Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wine wednesday- i found it!

Remember when I lamented the fact that I couldn't find the "Witch wine"? Well...I found it. And it is as good as I remembered it.
I found it this weekend at the wine store and since Suz was over for dinner tonight (and wow did I go all out with preparing a fancy meal- right Suz?) I figured it should be opened. Definitely the kind of wine that is great with food but is a good "sipper" as well. Smooth, flavourful, delicious!

If you're looking for a nice red for next Wednesday, give Les Sorcieres a try.

What's your favourite red?

(and if you've noticed a lack of really good posts lately, you're right. I have to be honest- between work, school work, and life being kind of busy, something has got to give. I'd much rather do well at school, still live my active lifestyle, have time for my husband and my friends than worry too much about blogging. I still like it, it is fun, but if I'm going to let something "lag", it is going to be the blogging. And in the words of Katy- sorry, I'm not sorry. Hopefully I'll have more time soon.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

strange signs- the sports bar edition

I always love a good strange sign. I also love a strange translation. Either fortunately or unfortunately, this one is pretty much just as odd in French as it is in English:
not to worry- not filmed
Oh- and this sign was in the bathroom. I suppose that might be an important thing to mention.  Nothing like getting filmed in the bathroom.

Have you seen any good signs or odd translations lately?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

these are the people in my neighbourhood

Seen at 10:05 am: a very hairy bare-chested man...pants partway down...rubbing something in his crotch (maybe a baby wipe? that's what i like to believe anyway). On his head? A red cowboy hat...child sized...with blonde braids attached to it.

You suburbanites don't know what you're missing :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

thankful friday

Even though real Thanksgiving was more than a month ago (you know, where we give thanks for Martin Frobisher's valiant yet unsuccessful attempt to find the northwest passage), as I see and hear all the Americans - my family included- talking about giving thanks and spending time with friends and family this weekend, I find it hard not to reflect on the things that I'm thankful for and that I can celebrate "aboat."

Family. And this year, my family has an extra reason to be thankful. It is always exciting when there is a new member of the family and this is the first time that "my side" of the family has had tiny feet and chubby cheeks to fall in love with. Even though Zoey has the extra cuteness factor- I really am thankful for all of my family. They are so supportive and I'm glad I lucked out on the family and in-law front!
not the hipster glasses
Friends. Moving to a new city is hard. When we moved to Montreal last year, we left a really great group of friends in Ottawa. It had taken awhile to build that up after moving from Calgary to Ottawa, so it was hard to leave knowing that we didn't know that many people in Montreal. But somehow we've been absorbed by some great people here. We've met some really fun and really great friends this year. And I'm thankful for all of my "old" friends too. So happy the trip to Ottawa isn't that long and that I still manage to see other friends around the country as well.
yay team awesome!
My Husband (and I wish that I could find a way to turn that into an "f" word to go with the list). Again- moving to a new city is hard. And we've done it twice in the last 6 years. I definitely couldn't have done it alone and couldn't have done most of what I've accomplished in the last 6 years without Jordan backing me up. He makes me laugh, he helps me believe in myself when I'm not sure I can do something, and gives me a swift kick in the butt when I get down on myself.
also thankful he isn't doing Movember this year.
My life. And finally, I'm so thankful to have won the "situation" lottery when it comes to my life situation. Yes, I worked hard to get my education and to find a job I liked and that I feel like I'm good at, but none of that hard work would have even mattered if I had been born in another time, another place, or in just a slightly different situation. I don't have to fight for any rights, I was born into a family of downright privilege compared to most of the world, I am a happy person, and I'm a healthy person. Life is good and no matter what kind of frustrations I have in the day- I have so much more to be thankful and grateful for than to be upset about.
Life is good

Wherever you're from and wherever you're living- what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

november- the time of sickness

I think November is the time of illness. I know a lot of people who are ill right now and now I'm one of them. On Sunday, I had a full box of tissues, as of about 8 pm on Tuesday, the box looked like this:
glad they have lotion
So I haven't run since Saturday and haven't done much the last couple of days. I'm hoping there's some sort of miracle cure out there and all of a sudden I'll feel better. What are the chances of that?

So let us think of happier things that aren't congestion, headaches, sore throats, and body aches...

Canadians- anyone jealous of American Thanksgiving this year? All this talk of family and feasting is making me want to celebrate.

