and to try and be as paleo as possible.

Fashion: I am obsessed with everything jewel tones, solid, bold jewel tones. My go to IMG_9885right now for shopping is Amazon and Winners. Cheap, fast and good (CFG, my life motto). I know you will say I only like emerald green because of my love for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and you wouldn’t be wrong but it’s also the colour of the season.

 

Ok that’s all I’ve got for now but I promise to be back soon!

Be Great!

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Fiona’s Flu Viewing List

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So, I went home to Winnipeg for an epic Halloween wedding social, had the best time and came back to my second home (Saskatoon) with a nasty bug! Thanks Manitoba! I have been sick for three weeks…three long weeks. The first week I was in denial with the warrior spirit that I was going to destroy this bug then BOOM it got me!

The first week was all about sweating, irritability and exhaustion – all things I imagine menopause is going to be like. Week 2 was full body aches, coughing, and hallucinating…I had a dream one morning I had 5 hamster nipples grafted to my left rib and I was in charge of nursing 5 “Royal Hamsters”…one the hamsters wore a tutu….I was on a lot of medication! Week three has been more coughing and complete exhaustion but I am seeing the light, I looked at my sneakers today and said “Hello old friend, see you soon!”

But through this plague I have watched so many movies, tv shows and Netflix series that I would like to present to you….”Fiona’s Flu Viewing List”

Bad Moms

Ok, this movie is predictable and full of mom jokes but since I’m not a mom some of the jokes didn’t land as they had hopped but it reconfirmed I want to be friends with Kristen Bell! If you like dirty jokes and mom’s behaving badly then you will love it!

Neighbours 2

This movie was a huge surprise…I had no idea it was a feminist flick which caught me off guard, plus the story line neighbourshas legs to it. When a movie makes me hit pause and say “Wait, is it true?” and then hit google has my attention. What I learned from this film is, America has a LONG way to go when it comes to women’s equality…did you know that it is written into the Greek Constitution of Fraternities and Sororities that sororities CANNOT HOST PARTIES…that’s right, if women want to party they need to go a fraternity!

In real life, the 26 member sororities governed by the National Panhellenic Conference indeed forbid drinking in sorority houses as a rule. No alcohol means no hosting of house parties on par with the fraternities. – The Daily Beast

They claim it is because it cheaper and easier to insure a dry sorority but is it written as a law forbidding it?  And we all sit here and wonder how a woman couldn’t get elected in the US maybe they should look at equal rights for women on campuses? This movie is mindless, fun and actually a good sequel.

Sausage Party

It was at this point I realized I was on a real Seth Rogen marathon and perhaps needed to start watching something a touch more cerebral. When this movie came out in theatres I kind of went out of my way to not pay attention to it because it stupid as hell…and then I got sick and desperate. I laughed a couple times at the dirty food jokes but Sausage Party was just a time filler, unlike other Rogen offerings like “This is the End” I won’t be re-watching it! Derek also watched it and said he laughed once which shocked me, I was sure he was going to love it! PASS.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Ok, so I didn’t get “cerebral” right away but I am a huge fan of Andy Samberg’s sleeper movie “Hot Rod” so I had to give this one a chance and in no way did I regret it…it was funny, stupid, a beautiful mockery or pop-stardom and star packed! Kick back, put your brain on pause and enjoy!popstar

At this point my iTunes account ran dry and I moved over to Netflix and HBO on demand!

Insecure

insecureThis is a great new series featuring Issa Rae. She is hilarious, vulnerable, real and drops the ‘N’ bomb liberally. It is a modern day look at life with her friend who is an insecure, narcissistic, nympho. Issa at one point takes to the stage at an open mic night and freestyle raps about her friend and the song goes viral and how could it not…I won’t ruin the surprise here, just watch it and think of Trump. It has been green-lit for a second season on HBO so get on it and binge watch ASAP!

 

 

Divorce

This is Sarah Jessica Parker’s triumphant return to HBO and she has brought some friends with her…Molly Shannon (who steals every scene), Jemaine Clement (swoon) and Thomas Haden Church who is divorceabsolutely brilliant!! Watch for him during Golden Globe season because he will be nominated without a doubt. He is unhinged, hilarious and raw. SJP is the perfect counterpoint to THC, they are a perfect pair like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan! This show has also been picked up for  a second season.

The Crown

This should come as no surprise that I binge watched this Netflix series -I love me some Royals! It is a totally winstondifferent look at QEII’s life but it is paired with 10 Downing’s Street and it completely grabs you (if you like this sort of stuff). I am memorized by Claire Foy who plays Queen Elizabeth and John Lithgow’s portrayal of Winston Churchill is brilliant. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to believe him in this role but he pulls it off. This is a long winter’s night in January type series to hunker down and watch, while it’s still nice out do not give yourself this series.

With a couple more days ahead of shaking off this chest infection I may be adding some more titles soon…any viewing suggestions?

Be Great

F

 

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The moment it all changed!

