Halloween Recap

Happy Belated Halloween! Is that even such a saying? Well it is now since I disappeared from the blog world long enough to miss one of my favourite celebrations… Or what used to be!

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Lottie’s pumpkin is her twin complete with a bow and soother since those are her signature accessories! 

I’m pretty sure I could still pass for a trick-or-treater but I gave up being greedy in grade 10 when I declared myself “too cool” to dress up. I was never the child with a pillow case (my mom always sewed me cute bags) but don’t be fooled I still collected my fair share of candy because it was a competition between my brother and I who could run the fastest and accumulate the most chocolate. Afterwards we’d sort and trade, organizing them in rows based on their colour and variety. 3/4 of my haul went uneaten considering most chocolate wasn’t nut free, but it was fun nonetheless. I still remember getting chocolate milk or pop from the house on the corner, gum from the dentist, and full sized chocolate bars from the family who worked at Mars. One year we gave out Dips bars because my Dad worked for Quaker, but nowadays we give out mini play-doh!

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I bet you could have guessed I’d carve an owl pumpkin! Thanks to my mom’s rubber gloves I finally didn’t react to the seeds!

This year the spark of Halloween was recreated since I took Lottie out trick or treating. As a child my costumes were always homemade by my mom and she continued the tradition by sewing Lottie her red cape. We called her Lottie Red Riding Hood and I think she stole the hearts of many homes that we visited. 65623_10151776202367950_1850942736_n 1426172_10151776201857950_146647149_n 1450170_359262524209532_100981362_n

… and then she got scared by the big bad wolf1414781_359390500863401_817863920_n

I celebrated Halloween as both Madeline (A throwback since Halloween was on a Thursday this year) and Eloise. While I didn’t attend any dances, on Tuesday our residence had a mini party with candy apples, punch and a pumpkin carving competition. It was a perfect ending after 6 hours of classes! I threw together a last minute costume (Thanks Kelsy for the suspenders) which had me looking pretty close to my favourite six-year-old character. Did anyone else use to envy Eloise who lived in a Plaza with her “rawther” British Nanny, cat-look-a-like pug Weenie, and turtle Skipperdee? I sure wish I had room service or at even just a flat in New York City. I also decorated miniature pumpkins with sharpie markers thanks to the Brescia student council. Definitely a good way to de-stress mid week and a perfect alternative to carving pumpkins since I get welts from the seeds. 536940_359393457529772_639104202_n 1381682_359393910863060_1026494725_n 1012711_359393924196392_1082952388_n 1394105_359394540862997_1963384993_n1395007_359390507530067_388802476_n

Western’s 2 day fall “reading week” could not have come at a better time. Although I have two midterms, a test and a Food handler’s certificate to study for next week, I look forward to catching up on some much-needed rest, family time, friend gatherings, blogging and coursework. It was nice to be home to celebrate Lottie’s first Halloween. Do you have any fond memories from Halloween? What was your first costume and what did you dress up this year? Do you get scared by Haunted houses or graveyards? ♥ Molly

What is a mummy’s favourite type of music? Rap music

What is a skeleton’s favourite instrument? The trombone

Where do movie stars go on Halloween? MaliBOO

What does a bird say at Halloween? “Twick or tweet”

What is Dracula’s favourite fruit? A neck-tarine

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WIAW: The W’s of my Week

I’ve always wanted to participate in “What I ate Wednesday” (WIAW) and what better way to summarize my week of eating out (birthday celebrations) than through Jenn’s great link-up. I really enjoy reading WIAW posts because they teach me about great restaurants, new recipes and favourite products of fellow bloggers. I love that Jenn reinforces how WIAW posts aren’t meant to be judged or compared to. Everyone is different in their eating habits, patterns, likes and dislikes and these posts should never leave someone feeling guilty about what they ate or better yet, didn’t eat. Sure my last week of meals might not have been extremely balanced or nutritious, but they were delicious none the less. The reality is our bodies can compensate to handle a temporary change in our diet and I am learning that it’s okay to skip salads and overdo dessert from time to time.WIAWbutton

I figured I’d add to the “W’s” in WIAW through “Who (The People), What (The Food), Where (The Restaurant), When (Last week) and Why (We all need to eat)”.