Monday, November 21, 2011

five things about me- part one

I didn't mean to take a whole week off of blogging, but it just sort of worked out that way. I was busy snuggling a baby and for some reason even though my phone had no problem connecting to the internet at my dad's house, my computer didn't like it. So, I decided to just leave it. I had a great time in Calgary and I'm sure I'll share some stories soon. But for now, I figure I'll share a few things about list form. (and I hope to share 5 a month for the next little while)

1- I'm an absolute sucker for babies with neck rolls. In particular, this one:
2- I have never roasted a turkey. I've never attempted it and I'm not sure when I will.

3- I get really bitchy when I'm hungry.

4- I wish I was better at putting outfits together. Every so often I come up with some good ones, but I feel like those are few and far between...

5- I got new glasses recently and I have to say- giant hipster glasses are the best thing that have ever happened to this uber-nearsighted girl. I may look a little like a hipster disney character- but I don't care...because I CAN SEE! 

What about you? Tell me one thing about you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

doesn't get much better: snuggles with zoey

Life is good when you're snuggling a baby:
can't complain
I met Zoey on Saturday and despite the fact that she decided to time her developmental milestone of wailing in the car with my visit, I'm smitten.
polka dots.
She likes polka dots, sleepers with apples and pears on them, she loves her mama, and her dad too. I love her chubby cheeks and her long wrinkly fingers.
so peaceful.
She has long eyelashes like her mum, red hair like her dad, and a good set of lungs like her aunt :) And as of today, she will be the hippest baby on the block with her dark jeggings (that she can pair with a pair of R2D2 slippers that she already had).

I dare you to not want to pinch those cheeks (not mine).

Friday, November 11, 2011

to make you laugh

I don't know where this came from, but Jordan showed it to me a few weeks ago and it makes us both laugh and smile. Having a bad day? Bring out the puppy photo. Feeling cranky? PUPPY! You just can't do anything but smile when you see this:
so happy
You can almost hear what he or she is thinking..."I'M SO HAPPY! I'M RUNNING...AND I'M HAPPY" I kind of  want to hug this puppy.

Happy Friday! I hope you have a weekend that makes you grin like the puppy.

Do you have any pictures or sites you look at when you need to smile?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

three things thursday- a return

I thought I'd do a return to three things Thursday this week. I'm exhausted after my days of meetings in Ottawa, so I'm not feeling hugely creative but I'm sure I can come up with three things.

Thing one:
I'm headed to Calgary tomorrow evening. I'm excited to see everyone (and to see ALL of my nieces and nephews), but I have to say...I CANNOT wait to see these chubby cheeks:
apparently she was snoring
Thing two:
The race photos from Saturday are up. I saw the first camera near the beginning of the race and managed to smile-
trying to run through the guys
But by the end of the race? The smile didn't come so easily- I guess that's what happens when you're giving it as much as you have.
working too hard to smile
And just for good measure, a picture of some not so great form...ugh:
eek! heel strike strikes!
I suppose that it is possible that by the time I hit the ground that foot was closer to flat that heel striking? I like to think so.

Thing three:
Did I mention that I'm exited to meet Zoey? And to see my sister? Well I am. I can't wait.

Ok, so technically I only came up with two, but can you argue that Zoey doesn't count for two?

What are you excited about this weekend?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

more proof that I run hot

I'm not sure why, but I "run" hotter than most people I know. When others around me need gloves, I don't. When I drink a litre of water in the heat, they don't even need water. When I wilt in the heat, others just find it hot. It is just the way it is. When they reach for the toques (those are winter hats for those of you who don't speak Canadian), I'm just fine.

When I ran the Oka race, I was in capri pants, a long sleeved shirt and gloves and the people around me were wearing jackets, vests, scarves, hats, and tights. I took one look at them and almost put on another layer but remembered that I run hotter than most and although I was pretty chilly for the first kilometre or so, once I got going, I was really happy with what I was wearing.

I managed to get photographic proof of how much hotter I am than everyone else. I was in Ottawa for work for a couple of days and got to meet up with my friend Janelle for a run. It had been an absolutely beautiful day and I was really excited to feel like I could run in short sleeves and shorts (long shorts) on November 7th.
excited to be out running on a warm evening in November
When I showed up, Janelle was wearing layers. Lots of layers. Long sleeves, a vest, pants, gloves...the works.
lots of layers
I kind of felt like we had dressed for two completely different seasons and all I could really think was "yup, that sounds about right."

