MIMM #9: Weekend Home

Early last week I started to miss my parents a lot. As beautiful as my residence room is, it still doesn’t feel like home. It’s not as though I haven’t made friends but our relationships naturally aren’t as close as those that I have back in Oakville. Thankfully the commute is only 2 hours and my mom was able to pick me up on Friday afternoon so that I could spend the weekend in my own bed.

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Coming home to parents who will cook you meals, clean up after you and chauffeur you around is pretty marvelous after living independently for 2 weeks. London is full of marvelous opportunities such as the Covent Garden Market but it is a bit of a trek to walk or bus everywhere and the rainy weather has discouraged me from venturing off of campus. IMG_8110

I had an incredibly marvelous weekend and it started out with some marvelous mail. Joyce knows my obsession with tea and owls too well which is probably she sent along this variety of David’s tea (there is an owl on the package). Joyce also wrote a beautiful card and enclosed it with Owl stickers and sticky notes. As well, I received my Vega One French Vanilla and Vega Sport Vanilla, Silver Drinking Straws from the Maine Drinking Straw Company and the book “Whole Foods to Thrive”. Charissa put so much work into hosting the Colourful Smoothie Contest and I am so thankful that I was able not only to participate but win a prize.IMG_8173

The marvelous-ness continued when my mom picking me up from Chemistry class. The fact that she didn’t make me walk up the Brescia hill was not kind but pretty good door-to-door service. We had so much to catch up on the drive flew by. I’m pretty sure I talked my mom’s ear off. IMG_8187

Marvelous is being given Moon Cakes to celebrate the Harvest Moon. Our neighbours, the same ones who gave us Lobster from P.E.I, surprised us with Moon Cakes on Friday evening. They are so generous and thoughtful.The flavour and texture is definitely acquired and I can’t say I’ve ever had anything quite like it before. The box they delivered the cakes in was beautiful.

554664_342894899179628_1807322675_nMarvelous is getting together with Chelsea because we seem to relate on so many levels. It’s pretty obvious Chelsea’s blog is one of my favourites so I never turn down an opportunity to meet with her. It’s also pretty evident that our preferred places to meet up include Kindfood and Whole foods so it should be no surprise that I tried my first quinWOW bowl and fell in love with the marvelous miso gravy.1234268_342894942512957_1400790597_n

Marvelous is also attending Yoga class with Chelsea. We wanted to add in an extra component to our usual lunch date but the weather forecast was not promising which ruled out our idea of apple picking, frequenting the farmer’s market or hiking. Thankfully Chelsea had heard Be Yoga and Wellness was celebrating their birthday by teaching free yoga classes. We weren’t sure how hard it would be so we decided to stick to Hatha 1, but neither of us were overly challenged so we agreed to try Aerial or a more difficult level next time. I could definitely tell that my Pilates workouts have helped strengthen my core because I found myself more balanced while holding the tree pose. I haven’t practiced yoga in ages which is probably why I woke up sore the next morning. Amanda, the instructor, had a beautiful voice and finished the class with a powerful chant. The class was accompanied by live music so you could really feel the energy waves and rhythm of the beat. I found it a bit distracting because I wanted to watch the drummer and singer, but it definitely made for a positive atmosphere.1260869_342894869179631_1096412141_n1239528_342894962512955_1285484907_n

Marvelous is also discovering new local bakers. Nourishing Nook was giving away free samples at BeYoga and Welless so I got to try my first Sweet Potato muffin. She had kale chips that I found to be quite good since they were had a bit of a spicy kick to their crunch. Chelsea and I each had a granola circle and tried to decipher the recipe but found ourselves finishing the last bite before we had identified all the ingredients. I guess that just means I’ll have to purchase some which is definitely not a complaint on my end since they were marvelous.1368914_342894759179642_443416321_n 1371409_342894762512975_659219238_n1375906_342894845846300_507576849_n