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The whole process of moving to Toronto was long and drawn out which I now deeply regret. We moved our stuff out of the house in segments which was always a great excuse to go back to Winnipeg and we delayed the sale because we thought we would get more money for the house if we waited til springtime. This meant we would carry the mortgage for 7 months, this was financially exhausting and a massive source of stress.

I also constantly flip-flopped with the idea of keeping the house as a rental, Derek was firmly against the idea and I thought it would be a great investment plus a solid safety net. My mind was quickly changed when we went back in June and the basement flooded because of tree roots in the sewer line (welcome to River Heights), I thought if that had happened with renters I would have felt terrible – the idea of renting was 100% over!

The house went up for sale and we didn’t get the money we thought we would, in fact a lot less. I knew we were sitting ducks because the house was empty and the kitchen and basement weren’t great but our realtor did a good job and got us fair market value for a house like ours.

It was OVER!!! We were financially FREE!! We were no longer tied to ANYTHING!!! This was the most liberating feeling EVER!! Then it hit me, the concept of buying a house, living in one neighbourhood for your ENTIRE life is so completely over-rated! I did it, I believed in it for decades, it was part of my DNA and all of a sudden I was no longer defined by having a nice house, dreaming of a cabin at Victoria Beach and bitching to my City Councillor that my neighbours play structure was breaking a city bi-law! Being a renter is also pretty great, when something breaks in the house, it’s not your problem!! Yes, I acknowledge this may sound like a mid-life crisis and maybe it is but I truly feel FREE!!!

img_5289Then the job offer came exactly one week after we closed on our Winnipeg house! If it had been one month earlier I would have flat out said “no” because we couldn’t afford it (mortgage in Winnipeg, rent in Toronto and rent in Saskatoon – not a chance!). So, I said “yes” and the adventure began…3 provinces in 10 months and zero regrets!

It’s funny, when I started telling people “Ya, I am moving to Saskatoon” every single person said “I have heard it’s nice there”and you know what, you were right! Saskatoon is young, vibrant, a foodies paradise, welcoming and a true hidden gem!

A big part of me never wants to own another home or at least not right now and hear me when I say, my days of calling City Councillors is not over…do you hear me, NOT OVER!

Fun:

Ok, I am going to tell you what wasn’t fun…Bridget has a baby! Oh snap, I went to see this flick with a very pregnant friend and felt she wanted to see it for research purposes, even though she knows who the father is…anyway, the movie sucks and only if you are sick in bed fighting the flu should you watch it! 1 out of 5 stars.

Fitness:

I need a running partner and STAT! In Winnipeg I had friends galore who loved running with me and in Toronto my 2 fur-pals were my running buddies…now I am without both. I am going to try out the running room free night and hope I meet some cool folks….any runners out there looking for a buddy? I comfortably run a 10 minute mile for about 10-15km, 9 mins for 5km.

I have joined 2 gyms here in YXE and I love them both. Super inspiring people, motivated adventure racers and I get really sweaty – I feel like my goal of becoming “Country Strong” will become a reality here! There are some seriously fit people in this town, I need to up my game big time!

Food:

One of the biggest food/alcohol trends in the past 2 years has been these over the topdill-pickle-vodka-bottle-4 Caesars (I say food and alcohol because Caesars these days basically come with an entire meal as a garnish) and in Saskatoon (or YXE to the locals) they have taken it to another level. Last Mountain Distillery in Saskatoon makes a dill pickle vodka which is a must have. If you like your Caesar spicy they also have a chili pepper vodka that will blow your socks off!

I made these super buttery, sweat and appley treat the other day for my co-workers and they said they were super awesome

(I didn’t eat any as I have been eating way too much apple-crisp-shortbread-bars-soberjuliegluten and sick in the guts). They were super easy to make and a great alternative to just shortbread or just apple crisp – it was a dessert marriage waiting to happen!

Thanks Sober Julie for creating this delish treat!

The BEST Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars Recipe

Fashion:

If you wanna be a “basic” in Saskatoon then you need these earrings from Hillberg and Berk. They are Sparkle Ball sparkleStud Earrings and yes, I bought a pair and I love them! I’m a total “Basic”!

Folks in Saskatoon dress super well, like I went to the Farmers Market looking like a straight up hobo and quickly went home to change because the market is the place to be seen…and not in your nasty yoga pants and 15 year old fleece jacket! LOL!

Be Great!

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Not what Orange Theory expected!

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The other day the good folks at Orange Theory fitness asked us all to write a “bucket list” item on a sticky note and place it on the board for all to see. I am almost certain they wanted us to write stuff like “fit in my wedding dress again” or “wear my old college jeans” but those are not anywhere on my bucket list.

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I made this bad boy! Thanks Orange Theory!

