March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

























Happy Easter everyone! I don't have a lot of time to write right now as I have some things to do before going to our family Easter celebrations later today. I am making a very delicious appetizer {Cranberry Feta Pinwheels} for Easter dinner - look for the recipe in an upcoming post!

Photo Credit: Wallpapers Only

March 26, 2013

The Big Burger Dinner Disaster




























A few weeks ago, before my back failed me, my husband and I went out for dinner. It wasn't a romantic scene, so don't start picturing that; it was simply that we were overdue on our grocery shopping and decided to stop for dinner on our way to the grocery store so that we wouldn't be grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Truth be told, we really shouldn't have been in the restaurant to begin with. We should have done either one of two things: We should have been more responsible and grocery shopped at the appropriate time {before we ran out of food}, or we should have just sucked it up, gone shopping, and avoided all the tempting foods like the adults we are. But we took the more simple and somewhat indulgent way out by going to a major sit-down type restaurant chain for a gourmet burger.

Our simple plan of stopping for a quick dinner went to hell nearly immediately {karma?}. Not only did our dinner take more than half an hour to arrive after placing our order, but when it arrived it came all wrong. My husband didn't get the correct burger that he ordered, and though my burger was correct, my salad was non-existent and in its place was french fries. Though I would have normally accepted this mistake with secret guilty pleasure, I am really making more of an effort to eat vegetables and I actually wanted the salad that I had ordered. So we tried in vain to flag down our waitress, who after setting down our plates, had run back to table of what appeared to be her friends. After two or three minutes of unsuccessful attempts to catch her attention, I decided to start eating my burger before it got cold.

It took ten minutes before we were able to flag down our waitress, and when she finally arrived back at our table my mouth was full of hamburger. I put my burger down and grabbed my napkin in an attempt to tell her my dilemma, but my husband stepped in for me: "Sorry to bother you {obviously sarcastically}," he said "but my wife ordered a salad and she ended up with fries." Before he had even finished the sentence, and while I was still chewing my mouthful and attempting to dab my mouth, our waitress screeched "Oh so sorry about that!" while grabbing my plate right out from under me, half eaten burger and all. It's a good thing that I had managed to swallow while this happened, as my mouth dropped open in shock as she took my whole plate away and disappeared with it.

She returned about five minutes later with my plate, having switched out my french fries for a salad. However, everything on my plate had been rearranged and it was obvious that someone had touched my burger in attempt to make the plate more presentable for her second attempt at getting my order right. Only this time, I was more offended than when the french fries had been on my plate: Someone had touched my half-eaten food {and who knows where their hands have been}! Perhaps I am over-reacting a little bit here, and if that's the case, then please let me know. But my husband is not afraid to tell me when I am over-reacting or being ridiculous {his words}, and his reaction to this entire incident mirrored my own. Not only were were shocked and offended when my burger was unceremoniously ripped out from right in front of me, but we were even more horrified {read: grossed-out} that someone had so blatantly manhandled something that I had already started eating. Ew.

Needless to say, this waitress did not get a great tip. She actually even made matters worse {as if it was possible by now} by making a very off-colour comment while were we paying our bill, at just the exact same moment that I was filling in the tip amount on the credit card bill - any earlier and she may not have gotten any tip at all!

Photo Credit: Ottawa Citizen

March 25, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel


























I am so sincerely sorry for having not posted in over two weeks. I am sure that some of you wondered where I was, or perhaps thought that I had ditched the blog cold-turkey {wouldn't be the first time..} and for leaving in you in the dark I apologize. But this is the light at the end of the tunnel, both literally and figuratively. I have been unable to post for the past few weeks because I have been having severe back issues, much worse than I had the last time I was able to post.

Previously when I was whining about being bored - well I should have bitten my tongue. For a little while there I seemed to to be getting better, but it got so much worse. About a week and a half ago I woke up in the middle of the night in pain and unable to get comfortable. It was strange, as up until then I was completely pain-free when I was laying down. I should have recognized it for what it was - a gigantic problem - but I moved around and finally drifted off back to sleep. In the morning I got up and went to work as if nothing happened, which only made my situation worse. But midday I was unable to walk upright, and as I limped around my office, half hunched over like some kind of troll, people kept telling me to go home.

Thankfully, I listened and I went home, took some painkillers, and went to bed. I spent the next day and a half laying in my bed, too sore and stiff to get up, with the exception of needing to use the bathroom. And it's truly no exaggeration when I say that I only got up when I really, really needed to - it was so difficult and painful to get up that I was limiting my fluid intake and holding it in as long as I could. Not only was I a hump-backed troll, but I was also channeling my inner camel. It was a great couple days...

Finally on the Friday I was able to see my doctor and get some relief. She explained that not only had I irritated my chronic sciatica, but that as a result of favouring the injured area I was now in complete muscle spasm down the left side of my spine, as well as a couple on the right {apparently this was the cause of the limp and hunch}. She prescribed my some strong painkillers and some heavy-duty muscle relaxants, and told me not to get out of bed until I could stand up straight and only had minimal pain. So I listened, and I am proud to say that I took two whole days off work to relax and recover. For me, someone who has never taken a sick day in their entire career, this was a big deal!

So I am sure you can forgive me for the lack of posts over the last little while; I have still been taking it easy, and I am trying to relax and lay down every chance I get because I am terrified of rushing the healing process and wrecking my back again. But I have successfully returned to work and I am trying my best to resume normal life, which means back to blogging! Looking forward to chatting again soon!