The Restaurant: Fresh, Toronto

The Food: The Holiday Wrap which was a whole wheat tortilla filled with avocado, marinated tofu cubes, garlic mayo, grated carrot, jicama, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, red onion & alfalfa sprouts. It came with a side of marinate kale slaw and we ordered sweet potato fries to share. It was extremely filling and I only managed to eat half since I was saving room for dessert.

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The People: I enjoyed Megan’s company while dining at Fresh. We were staying at her apartment in Toronto since she is a student at UofT which is right down the street from from Fresh, a restaurant we’ve both been dying to try. We followed our meal off with frozen yogurt from Menchies (I got blueberry cheesecake, lemon cake and birthday cake) and later snacked on some fruit and candy while watching Glee.

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The Restaurant: Pumpernickels, Toronto

The Food: There were so many delicious sandwich and wrap combinations to choose from, but I ended up ordering a medium salad instead. They let me choose as many different blends as I wanted so I ended topping a bed of romaine with lentil salad, chickpea salad, black bean corn salad and pickled beets.

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The Company: In March I met Alex at “Unleash the Noise” which was the first ever youth-led Mental Health summit. The experience was life changing and left me with everlasting friendships. Alex goes to school in Kingston so I haven’t been able to see her since, but she was employed for the summer with the same project. I stopped in to say hello and Alex and I used this opportunity to catch up over lunch.26

The Restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory, Buffalo, New York

The Food: I started my meal off with a coffee as I hadn’t consumed any caffeine yet that day. Our waiter also brought us some freshly baked pumpernickel bread that really hit the spot. I ordered Ahi Tartare, which was avocado layered raw tuna and ginger, seasoned with soy-ginger sesame sauce. It came with pita crisps for dipping. I also shared the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake with my mom. Emma got the Margherita Fresh Baked Flatbreads, my Mom got the Shrimp Summer Rolls and my Dad got the Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos. My mom and I shared the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake where as Emma and my dad went for a chocolate based variation.

blogpost 3The Company: My family and I traveled to Walden Galleria for some shopping, the day of my birthday. We usually just grab a quick bite to eat so that we can maximize our shopping time, but the Cheesecake Factory didn’t look busy so we chose to have a sit down meal instead. I went in without the intention of having cheesecake but after seeing the pastry case I decided on having a light lunch to save room for dessert.

969774_315887578547027_175737680_nThe Restaurant: The Keg, Oakville

The Food: I hadn’t been to the Keg in ages so I let my friends choose our appetizers since they are more familiar with the menu. We ended up getting Lobster Gratiné which was oven-baked lobster with garlic, herbs and melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, Sante Fe Chicken Dip which was a mixture of smoked chicken, cheeses, chilies, black beans and bell peppers and served with tortilla crisps and Calamari that was lightly fried, with red peppers, jalapenos. I really enjoyed my Bellini as it masked the taste of alcohol and our waitress surprised me with free dessert! She knew about my allergies and brought me Crème brûlée.

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The Company: Caitlin and Elyse, two friends from elementary school, treated me to dinner at the Keg. Despite us being separated in High School and University, we’ve managed to stay extremely close. We opted for appetizers to share rather than one big meal, which allowed us to try more menu items. The food was great but their company was what made the experience so enjoyable. A girl’s night was exactly what I needed.Oh no

So while this isn’t a typical WIAW recap, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the highlight meals and snacks thaT I munched on this past week. What do you prefer, cooking for yourself or dining out? Do you enjoy chain restaurants or local cafes? What was your favourite meal from this past week? ♥ Molly

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas

MIMM #3: Birthday Celebrations

First off, I just wanted to thank everyone who wished me a happy 20th birthday on Thursday. It was so kind of people to take the time to acknowledge my special day, and none of those comments went unappreciated. My birthday was definitely marvelous!