Once they handed me my square of paper what I wrote next was a no-brainer! I have always wanted to make a vinatarta cake! This is a very special cake to me. As a kid it was the very first cake I ever ate a wedding, Lynn and Larry Henry’s wedding to be exact. I remember it so clearly and how we got a little piece to take home to slip under our pillows (it was wrapped in cling film) with the promise  you would dream of your future husband/wife. I am not sure if mine ever made under the pillow because it tasted so damn good. I always thought I would have vinatarta at our wedding but didn’t, perhaps for our 25th anniversary.

For years I have built up in my head that making this cake would be impossible and that you needed special tools imported from Iceland to make it properly. Today I said “To hell with it Odlum, today you make this cake!” After a little Pinterest search I discovered no special tools are required, just a lot of patience! Here is the recipe I used – Vinatarta Cake!

Long story short, tackling the “unbakeable cake” or breaking an 8 minute mile or all that other stuff you think you can’t do…it’s all a joke because you can! Plus, your house will smell amazing afterwards #Almond Extract!

Fun:

If you have 1 hr and 5 minutes then check out Patton Oswalt’s new comedy special “Talking for Clapping” on Netflix! It’s funny, timely and his bit about “My Pretty Pony” is hilarious!

Fitness:

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from: redefiningstrength.com

Jumping Jack Push Ups are BAD ASS! I know they sound terrible but hot damn they are effective for an end of work out burn out exercise! Start with 6 and add 2 every time. We did these at the gym today and I can already feel them in my shoulders.

I tried out a power lifting gym this week and it was cool but I wasn’t sore at all afterwards. I will give 2 more tries before I make a decision.

Food:

I think I covered off food above 🙂

But taking suggestions on what should be my next baking challenge…macaroons? Floating island? Baked Alaska?

Fashion:

jacketI am so happy that for fall jean jackets are still in and so are these green safari-style jackets! They literally go with everything and yes, I am dreaming of fall. The weather here has been unbearably hot for the past 2 weeks and I miss cozy sweaters and my sweet, sweet sweatpants.

On my shopping wish list: black ripped jeans and the perfect loose fitting camel coloured t-shirt.

 

 

 

Be Great!

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Officially afraid of the dark!

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When you own 2 black dogs the night time is your best friend in the summer. After being cooped up inside on a blazing hot day, the night brings sweet relief and time for a long walk but not for me anymore, I have literally become paralyzed with fear of the night.

Dusk is when the raccoons come out and Miss Lewi (one of my dogs) thinks it’s hilarious to chase them, they don’t think it’s so funny and they attack her. I am also concerned they will bite me as I’ve heard that’s a “thing” around these parts! Then add in the “random” violence and the fact that I know no one makes me incredibly nervous to go out alone at night. All things combined this has eliminated my beloved summer night runs and cool breezy walks with the dogs.

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Yo! What are you looking at?

It’s gotten so bad I barely sleep anymore  because I worry the raccoons are eating through the screened in windows and trying to eat my hair (why my hair, I don’t know. I know how irrational I sound). Derek jokes that when we leave here I will have PTSD. He also didn’t help the situation by sending me a pic of a raccoon out on the golf course munching on a sandwich this week! A SANDWICH!

I am not entirely sure how to overcome this but for now I keep escorting the dogs out for their pre-bed pee with a flashlight and loud music playing and I will sadly say adieu to running outside. Winter was a much better time, until then night runs/dog walks.

Fun:

No surprise here ‘Finding Dory‘ was a fun night out!

However, if you are childlessFinding-nemo-dory-marlin then do not make the rookie mistake I made, you MUST go to the late show! It is kid free and you don’t look like such a creeper!

PS. Apparently if you are bringing your kids to a movie in my area you can also smuggle in entire Jerk Chicken dinner for 6 and child minding is “optional”! You don’t want that chicken getting cold!

Fitness:

I LOVE POP JACKS!!!

Step 1: Plank

Step 2: Jump your feet to the outside of your hands

Step 3: Pop up into a squat position (don’t stand up, it’s like a crouch and you put your arms to your sides/hands in front of you like you are blocking a soccer shot on goal)

Step 4: Hands back down – outside of your feet

Step 5: Pop back to plank

Step 6: Repeat til you puke (that’s usually around 32! #barf)

Food:

The other day we took a walk through “Greek town” aka “The Danforth” with some saucefriends from home (Janette and Jason) and we found a fruit and veggie stand selling amazing berries – I absolutely went overboard and was left with many baskets of blackberries. My friend Sandi use to make me blackberry meatballs so, in her honour I made blackberry BBQ sauce! Click here for the recipe, I made it sans ginger as I am allergic. So Delish!!!

 

Fashion:

I am obsessed with 2 things right now – watching the Euro Cup and Ear Crawlers! No they

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Add some summer sparkle!

aren’t some sort of worm, they are what I call “sideways earrings”. I had been looking for them locally but with no luck and then Etsy came to the rescue! Click here for the link! With taxes, currency exchange and shipping they were only $20!

Of course, as soon as they arrived I found a local store carrying them so if I need more (because why not) I know exactly where to go!

Be Great!

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