Photo Credit: Flickr

March 9, 2013

Staying in Bed All Day





























We all daydream about all the wonderful things we wouldn't do if we could just stay in bed all day {or at least I do...}. I always thought that this would be great: I would stay snuggled in my bed, warm and comfy, watching TV re-runs and enjoying the lovely life of doing nothing. It always seemed to me to be the best way to spend a "lazy" Saturday, as opposed to the way I typically spend them now - cleaning the bathroom, doing load{s} of laundry, and making lunch for the upcoming week.

Having hurt my back recently, I have been {and still am} spending a lot of time laying in bed or on the couch, in an effort to stop the burning, shooting pain that stabs it's way down both of my legs. The relief I get from laying down and having my back flat is amazing, but despite what I may have thought, staying in bed all day sucks. As I lamented my bed rest blues to you in a previous post, I won't do it again. But I have certainly learned my lesson: Be careful what you wish for!

Photo Credit: SantaBanta

March 7, 2013

Here's Looking at You, Spring




























I don't know about you, but I am so over winter. It really has to go. I have had enough of these snow storms, slippery ice, and cold gusts of wind that chill to the bone. It has reached that point where I am no longer happy to hear that it's snowing of that we are expecting a snowstorm - the romance associated with snow softly falling is over. In a similar sense, my love affair with chunky sweaters and cable knits is done {for now; I'm certain it will return again mid-September}. I want so badly to wear bright spring colours and not look out of place in a sea of neutral winter hues. I want to wear a cardigan instead of a jacket. I want to wear flats!

I think the shoes are the thing I miss most throughout the winter months. While boots are wonderful and I often look forward to cool weather at the end of summer so that I can wear them, they tend to become a bit cumbersome by the end of winter, no matter how cute they are. I just want to slip on a pair of flats and carry on with my day. My love of the ever-awesome slip-on ballet flat is not born out of laziness and/or my sense of style {well, perhaps in part}, but it is also born out of functionality. At my lovely job I am constantly visiting clients in their homes, and this means that my shoes are on and off all day long. I am sure you can appreciate how much of a problem this can be when wearing boots - I can't even count the number of times that I have stumbled, tripped, or nearly tipped over when trying to put my boots back on as I am leaving a client's home. How embarrassing. So not only am I looking forward to spring shoes from a fashion standpoint, but in an attempt to maintain my professionalism I am really looking forward to the change of season as well!

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

March 6, 2013

Sweet & Salty Roasted Chickpeas




























I have been intending to make this recipe for a really long time now, as I saw it on Pintrest ages ago and thought it looked delicious. I finally made it today, and it lived up to my expectations!


Sweet & Salty Roasted Chickpeas

1 can (14 oz) chickpeas
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon {or spice of your choice}
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1. Open can of chick peas and drain the liquid using a strainer. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper and place chickpeas on the baking sheet.

2. Bake the chickpeas for 30 mins at 450F. While the chickpeas are baking, mix all of the other ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Once the chickpeas are done, transfer them from the baking sheet into the bowl that contains all of the other ingredients. Mix together thoroughly. Enjoy hot, or wait for them to cool; they are delicious either way!


These chickpeas are somewhat similar to flavoured popcorn, but way healthier. They have the same kind of crunch, but they do maintain some of their chickpea flavour {which I love!}. Be forewarned, a few of them popped in the oven and in fact, made a noise similar to a corn kernel popping. I was startled by this at first and thought perhaps I had done something wrong, but this appears to be normal.

Photo Credit: Sprinkle n' Simmer

March 3, 2013

Right on Schedule!


























A few days ago I talked about how excited I was for the impending the arrival of my friends' baby girl. I am very happy to report that she arrived today, born 13 minutes after midnight, on her due date! I have seen a few pictures of her {sadly that's not her above} and she is adorable! Newborn babies typically don't look awesome {they are usually a little squished-looking}, but even for a newborn baby she is already gorgeous and I am looking forward to meeting her in the near future!

Photo Credit: Baby Stepz

March 2, 2013

Shop Til You Drop






















This morning I went to the mall. As I am really trying to save money I have been avoiding the mall as much as possible, as I will be honest, I am terrible for the impulse-buy. However, I needed to pick up a few staples {i.e. hair ties} and I wanted to do a little window shopping. Also, I have been in the market for a red leather wristlet, so I figured that I would have a look while I was there.

I had seen a really nice red leather wristlet on the Coach website, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that much, and I also wanted to see it in person before I splashed out that kind of money. I was pretty excited about it - I have been looking for a red leather wristlet for a while but I am picky - and I thought that perhaps I had found what I have been searching for. But no. The wristlet was much to small, and not at all worth all the money that Coach was asking for it.

Never a quitter, I decided to walk the mall to see if I could find another wristlet that would be more what I was looking for. I also figured that at other stores I may be able to score one for a good price; red is more of a fall colour, and given that several stores have started bringing out their spring merchandise, there may be some good sales that I could scour. There certainly was, and many stores had several options of red wristlets for me to choose from, like Danier Leather and Roots.

Sadly, I still wasn't able to find what I wanted. But I wasn't ready to give up until I was sure that none of the stores in the mall had what I was looking for, which means that I walked both levels of the mall in entirety. I am not sure the distance I covered, but I was there for just under two hours. By the time I called it quits I was pretty disheveled: I was exhausted from fighting crowds, and I was hot and itchy as I had left my wool coat on the whole time. Not to mention that I was disappointed that I was unable to find exactly what I wanted. I may have been borderline hot mess. There is nothing like going to the mall or any other store with a particular product in mind, and being unable to find it. Oh the frustration!

Photo Credit: Jesspants Blog
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