Hope Wednesday treats you well. And hey- Wednesday means WINE wednesday. Celebrate it if you can.

What about you- do you run hot? Run cold? Are you an over-dresser? 

Monday, November 07, 2011

an unexpected PR- the Oka 10 K

So this trail race that I talked about last week? Turns out that it was mostly on bike paths. There were a couple of kilometres on trails but for the most part it was on paved paths. Which turned out to be not such a bad thing. But I'll start at the beginning.

All week I was a little concerned that I'd get lost on the way to the race. I'd never been to Oka and I still haven't mastered the highways around Montreal. So I google mapped it, checked the directions on the race website, made sure the highways were all open, and finally just decided to trust my GPS. It got me where I needed to go fairly well. Until I got into the park. Then it decided to tell me this:
thank goodness I was on the road
Luckily, at that point there were already signs pointing me toward the race and really, all I had to do was follow the car in front of me.

Package pick up was easy and I was also fantastically excited to see a bag check in the same place. It meant I didn't have to hoof it back to the car before the race...I just got to stay in the warm, warm building. And use a real bathroom. This made me happy. It was -4°C. 

Originally, I had planned on running in a short sleeved shirt and arm warmers. I was VERY glad that I packed a long sleeved shirt just in case...I needed it and ran in the short sleeved shirt plus the long sleeved shirt...and gloves, and a headband to keep my ears warm. 
As I headed to the start line, I laughed as I saw this guy:
I had no idea how to pace myself. I didn't know what the course was like and it was hard to know how I'd feel. I didn't run as much in October as I had planned. My longest run was just under 9 miles right near the beginning of the month, I had run a few 5 milers, but mostly 3 and 4 milers throughout the month. So I was well rested for this race :)

So I just ran. I worked hard. I checked my pace if it felt to easy or hard- just to keep myself honest- but for the most part, I just ran. The course was gorgeous, the sun was out, and it was a beautiful day for a run.

As I reached the top of the biggest hill, I came up to a guy in BRIGHT orange and said something like "well that was fun" and passed him. A few minutes later, he came up behind me and I felt like he wanted to pass me. So I pushed the pace a little and we ended up running side by side for a long time. As I did some math, I didn't think I was on pace for a big finish, so as I powered up what turned out to be the last hill, my sunglasses completely fogged, and I got a little bit of a stitch, I stopped and walked for a few seconds to wipe my glasses and tame the stitch.  

Start and Finish line
It wasn't for long, but it did help a lot (seeing is a wonderful thing when the ground is full of potholes and other hazards). But then I hit the 8km mark, did some more math, and realized that my previous math had been terrible and that I was on pace for a PR. I just thought "ok, two sub-5 minute kilometres is nothing" but I kind of wanted to smack myself because had I done the math better BEFORE I stopped to wipe my glasses I probably would have just taken them off and kept running to save time, to stay with the guy in orange, and to stay on pace for a potential sub 52 finish. (my previous PR was 52:55). But of course, hindsight is 20/20.

At 51:38 I looked at my watch and looked at the distance I still had and thought that maybe...just maybe I could finish in the next 21 I ran as hard as I could. How hard you ask? So hard that when I got to the finish line, I genuinely thought I was going to throw up. I leaned over to catch my breath and was 90% sure I was going to see the contents of my stomach on the ground soon. I did not. And I was happy about that. My Garmin tells me that at the end I was running a 6:08 mile. Which is kind of crazy.

Unfortunately, I didn't manage the sub 52 finish...but I did run a 52:11. A totally unexpected PR. But I'm shaking my head and thinking that Orange and I could have raced each other to a 51:59 finish if we had stuck together. He finished in 52 minutes on the dot...oh what could have been :)

Regardless though- I'm not disappointed at all (except for with my math skills) and really pleasantly surprised with how much fun I had and how I ran. My body seems to like these fall, cold weather, 10 km races. That run in Canmore last year was an unexpected PR as well. I think I just like the 10 km race distance. I should do more!

The race was well organized and I would definitely do it again. Thanks Oka!
Hope you all had a great weekend! I know some of you were racing- so tell me how it went!