To say this past week was “busy” would be an understatement. From shopping in Toronto to driving lessons in Oakville, appointments to eating almost every meal out, each minute has been spent on the go. I’ve been waking up earlier and going to bed later than normal, and many nights haven’t been slept in my own familiar bed. While it’s been fun and the constant shuffling is a distraction from my anxieties, I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone a majority of the time. Thankfully supportive people surrounded me so most of my worries and challenges went unnoticed. While I enjoyed eating out, I do miss saving money by cooking for myself. Shopping was fun and I found so many purchases that I wanted to buy, but again trying on clothing and spending money on myself isn’t one of my strong suits. One regret I didn’t have, was watching “High School Musical” and “Glee” during my Toronto sleepover with Megan. I might be twenty but the dancing and singing performed by Vanessa and Zac were just as enjoyable as when I was 13! Megan and I share similar personality traits, and we can be pretty boring when it comes to boys and bars. We both find cheesy lyrics and chemistry class a bit too fun but we are also able to laugh at our quirks. It’s marvelous.

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Since my birthday falls in the middle of July, which is prime vacation time, many of my birthdays have been spent in travel. Honestly, I’d have it no other way. It’s marvelous to celebrate abroad! When I was little, the added attention of “Birthdays” didn’t seem to phase me. I loved hosting a party, eating cake, and appreciated the gifts. Over the years, I’ve begun to feel undeserving of my celebration and the extra acknowledgements, so on my actual birthday it’s easier to be doing a family activity than something centered around me.

Sometimes we are at cottages, last year we were in France and this year we decided to venture into Buffalo for some shopping. For all of you who live in the States, I envy your assortment of Goldfish Crackers and Chobani! You also have some pretty cool coupon clippings! When we got home around 8:00p.m. I decided to open up my presents. I noticed there was a very appropriate theme going on which all had to do with baking and ice cream. If you read yesterday’s post you know that I’ve never enjoyed ice cream more than I have this summer. My sister Caitlin, her husband Aaron and her daughter Lottie all gave me an ice cream maker with some cute ice cream cups. They match my residence room perfectly. They also included a marvelous ice cream cone card. Emma is very crafty and as one of my gifts, made a “neapolitan” ice cream cone using a base she purchased from Anthropologie and pom poms she made out of wool. She wrapped hers using ice cream cone stickers. My brother is an avid Poker player so he made me “Win” my present. We played a round of simplified poker in which I dominated and won a generous monetary gift. Amongst many clothes and other things, my parents gave me money towards my trip to Myrtle Beach, Lululemon and Ivivva, an individual cupcake platter that has a glass bell and this really neat “memory” stamp.

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Of course, my friends don’t let me escape all of the attention. Joyce showered me with gifts, Megan took me out for Frozen Yogurt and I went for appetizers and drinks with Caitlin and Elyse. My friends are marvelous to say the least. Caitlin and Elyse made me a “Because I love you…” memory box. I’m definitely going to be talking more about how much I appreciate inspirational and sentimental gifts later this week. This present hit the spot and left me in tears of joy all night. I am so blessed to have such incredible friends and family. I really couldn’t be more fortunate!

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The last marvelous thing I want to mention about the week was receiving marvelous birthday “perks”. Does anyone else enjoy signing up for birthday “perks”? I was able to receive a free lipgloss and mascara from Sephora and I have yet to redeem my coupons for a free ice cream at Marble Slab, a free starbucks beverage or food item, a free meal at Milestones and a free yoga class (plus I can bring a friend) at both Kula and The Clarity Centre… and those are just the perks that interested me most!

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So there is a very brief (well actually pretty long) summary of my week, although I am sure more will come out through WIAW. After all, I have to share some of the neat eats and treats that I enjoyed.  Don’t forget to check out the other MIMM posts linked up at Healthy Diva Eats. Katie celebrated her husband Mike’s birthday this past weekend. Happy Birthday Mike! Thanks again Katie for hosting MIMM, it’s such a great way to reflect on the marvelous life that I live, and to look forward on the great things that are planned in my upcoming week. What do you like to do on your birthday? Are you a fan of the added attention? What was marvelous about last week and what marvelous events are to come? ♥ Molly

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou (… And I will never forget how happy and special everyone has made me feel throughout my birthday week. I am so grateful.)

