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Archive for September, 2009

All this talk about the weather changing seems to have jinxed me. I was enjoying the lovely cool weather that’s just rolling in by sleeping with my window open (it’s just so nice to have that crisp cool air flowing in!) and I seem to have caught a cold. Drat. So far I’m staving it off and have only entered Phase One of the typical cold, which I like to call “My-throat-hurts-and-I’m-too-hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold”. It’s a blast, really.

So! The remedy is as follows.

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The nuclear bomb equivalent of multivitamins, ginseng and echinacea, taken a hundred times a day (ish).

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And homemade chicken soup. Disclaimer: Although I am generally vegetarian, I’m making a few allowances with chicken (still local and organic) because A) it’s amazing and hard to resist, but mostly B) I need additional help with iron intake and there’s no way I’m going to start eating beef again. So occasionally I supplement my veggie diet with chicken just to top up the ol’ hemoglobin stores.

Anyway, this soup was the perfect comfort food, and it was very easy to make. We had a roast chicken for dinner last night, so afterwards I just took any meat that was left over and dropped it into some boiling water. I added two chicken boullion cubes and one vegetable cube and let the meat simmer in that for about 20min. I then added about 1/3 of a bag of frozen veggies (I had fresh veggies on hand, but I’m sick! I’m allowed to take shortcuts…). I tossed in the last of a bag of basmati rice as well and let it all boil together for about another 20min. Easy peasy!

For bonus points, you can eat this with fresh bread (like I’ll be doing tonight once the bread is out of the oven) and use it to soak up all the wonderful broth. 🙂

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First fall weekend.

I have to admit that I am so happy that the fall weather is starting to arrive in here in Victoria. The leaves are just starting to fall and the weather is getting cooler. I’m hoping for a rainy day or two this week, which gives me the perfect excuse to curl up with some chai tea and read my stack of books!

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I stopped off at the library this weekend and nabbed a few books to keep me busy (as if writing papers, reviewing literature and doing research doesn’t keep me busy enough, le sigh…). Our local library normally has a great selection of books, but this weekend everyone else must have had the same “books-and-tea” idea because all the books I wanted were checked out. I’ve already finished the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was a pretty darn good read. The other two I haven’t started yet  because a few university papers got in the way, how tedious…

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Nick and I went for coffee at our local haunt, and had some amazing chai soy lattes. That soy latte was so delicious I could have drank about six of them, but my self-preservation stopped me. I’m already celiac, I don’t need to be diabetic too…

espressoSpeaking of diabetes, I’d love one of these espresso makers with a milk steamer, but it would take up an awful lot of counter space.

The rest of the weekend was spent at the dog park and at the Red Barn Country Market, one of my favourite places to shop for fresh veggies and other groceries. I should have taken some photos, but I think I’ll wait until fall really kicks into gear and I’ll go back with my camera to capture all the beautiful fall colours.

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New lamp.

This lamp is mahhhhhvelous! On sale for $50 at Home Outfitters, and I got an extra 10% off because the shade had a slight dent in the bottom of one side.

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I can’t wait to find a spot for this in our next place. I am keeping true to the “one in, one out” rule of keeping down the amount of stuff I accrue, so I got rid of my old generic Ikea lamp on Usedvictoria.com. No extra clutter, well…except all those other lamps I need to get rid of. I think if I come home with one more lamp, Nick’s going to leave me. Nevertheless! This lamp is perfect.

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Reading nook.

I like to read. A lot. And I read quickly, which means I generally have PILES of books to be read and piles to be returned to various places, libraries, friends, second hand book stores. If I didn’t use the library, I’d go broke buying books. In light of this literary obsession, I have decided that in my eventual house (or apartment if there’s space) I am going to include a reading nook. I’d love to have a full room to dedicate as a library, but I’d settle for a corner of a living room or bedroom.

from Making it Lovely

from Making it Lovely

I love Nicole’s from Making it Lovely, her’s is a good use of a small space because it’s located in a large hallway in her home. It’s done beautifully on a small budget, so it’s feasible that I’d be able to do something similar without breaking the bank.

from Apartment Therapy

from Apartment Therapy

I saw this one on Apartment Therapy and loved it as well, actually I loved the entire house that was featured and this is just one little corner of it.

Ikea

Ikea

I love that all you need is a chaise, some book shelves, a small table and a lamp and you’ve got a library! I’ve already got a couple components, I’ve got this lamp from Ikea to use as a reading light (except mine is black, which I prefer). It has a bendable neck so you can adjust it to your needs, and it’s quite tall so it would work over a chaise nicely.

Ikea

Ikea

If I could I’d get a pair of these chaises (one for Nick, one for me!) and then put a little table in the middle for tea and such. Only I’d get them with two arms, and possibly in a different fabric. I’m surprised that there isn’t a lot out there in terms of chaise choices.

Either way in our next home or apartment, I’ll find the space to create some kind of reading nook. And yes, I will post the photos when I do that. 🙂

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Tea Love.

I have to share one of the loves of my life. Silk Road tea. The shop is my favorite place to stock up on an amazing variety of teas, and they also have the best mugs, tea & saucer sets and overall tea-ware I’ve ever found. I love it, I could spend hours in that place. Especially since they have employees that circle the store with trays of tea samples in tiny steaming cups. Impossible to resist.

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I stopped by today (just to look of course…) and walked out with a small handful of teas. My favourite is a black tea called “silk road chai”. It may in fact be the yummiest chai tea in existence (outside of India).

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The store is unique in that the tea is all self-serve, you fill up different sized tins with the flavour of tea you want and you pay per size of container. You can tell this tea is my favourite because of the giant tin size.

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Loose tea has such a wonderful smell. Another reason I choose it is because other than the tin itself, there isn’t any packaging involved ergo nothing to toss away besides the tea itself (which goes into the compost). The tins are also reusable, so when this one is empty I’ll just take it back to the store and refill it with my choice of tea. Such a good idea.

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The perfect tea for fall.

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Dog park day.

As often as possible, we try to get out on Sundays and head to a park or beach somewhere in town (or out of town if we’re feeling up for a drive). Often we take our little mutt to the dog park at Elk Lake. The scenery is beautiful, with paths that weave through the woods complete with trinkling creeks and tall trees, and it has a huge fenced-in field for the dogs to run and play. Needless to say, our dog loves it.

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And plus, if we don’t take him out for a good romp, he starts to get this face (above), which is usually followed by heavy sighs and whines. I know he’s thinking, “It sure would be nice if someone would take me to the park. AHEM. AHEM. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.” Et-cetera.

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This is Sherlock doing reconnaissance, i.e. finding a big dog to knock Mama over with. His idea of a fun time is to find a big dog, encourage it to chase him, and then he hides behind me. Nine times out of ten I get knocked over by some adorable but heavy mastiff or Labrador retriever. Oh well, this is why we have a washing machine.

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The woods are quiet and thick, so it’s not often you run into anyone else. The sounds of crackling leaves and chirping birds are a nice change from the annoying sounds of the city.

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It’s such a nice way to wrap up a weekend, winding down rather than winding ourselves up before the week begins. We have enough going on during the week that we don’t need any more winding up…

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Just before we headed home. That is one happy and exhausted dog.

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Drunken monkeys.

If that title doesn’t grab you then this video isn’t for you. If you want a good laugh and to learn something at the same time, watch the video below. Have a good weekend!

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