Marvelous is also meeting Caitlin for coffee or watching Lottie blow bubbles and giggle. It’s having my last ice cream cone of the summer and then huddling with a blanket because Fall is definitely not frozen dessert weather. It’s hugging Emma, seeing Nathan, getting advice from my Mom and grocery shopping with my Dad.  It’s waking up to the smell of breakfast food and a full stocked fridge and winding down the evening with a cup of tea and in the company of my family. It’s being given the opportunity to go to university and to study a subject I am so passionate about. It’s taking time for myself just to be and it’s finally catching up on blog reading after being so behind. It’s being able to participate in things such as Katie’s Marvelous in my Monday tradition. What was marvelous about your weekend? What is marvelous about this upcoming week?  ♥ Molly

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey 

Kindfood: Restaurant Review

July is all about firsts, so after visiting Kindfood, I decided I would write my first restaurant review. I mentioned my visit briefly in this week’s MIMM, but I didn’t quite capture how marvelous the outing was. I truly believe that hard work and great execution deserves praise, and Kindfood did just that, so it only made sense to let others know how much I enjoyed my meal.

Chelsea is always talking about Kindfood on her blog and more often than not I am left drooling over the photos. When I saw her back in May at Whole Foods, we agreed that another lunch date was in need since we had more than one lunch worth of topics to discuss (It had been over a year since we last saw each other). Neither of us had to be convinced that Kindfood would be the place to meet up (the bigger issue was finding time). After looking on the website, I saw that Kindfood is Canada’s first, and Award-Winning, 100% Gluten-free Vegan Restaurant featuring local and organic plant based cuisine created with deliciously vibrant flavours that are nourishing, healthy and revitalizing (taken from the website). With a statement as bold as the preceding, I obviously went in with high expectations. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.

The Food

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What I ate: The Happy Buddha Bowl which was a bed of organic brown rice topped with grilled sweet potato, diced red onion, chopped tomato, cilantro and avocado. Mixed in for flavour was a combination of dried herbs, olive oil and tamari. It comes with sunflower seeds and raw almonds, but I omitted them due to my allergies and supplemented in tofu for protein instead. The only thing I might have added to my meal was a sauce of some sort. I don’t eat rice that often, so this request is more to do with texture than taste, but I did find that the rice needed something to make it a bit less dry. Maybe a spoonful of hummus?

Even though I had scanned the online menu before visiting Kindfood, I still had trouble deciding what I wanted to eat. The menu offers a great selection ranging from burgers to salads and everything in between. It is very detailed and informs you of all the ingredients in each dish, which I found particularly helpful for my allergies. They also have a juice bar, and sell pre made beverages such as beer and Kombucha. Other things that interested me on the menu included the Beauty Salad as it featured an orange & umeboshi vinaigrette, the Sprout Sandwich because the combination of hummus and cilantro pesto sounds very appealing, the QuinWOW bowl as it includes a sauce of  miso gravy which is something I’ve never tried, Kelly’s Tempeh Burger because I hardly ever cook tempeh on my own, and of course the Salted Caramal Cheese cake because I can never resist a sweet and salty dessert, not to mention it’s vegan!

Service

photo-99Good customer service is all about bringing customers back, and I would not only return, but also recommend this restaurant to friends and family. I found everyone to be so informative, friendly and outgoing. They were able to guarantee no cross contamination occurred with nuts, and they accommodated my addition of tofu, even though it isn’t on the menu (Thanks Chelsea for letting me know). My meal was delivered after only a few minutes of waiting, despite the restaurant being quite busy. The food was warm, had good presentation and was served by a waiter who possessed knowledge about my meal and polite manners. A meal might be delicious but if the customer service isn’t at least adequate, I won’t return to the restaurant. Kindfood received 100% and I repeated told Chelsea how kind (no pun intended) the staff was.

Value

My meal was $12.00 before adding the tofu and tax. For the quality and care put into my dish, I actually would have expected to pay more. The ingredients tasted fresh. While I managed to consume the entire bowl, it was definitely a generous portion. On a typical day, I would have probably been over-satisfied after having half so if you divide the cost by two meals, it’s extremely reasonable. Did I mention it was organic? This is a quote I found on the menu: “Organic may cost a little more… but we think you’re worth it.”

