Tuesday, November 8, 2016

America decides

Today, America votes for a new president. As a Canadian, I'm curious and nervous as to the outcome, but hopeful that it will be a positive one. Regardless, the tumultuous and chaotic manner in which this election has been run reminds me and re-enforces for me how lucky I am to be Canadian and live in this country. Good luck to the United States. No matter who wins, I think they're going to need it.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Midnight flight to Heathrow

I love the app Timehop. For someone who has the memory of a goldfish like I do, it helps me remember life events and things I've done or seen in the past. Like this little gem from two years ago:

I was hopping on a plane to jet off to Europe for two weeks with a good friend of mine. I hadn't taken a real vacation like that in years and was so looking forward to getting back to Europe, with all its history and delicious food and fantastic sites. I think about the places I visited on that trip pretty often, and can't wait to get back there again soon.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaBloWriMo: whoops...

Well, I started off NaBloWriMo with a bang, full of intent and determination, ready to go...and then I went on a trip. It's not that I forgot, I just ran out of time each day. But, that's changing now! I've been in Ottawa for the past few days, so to catch up, I'll be blogging about my mini-break with my mother and some of the great spots we've been since arriving!

Here's a little snap of some crazy-looking clouds from my flight Wednesday evening as I headed off west to chase the sunset. 

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's that time of year again...

NaBloWriMo time! National Blog Writing Month is the time of year when I put my blogging skills to the test. When I see if I can actually blog once a day, every day, for an entire month. I did it last year and while it was a struggle at times, I made it. So, I want to try it again this year. Blogging is something I really enjoy but struggle with, due to work, personal, life in general. But, NaBloWriMo (based off of NaNoWriMo) forces me to dedicate myself to my writing and to the upkeep of my blog.

You can expect a lot of random entries about the oddest little thoughts that pop into my head, as well as some longer, more thought-out posts. Sometimes all I'll have time for is a quick musing over a photo I've taken and posted on Instagram, and others might be a bit more in depth. It's going to be a mixed bag, but that's kind of the fun of NaBloWriMo!

So, here we go, off to the races. Entry #1 = DONE. Hope you enjoy this month-long journey with me!

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Foodie Files

I've been thinking for quite some time about what else I want to talk about on my blog. I've long discussed my love of travel and I've talked about my adventures in recipe testing, but something I've been playing around with in my mind is finally coming to fruition.

As someone who loves food and dining out, I've been lucky enough to try a number of restaurants in and around St. John's. With the Newfoundland food scene really having taken off over the past few years, there is a diverse selection of restaurants out there, offering all sorts of food. I thought it was time I added my thoughts on restaurants around town. Will anyone read them? Maybe. Will anyone care? Maybe not. Is it an excuse to dine out? ...Maybe again. But as someone who is curious about food and how flavours blend together, and as someone who is always looking to try out the next big thing in town, why not??

That's why I'm going to really launch the Foodie Files part of my blog. While I'll still talk about recipe successes or favourite cupcake shops, I'm going to begin writing about my experiences with restaurants around town - my favourite dishes, apps that are must-tries, desserts that are to die for and so on. As someone with food allergies and sensitivities, I also think I'll bring a bit of a fresh perspective when it come to dining out, and the must-ask questions that one should bring up when dining out with a food sensitivity.

So stay tuned, the first Foodie File is coming up soon. Watch this space!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Welcome, autumn

Sometimes I think autumn is my favourite of the seasons. Not just because the changing of the leaves makes it look so pretty, or because I finally get to pull my riding boots, cozy sweaters and scarves back on, or because drinking hot lattes on cool days makes them taste a little bit better.

To be honest, I think autumn is my favourite season because of the nostalgia it brings up. I always think about what I was doing this time of year in 2005, when I studied abroad in Harlow. I've talked about it a number of times before, but that's because it made such an impact on my life. Now, each time September rolls around, I'm reminded of the happiness I felt all those years ago, and let myself think back to what I was doing those days. It's always nice to be reminded of times in your past that were so positive for you.

It's also good though, to think of what's to come in life, and what could come.  Sometimes, reflecting on the past has a way of making you excited for the future.

And so, here's to autumn: may you bring waves of pleasant nostalgia and the hope of new possibilities.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Remembering Harlow

How can it be 11 years since I went to Harlow? How can so much time have passed, when I can still smell the fresh laundry in the halls of The Maltings? Remember the feeling of the brick wall beside my bed that I would run my fingers along when trying to drift off to sleep? The taste of the potato salad the chef in the cafeteria would make for every single dinner meal? The feeling of joy and excitement and devastation bubbling up inside me while standing in Piccadilly Circus the night before I flew back to Newfoundland, trying to get as much of London into my veins as I could?

So many memories. So many sights and sounds and smells that bring me back to that place every autumn for the past 10 years. My time in Harlow changed me, changed my life, changed the way I see life and see people. I've told people it was the best four months of my life, and while I've had other amazing experiences and been fortunate to have had them, there's nothing that has compared to my time in England.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stepping back into history

Travelling is something I've loved to do ever since I was young. I've been very fortunate that my parents insisted on going somewhere every summer while I was growing up, so I've been able to visit almost all of the provinces in Canada, a number of the states in the United States, and parts of Europe, Australia and Central America. Suffice it to say, I was definitely bitten by the travel bug at an early age.

Sometimes, though, it's nice to be a tourist in your own backyard. Which is why I took in a performance of Fleming at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist here in St. John's.

The one-man play features local Newfoundland actor Paul Rowe as Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, the man whose determination and vision brought the cathedral to life over 150 years ago.

I won't give too much away, but will say that the play spans a number of years, from the beginning of the construction up to the celebration of the first mass by Fleming. It's interactive too, moving you around inside and outside the church, learning the history visually and aurally. 

Rowe does a fine job of portraying Fleming, using a mix of fact and humour throughout the play. His delivery is captivating, never allowing your mind to stray from the performance and keeping you interested at all times.

The play runs from July 5 to August 27, Tuesday through Saturday at noon. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and can be bought day-of just before the performance. For more information, visit the Basilica Heritage Foundation website or check out their Twitter account.

*Thank you to the Basilica Heritage Foundation for the complimentary tickets.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Pink sky at night...

I know the saying is technically "red sky at night, sailor's delight", but in this case, a pink sky was what we saw last night in St. John's. A sudden thunderstorm came over the city and poured for about 10 minutes. Shortly after, the sky brightened and cleared, and we were treated to this beautiful sight.

As I get older, I seem to be getting more and more of an appreciation for nature and the world around me. I just came back from a week out west in British Columbia and Alberta for a family wedding. Driving through the Rocky Mountains, I saw sprawling landscapes and natural beauty that really are a sight to behold.

The wedding ceremony was at a beautiful spot called Emerald Lake, in B.C. It was stunning. Snow-capped mountains, lush green forests and a teal-blue lake...breath-taking. 

If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend driving through the Rockies, as they'll give you a new appreciation for the vast land we call home.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Sometimes I feel bad for the month of January. Everyone's coming down from the high of Christmas and New Years in December (and wishing we were still on holidays), and no one is giving any love to January. It's no surprise there's a day in the first month of the year that's called Blue Monday.

For some, January signals a "new year, new me, fresh start" sort of mantra, and I'm one of those people...most of the time. But, I too, feel the January blues - of missing the excitement of Christmas and parties and vacation and family time.

Sometimes though, on an afternoon in January when the sky is blue and the sunshine is beaming down through the window of my apartment, January doesn't seem quite so bad. Those blue skies remind me of new beginnings, a chance to try again, start fresh. The sunshine is like a beam of hope and encouragement. I'm going to hold on to that.