MIMM #13: Fall Reading Week

Happy Monday! Was anyone else thankful for the extra hour this weekend? I definitely found it earlier to wake up this morning for my 8:30 a.m. Chemistry lecture, although I must say the commute back to London last night was dark and dreary since when I arrived at 8:00 p.m. it was theoretically 9:00p.m. As I mentioned on Thursday, Western incorporated a Fall reading week into this year’s timetable, although I would hardly call it a “week” given it was only 2 days long! Regardless, it was marvelous to be home and I managed to get a lot accomplished.

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Thursday was Halloween! Initially I had been planning on taking Lottie to Oakville’s Halloween Parade but the rain-washed away our plans. Instead, I got some homework out of the way, followed by pumpkin carving, Halloween decorating and of course some other festive activities such as Trick-or-Treating. I was amazed that Lottie wasn’t afraid of the spooky and loud decorations in our neighbourhood. She has a brave little soul! She even clung on to her Coffee crisp chocolate bar (Her favourite block is of similar shape, size and colour) the entire night which ended up melting in the palm of her hand!IMG_8930 1450211_360966527372465_1594242286_n

Friday started off with homework again, but by mid-afternoon I headed to Hamilton for a coffee date at Red Crow. It’s a family owned café which provided a marvelously welcoming  atmosphere. I love when coffee shops have unique mugs, electric furniture and a bookcase full of novels to borrow. Joyce and I spontaneously decided to frequent Limeridge mall because I had some time to fill before catching the go-train. We settled on Yoguen fruz as a snack despite the temperature being almost below zero. There are barely any Yoguen fruz’s left in the GTA so whenever I see one it’s an automatic “purchase”. We also got matching charms so that we will “Owl-ways” be together… Pun very much intended 🙂555564_10100626062398541_1488594823_n704045_206993216103131_1303692529_o

Saturday morning I got great customer service at Apple, which is always marvelous. A button on my iPhone was broken and since I have Apple care I was given a new phone free of charge. My dad and I squeezed in some grocery shopping just before I met my mom, my sister Caitlin and Lottie to attend the Holiday Marketplace Craft Show at my old High School. It’s always such a treat to support local businesses and it definitely starts the holiday season off with a cheer. It’s crazy to think it is already November and that I will be home from Winter Exams in about 40 days! One of my favourite teachers who is essentially a second mom to me organizes the craft show so it was lovely to see her and her daughter! It was the first year I wasn’t helping out so I really got to explore the vendors. While I didn’t buy anything, Lottie got the next size up in one of her alpaca wool sweaters and my mom got a necklace that looks like it could be right out of the catalogue of Anthropologie.1415776_360924004043384_958492818_n

More studying happened on Saturday (I am a student after all) but it was pleasantly interrupted by a trip to Starbucks with Caitlin! I was greeted by marvelous red and white décor because Starbucks is ahead of the game in bringing back their holiday beverages and merchandise. I helped Caitlin finish her boyfriend of three year’s anniversary gift (She made a trivia game filled with generous gifts), which was a wake-up call that I am seriously lacking in the department of boys. I guess that’s what attending an all-girls University does to you! 954402_360924000710051_2107842245_n

Sunday I woke up “early” because of the time change, so I finished the last of my studying before adventuring out to Michaels with my mom. I was definitely in a crafty mood and ended up getting some supplies for knitting and scrapbooking. I think they’ll both provide nice study breaks and maybe I’ll be able to make a few Christmas gifts. My dad drove Marissa and myself back to University, and generously helped me carry up my laundry (Thanks mom!), textbooks and what not. I’m not a light packer, nor is Marissa, to say the least. There are still no working elevators in our residence, which makes for a tedious trudge up to the fifth floor.  I’m pretty sure I have accumulated more books, clothing and craft supplies in my University room than I have back at home. My dad also stocked my fridge with some essential healthy study snacks (yogurt, apples, oranges, 5 lbs of carrots, celery, big tub of hummus, beans, chickpeas, lentils and oatmeal) which is pretty marvelous to say the least.MiMM1

Marvelous is so many things, including feeding Lottie, hugging Lottie and just being around Lottie (If you meet her you’ll know what I mean). It’s getting marks back that reflect the amount of effort you put into studying (which in my case was a lot), listening to new upbeat songs (Today’s Pop Lite is my favourite on Songza), being in the company of family (I love my parents and siblings), figuring out what I hope to become career wise (with the advice of my mom), studying (while enjoying what you learn), eating (Without guilt) and even taking naps or sleeping (because your body needs it). Thanks Katie for hosting Marvelous in My Monday so I could reflect on how fortunate I am to have had such a marvelous weekend. Can’t wait to share what is in store for November later this week. What marvelous events do you have planned for this new month? ♥ Molly

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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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