Around the house and city (Toronto Edition)

one of the last posts before i make the switch over to the new site.

can’t wait!

oh tulip

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may is for the tulips in ottawa.

one of the reasons i love ottawa so much is the fact that you get four true seasons. in the winter you can skate the canal – in the summer there’s green everywhere, in the fall the city is on fire with maple trees and in the spring there’s the tulips.

hundreds of thousands of tulips are planted in gardens along the pathway that borders dow’s lake. you just want to capture it ALL on film. but it doesn’t do it justice to capture the scene on camera – i could take a million pictures of tulips (which i have and i will continue to do each year that i live here) but the colours are just something that when you see in person it’s an amazing experience.

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every time i turned around, there was another tulip i wanted to take a picture of ^^^^

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i’m not from this city originally, but i speculate that if you grew up here, you have a picture of you as a child in front of the tulips in the spring. it’s a right of passage more or less. this is the first year that i’ve lived here that my parents have been able to take in the tulips as well – which was awesome because i got to participate just like a tourist again.

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is it too much to ask for this for my birthday? ^^^ just a small home for two 🙂

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until next year pretty ladies xoxo

Around the house and city

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^ everything is in bloom in downtown ottawa. it smells like flowers.

^^ on my running route. it didn’t even up raining.

^^^ finally set up record player. jackson browne was the first record i listened to.

^^^^ i told him no soccer ball in the house and this is what he does.

^^^^^ nothing better then a spring night – windows open, candles lit.

^^^^^^ Lord Elgin’s patio is open for the season.

^^^^^^^ a striped selfie for good measure.

^^^^^^^^ mike is a on a quest to perfect the bocconcini stuffed hot pepper.

^^^^^^^^^ homemade italian sandwich bliss.

^^^^^^^^^^ we made a pizza.

^^^^^^^^^^^ i’m taking may to revisit the old children’s faves. first up, the phoenix and the carpet.

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^ he ate cat poop and then asked for forgiveness.

Have a great weekend! p.s. I’m on INSTAGRAM. (who isn’t 😉

Trail Run

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iPHONE: a really bad distraction if you are a runner. ^^^

(Also, not only is it distracting, it’s frustrating to hear an email pop up, or see a phone call when you are supposedly “checking out.” I really need to get an iPOD – still haven’t replaced my old one since last fall.)

This beautiful trail is nearly in my backyard. (Plus one Suburbs, minus one, downtown!). Seriously – how many trails do you know of called “Heart’s Desire?” Although I’m not sure how I feel about that creepy little cabin? It broaches on the blair witch vibe…. the bright sunshine helps – I don’t think I’d want to run across it in the fall or night time.

The breeze is so beautiful today. Last night we got some rain and it broke that really uncanny, unseasonal heat we’ve been having. Now it just feels like a lovely May day.

I got some positive feedback today on some side projects I’ve been working on – and you wouldn’t think it, but it goes a really  long way to have that sort of thing thrown your way.

That little nugget, plus the wind, plus the beautiful blue sky? Life is pretty good.

One year in Suburbia

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we’ve officially been suburbanites for a year now – the beginning of may marks one year in this place we call home.

up until last year both of us had been living in the downtown part of Ottawa. there have been some big adjustments to get used to, like the distance for me to school on city transit (it takes about an hour and a half if it’s rush hour) or the fact that we can’t just walk to dinner or a movie, so inevitably there’s been a lot more driving. i can’t say there aren’t days i don’t crave these elements of living downtown.

but, in reality, i’d say suburbia gets a bad rap. last summer i was able to have a crazy garden, and we would have never been able to get a dog if we didn’t have the outdoor space.

plus there’s the part of life where at the end of the day, we can just look around us and say – “this is our house” something we would never be able to do if we were still inside the downtown core.

so what’s with the stigma of the suburbs? one year in and i still haven’t really figured it out – all i can say is, we’ve been happy, and we’re two of the biggest drifters/dreamers that i know. suburban life hasn’t changed my thirst for adventure 🙂

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family portrait

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i’ve heard people cite a statistic wherein if you get a dog, within two years there’s a huge possibility you’ll have a baby. apparently the frequency within which this happens is extremely high.

my concern is, what if mike holds the baby like this? ^^^

baby steps.

also, if you’re wondering about the bale of hay; it was on my front porch all winter long (since my fall “display”). I moved it to the back yard a few weeks ago when Clifford started digging holes in my garden. i’m not sure but i’m fairly positive he ate a tulip bulb and then threw it up.