Atmosphere

photo-100In one word, the atmosphere is fun, but to be quite honest it’s hard to describe the atmosphere of the restaurant in depth, as I was more concentrated on my food and my get-together. I’d say it’s a location to go on a first date, or with family. It’s fairly casual as you seat yourself and get your own water. From what I saw, it was common for people to share two dishes so you can imagine the atmosphere is fairly relaxed (Fine dining often doesn’t involve passing plates around). Some tables are lower to the ground and some are higher up, so some tables offer stools or chairs and others offer a bench across the wall (I think!). It’s very cozy and very clean but you also have the option to sit on the patio! The walls are painted orange, the artwork is minimal, the menu is hand-written on a chalkboard and overall the restaurant is extremely welcoming. The meals were served in appropriate (wooden bowls), clean (no scratches from previous uses) dish ware that I actually owned (the plates, I am hoping to buy the bowls).  You could dress this restaurant up by wearing a summer skirt and wedges, or you could show up in jean shorts and flip flops.

What would I change? Probably nothing!  It’s situated downtown Burlington right by the lake which is a great area to go shopping in. After our meal Chelsea and I had a bit of time before she started work and I left to go home, so we walked off our meals. Parking is affordable, window glancing is optional and there is always the water to walk beside. Did I mention Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is owned by the same family? Apparently the baked goods were so popular from within Kindfood, there was a high demand for a separate bakery. Just recently Kelly opened up her shop less than a block away. I was too full to fit any more food inside so I bought four to take home. I’ll definitely do a review on the bakery in the near future (after I’ve tested a few more varieties of course) but they were excellent are a great for individuals who can’t stomach gluten!

IMG_5788Want to know more? Check out the website for Kindfood or Kelly’s Bake Shoppe! I just found out Kelly even has her own blog!What is one of your favourite restaurant? Do you prefer fine dining, cafés or even food trucks? Do you typically eat at a restaurant chain, or a local family-operated restaurant? ♥ Molly

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

MIMM #1

This summer I am not working, so I am able to live a more relaxed lifestyle. While I do love a schedule to keep me on task, it has been nice to make last-minute plans with friends. Despite not having a set routine, I still seem to be keeping pretty busy. From the upbeat “Color Me Rad” race, to low-key Strawberry picking, I’m so thankful for everything that I’ve had the privilege of doing this summer. My life has been pretty “marvelous” so in appreciation, I’ve decided to participate in Katie’s “Marvelous In My Monday” link-up.

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Marvelous is sitting down for a family meal, cooked by someone with love. It’s learning about what is going on in the lives of your parents or siblings, because you are truly interested in hearing what they have been up to.

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Marvelous is for the moments when you wake up to the sound of birds chirping in time to see the sunrise and for the times when you sleep in unexpectedly. It’s for falling asleep while reading a good book, but also for the times when you wake up energized for the day ahead.

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Marvelous is being able to get together with a friend who you haven’t seen for a while, without it being awkward since you share so many similar passions and interests. It’s for having friends like Chelsea, who you can ask for good recommendations when it comes to television shows, books, restaurants and foods.

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Marvelous is trying a new restaurant or a new dish, and eating until you are completely satisfied. It’s being able to pick an item off of the menu that you truly want or are craving, able it’s being able to enjoy every mouthful without regret.

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Marvelous is staying active in your every day life, whether walking to get the mail, biking to the library or completing a workout video. It’s being able to go to the gym five days in a row because you enjoy exercising, but it’s also being able to take several days off without guilt.

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Marvelous is catching up on a TV series with a cup of tea in your hands. It’s being able to watch an uneducational show without feeling lazy, because you find yourself entertained by the humour and suspense.

Marvelous is spending time smiling and laughing with family. It’s watching your niece learn and grow, as she discovers new things each and every day.

photo-95I have so many great adventures to come this summer, but already, I’ve managed to make my day to day life pretty marvelous. Thank you Katie and everyone else, for reminding me how marvelous my life truly is. Be sure to check what other bloggers find marvellous in their life, as it is a great way to find favourite products, DIY projects, new recipes, motivating quotes, fun songs and of course fitness tips. I bet Katie has had a lot of marvelous moments this past week, as she recently delivered a handsome and healthy baby boy named Rocco. He is definitely a bundle of joy and my best wishes out to their growing family.  ♥ Molly

“It is always the simple that produces the marvellous.” – Amelia Barr