Friday, November 04, 2011

i feel it in my fingers, i feel it in my toes*

It is no secret that I love the red cup. I've blogged about it, I usually have "red cup day" in my calendar, and I have a ceramic version of the past 4 red cups in my cupboard that I use year round. There's just something about that red cup that makes me feel all warm and happy inside. If I'm having a bad day and someone walks by with a red cup, it makes part of the badness go away. That, my friends, is quite the powerful cup.

I had heard rumours that some Starbucks had released the red cups on November 1st but when I went to my local store, the cups were in sight but not in I waited until yesterday to go back and enjoy my first Christmas drink in a Christmas cup.

tall (or mezzo here in MTL), non-fat, gingerbread latte with light whip
Usually, I like my coffee drinks to taste like coffee- which is why I would normally order a double tall non-fat latte at Starbucks (or if you want the same taste for less- a short non-fat latte). But at least a few times over the Christmas season, I go with the spicy sweet goodness of the gingerbread latte. It tastes nothing like coffee, but a lot like Christmas. And for the first red cup of the season? I get the whipped cream on top (though I don't like as much as they normally put on- cools down the drink too fast so I just ask them to go light on the whip). It fills me with joy and happiness. And that can't be anything but good.

But if it is red cup time, that means it is also almost Love Actually time. Though I might save that one until the first week of December.

Happy Friday! And happy red cup season!

What about you- love, hate, or indifferent to the red cup?

*...Christmas is all around me, and so the feeling grows.
I won't continue, because I genuinely don't feel that if I really love Christmas, I need to be saying "let it snow." I'm just fine with no snow at Christmas.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

wine, it's what's for dinner

Ok, not so much, but I had a great glass of wine with my dinner last night. Dinner was lentil curry, naan, and a lovely glass of red:
curry is so attractive in pictures
Clearly, I was hungry and wasn't willing to photograph my food, just the aftermath. This is why I'm not a food blogger ;-)

When I was at the wine store, what I was actually looking for was a wine that translated into English is called "The Witches":
I tried this wine a couple of weeks ago and loved both the wine and the label. As I was drinking it and admiring the label, one of my dining companions (who is quite a wine connoisseur) was saying that women are more likely to choose a wine based on on the label rather than the grape or the description. I guess I agree...although I will check the grape or the type of wine to see if it is something I think I will like.

When I went to the wine store, what I was looking for was the 2010 vintage of Les Sorcières for a price of $18 or so. What they had was an older bottle. Price? $85. I did NOT buy it. Instead, I settled on something with an equally fun label but without the sticker shock:
La Mano says drink me!
A nice Spanish red with loads of deliciousness and for a much better price. Perfect for Wine Wednesday. Apparently they'll have the "newer" version of the Witches I'll be on the lookout.

Have you tried a good wine lately? Are you a red, white, or whatever is open kind of person?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

random wednesday- old, new, borrowed, and blue

Some randomness for today

SOMETHING OLD- I was looking at pictures the other day and came across some fun older ones. My first race ever...with my sister. It was a lot of fun!
our first race ever
Christmas in San Francisco
And a memory from one of my favourite trips ever. I loved that Christmas trip to San Francisco. I've wanted to go back ever since.

SOMETHING NEW- this saturday, I'm running my first trail race. I'm only sort of treating it as a race...mostly treating it as a fun run event to finish off the summer and fall running season and to start off the winter running season. I don't know how hilly it will be so I have no idea what to expect and even what kind of time goal to have. Mostly, my goal is to go have fun on the trails!

SOMETHING BORROWED- Here's our pumpkin from this year. I'm calling it borrowed because I didn't carve it, Jordan did:
Owl Pumpkin is judging you!
It was the first time he attempted that newfangled carving technique. We both grew up carving triangle eyes and toothy grins into pumpkins, so this was definitely something different. But I loved our Hibou! (for those of you who don't parler francais...that's french for owl). Next year- better tools to make it easier!

SOMETHING BLUE- November tends to be grey and dreary. So not only does it make ME blue but it makes me miss the blue skies. So here's a little blue sky and sunshine to cheer us all up:
Quadra Island
So that we don't have to be reaching for this version of blue:
I hope Wednesday treats you well. Tell me something old, new, borrowed, and/or blue going on for you today! And do you have any trail race tips for me?