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choose your own adventure

the renovations continued over the weekend and i’d say that we pretty much have the place back in order. i’ve never been one to pay someone to do work that we can do ourselves (which is unfortunate because i really hate painting…) but, we got it done! officially one year in this place and the walls have all been completely transformed from their previous (and heinous) colour scheme!! Which up until recently included a beige “smear” – i didn’t realize how bad it was until we had it all covered up in fresh, fresh white.

ahhhh. (<< that there’s a fresh breath of air.)

there were also a few birthdays to celebrate (why does everyone keep getting older?!) which kept us busy and full of yummy food.

we got into some pretty heavy conversation on saturday night with family about what it means to be happy and fulfilled in your life and career. is it possible to really love your job? does anyone really? and what do you do with yourself when you are unhappy but you don’t know how to make the changes? this was all floating around amidst the ice cream cake and hockey game. i think we came to the some sort of consensus that personal happiness is more important then money or stature, but if you can somehow find a way to combine the two, you’ve won the lottery.

i know over the past year i’ve been struggling with how to figure out to spend the next 20 years of my life, and it seems like i’m not alone. if i can offer up any advice (since i’ve been doing nothing but deliberation on the topic) it would be to say that life goes on. it might seem impossible to make BIG changes to your status quo, but whatever you decide, things aren’t going to come to a hault around you. things can always be repaired or put back together and ultimately, you need to make decisions from your gut that are best for you. those are the sorts of choices that will make you happiest. not that i’m a guru. it’s just what i’ve gathered having muddled about the topic myself. i think it’s true what they say: life’s a journey.

And in between all of this? we squeezed a few naps where we could fit them, and walks in the most glorious of all the weathers: SPRING! Yes. i’d say it’s finally HERE!!! you know something? i used to hate to have my feet touch grass, but i changed my mind.

the sun was so hot on sunday that cliff didn’t know what to do with his tongue… which makes sense after all because  he’s only ever known snow and cold in his six months of life in this tundra we call Ottawa. He was so hot  it was hanging about a foot out of his mouth.

i feel blessed just as i am. there are so many good things in life that i really couldn’t ask for more. except maybe adventure. i love a good choose your own adventure 😉

From the archives

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taken from my old apartment balcony, circa 2009. God that summer was stormy. it’s one of the most prominent things in my mind when i think back on it. (that and it was the summer I met mike! cue awwww). i’d leave for work in the morning and it would be as dark as 5 pm in the fall. and then if it cleared for a bit, all of a sudden the wind would bring in these great big dark clouds and just when you thought the sky couldn’t hold it anymore, it would burst. the down pour would last about 15 minutes, but the humidity dried the sidewalks within half an hour of the rainfall.

we’re far from summer on this chilly spring night – but i was browsing through my photos and this one in particular jumped out at me.

We needed that

it’s tuesday night and what with the past forty-eight hours I had almost forgotten that we had had a weekend away but we did – and we definitely needed that.

i can’t remember the last time we went somewhere, when it wasn’t for some other purpose, other then to just “be away.” usually it has a lot to do with family affairs or comedy shows, both of which we’re more then happy to attend – it’s just different when it’s a vacation for vacation’s sake.

the past 8 months has been gruelling. and now i’m frantically looking for a job so I can make up for all the lost time i spent being in school rather then working like the other adults i know in my life. the point is, free time over the past 8 months has been scarce, and sometimes i feel like i’ve just been rushing from one task to the next, trying to keep on top of everything.

mike really is the best. he’s been supporting me in every possible way you can support a person since i made the decision to devote my life to a really demanding program last fall. (well actually he supported me before that too, but i’ve needed it way more since last september.)

anyway. i love holidays. friends. food. what more can you ask for? it was the perfect way to celebrate the end of the school year.

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we saw the Toronto Raptors play (and more importantly win!) and then spent the night ambling along the cold and wet streets of Toronto before hitting up the Bier Market on the Esplande.

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geese in the eaton centre ^^

on saturday we walked around the city (which was still unseasonably wet and cold!) and we made it to the eaton centre.. (sorry.. i don’t think they call it that anymore? i refuse to call it anything but), and the best part about it being rainy and wet and lots of walking? lots of food. lotsandlots!

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the best lunch ever at Banh Mi Boys on Queen Street west! ^^ check out those “kimchi fries” – to die for.

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(ug! there were leaf fans everywhere!) ^^

the sun finally came out for a bit in the afternoon – a city is definitely a different experience in the cold or the rain. not necessarily good or bad, just different.

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(a pool. a hot tub. a complimentary robe. it was like someone could read my mind.)

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dinner at george. seek it out – amazing food and amazing service. seriously… you won’t go wrong with this place.

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this is me trying to pinch the decor – you can dress her up but you just can’t take ‘er out.^^^


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and this is the racoon that had us country folk enthralled while our cabbie was waiting for us. he narrowly got hit by a street car. i might have risked my life for him…. there’s just something about a masked animal that makes you feel like he is more human.

and that was the weekend. our hotel by the way was an amazing deal – our friends booked it for everyone via Hot Wire. I think if you’re not picky on where you end up location wise, and you’re willing to be surprised, it’s definitely the way to go.

ahhhhhhhh. weekends.