So it’s Canada’s Birthday, Eh?

A long time ago on the first of July, there was a formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada … Hold on that is the historical story. I think you’d rather know what Canadians do on Canada Day!

Technically July 1st is Canada’s biggest “Party Day” full of parades, concerts, fireworks, barbecues and other get-togethers. While schools, banks, government offices and many other stores and businesses are closed, Canadians are still able to find lots of fun activities to keep themselves busy. Everywhere you look, you are bound to see a sea of red and white since Canadians take pleasure in dressing themselves with maple leafs and other Canadian pride!

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In Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, ceremonies take place on the lawn of the parliament buildings. Since not everyone can make it, they broadcast the Ottawa festivities across Canada on the news. It’s neat to see the RCMP riding on their horses dressed in sophisticated uniforms. I remember two years back when Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) and Prince William came to Ottawa-Gatineau to celebrate Canada’s birthday. The lawn was definitely packed to it’s full capacity.

Canada Day is also a great day to recognize and celebrate Canadian citizenship! Today one out of five Canadians has been born in a country other than Canada. Canada is one of the few proud multicultural countries and it shows its pride by allowing Chinese dances, Greek food and even Aboriginal barbecues to be honoured on its birthday. The only food that is commonly associated with Canada day throughout the entire country is a maple leaf themed slab cake (Angel Food Cake, Whipped Cream and Strawberries).

From boat races to beach volleyball, movie watching to family walks, all Canadians are able to put their own spin on Canada day. To each, the day means something a little bit different but to all, it IS Canada’s birthday! (I personally like to go mini golfing but haven’t done that in ages). This year I am celebrating Canada Day by visiting my Nana! Yesterday I was invited to a friend’s BBQ, where we feasted on chicken, steak, shrimp, roasted veggies, a potato dish, corn on the cob, baked tomato with parmesan and some other munchies. My plate doesn’t reflect the second helping of shrimp and vegetables that I took (so delicious). I volunteered to bring cupcakes, and as I was dying the icing,  I learned how hard “RED” is to make when your base is white. Red + White = Pink! I may or may not have also tried my first Ceasar – Non-acloholic of course! I fell in love with Clamato juice and even enjoyed the taste of the celery salt, despite not being a big fan of salt!

IMG_5694 IMG_5719 IMG_5676 IMG_5692Although Canada is one of the youngest countries, it is not the least proud. It has already established traditions and memories that will last one’s lifetime.  It is definitely the most respected and respectful country that there is (I might be slightly biased)! It’s uniqueness is exquisite and its potential is never-ending, to be honest, the National Anthem “O’Canada” barely does it justice! Never have I ever met one Canadian embarrassed to say their Citizenship! In Canada we get to experience 4 seasons, grow up learning two primary languages (French and English), and enjoy foods such as Beaver Tails, Timbits (Now in other countries), Poutine and Maple Syrup! Honestly, Canada’s positive qualities go on and on but if you are Canadian, you already know what I am talking about! We are fun loving and free will. Don’t get me wrong, I value England, Holland, China, the United States and other countries as well (Hello Traveling and Bloggers) however July 1st is Canada’s Day to celebrate and be proud.

Emma is on the far left, and I am two beside her. Nathan is on the far right, and Caitlin is directly beside her.

Emma is on the far left, and I am two beside her (Pink). Nathan is on the far right, and Caitlin is directly beside.

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My best friend Caitlin and I!

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So what are your plans for today, Monday July 1st? Will you take it easy relaxing under the sun, or are you partying hard at a Canadian parade? Regardless, I sure hope that you were wearing red and white (And maybe a maple leaf) somewhere in your attire! ♥ Molly

Fun Fact: Canadians are often known for the use of “Eh” at the end of sentences. While this is a stereotype, and “pardon” is more commonly used, it can be heard from time to time. Rather than saying “Huh”, “Right” or “You Know”, Canadians say “Eh” to end off a question or as an affirmative. For example,  “That cupcake was delicious, eh?” or “It’s pretty neat, eh!” or “It’s a nice day today, eh?”!