It is never too early to hope and to be enthused about spring, right?
Carpe diem, I’d say.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
It is common knowledge by now that I love bicycles, and luckily I live in a very bike-friendly city where I can cycle- as a means of commuting and just for chilling- for almost 7 months a year.
In the last cycle-able period from May to November, I witnessed several bicycle accidents simply because the car driver didn’t see or hear the cyclist coming from the side. I have a bell on my bicycle, as I’m sure those bicycle victim do, but is that bell enough to get the driver to brake? Not always.
So, when I saw this project, I couldn’t help but smile and back it up with a few dollars!
Here’s the video (click on orange link): LOUD BICYCLE: CAR HORN FOR YOUR BIKE
Christmas and New Year are just excuses for me to get creative with finding creative gifts for my friends and family (and sometimes for myself too). But a gift needs no occasion, that’s my motto. So, if you find yourself with gift block and a list of friends and occasions, here are some ideas:
A Children’s Book or An Adult’s Picture Book
The Essential Leonard Cohen and The Book of Longing
A Jack Dylan poster
Sac Magique (a very practical alternative to the hot water bottle)
Tea (from Tea Sante, for example)
Artisan oil such as La Tourangelle
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN FROM THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES.
Mine is called Downton Abbey.
It started a few weeks ago when I was belatedly drawn to Downton Abbey. Yes, I only just started watching it a couple of weeks ago after I had heard several addicted friends talk about it like it is the new age opium. Being the mature person I am, “I reserved my judgement” and decided to give it a look.
That was late October. Now, I am a full-fledged addict; I worry about Lady Mary’s future more than her mother Cora does, I proudly quote Carson,
I swoon over Lord Grantham, and I am an avid admirer of the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s wit and sarcasm.
Every night now, between 10 and 11 pm, the ritual is as follows: a hot cup of tea (preferably STASH Ginger Peach Green Tea) and an episode of Downton Abbey.
(Ah, how I love Montreal! Hahaha!)
And why not throw in a few of my favorite DA quotes?
“Life is a game in which the player must appear ridiculous.”
“I hope you know that really smart people sleep in separate rooms.”
“I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”
“Are you afraid someone will think you’re American if you speak openly?”
“But nobody learns anything from a governess, apart from French and how to courtesy.”
”War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don’t.”
“I’d rather have the right man, than the right wedding.”
“I’m an American, I don’t share your English hatred of comfort.”
Fall is here and nature is shedding its old coat in preparation for the winter. We started feeling the effect of the shorter days, the longer nights and the colder temperatures. We feel like being outdoors but can’t really get ourselves to stay out long due to the cold and lack of enough sunshine. Soon enough, our energy levels drop and we start feeling rather ‘down’, if I may use this term loosely. What can we do to alleviate the melancholy and get those feel-good hormones rushing?
The Japanese called it ”shinrin-yoku”, which translates to forest bathing: a simple walk in the forest (and breathing the air) when the forest takes on a whole new air, rich and wet, smelling of fallen leaves. The Japanese regard this as a very important form of aroma therapy: a simple walk in the woods lowers blood pressure and reduces levels of stress.
Next time you find yourself feeling rather ‘under the weather’, plan for a walk in the woods at the weekend. Surprisingly, it is more effective to walk in the woods in fall than it is in summer! Get moving and inhaling!
Doesn’t a giggling baby just make you unconsciously smile? How about when it stops raining the moment you step out of the house? What about that second when you put your hand into the pocket of an old jeans and you feel money under your fingers? Don’t you just smile? What are other little moments in your day that make you, forcibly, smile?
Here’s a list of a few little things that make me happy:
And many many more. Just like there are many little things that we should be grateful for, there are a million other things that make us smile. We just need to notice them.
If you are ever anywhere on Avenue du Parc in Montreal, you have to stop at Les Sandwichs Volants for one of their grilled sandwiches, I guarantee you that you’ll be fantasizing about returning to Les Sandwichs Volants after trying their cheesy, immensely-rich-in-flavor sandwiches. On top of that, they are not pricey at all! I, for one, am proudly guilty of overindulging on Les Sandwichs Volants’ sandwiches.
They also offer daily specials but I yet have to try those. They usually run out of them if you’re there for a late lunch. The lasagna with spinach and ricotta cheese sounds really good, but unfortunately there was none left last time I was there.
I love Quebec and I am in love with Montreal: the coffee, the croissants, the parks, the cyclists, the quirky cafes, the fun ice cream shops, the picturesque winter, the absolutely unbeatable autumn … but poutine? That’s another story!
Photo from foodology.ca
It all started when we had a little too much beer to drink, local red beer, the kind you can drink a pitcher of without developing a bitter tongue. It was a young Thursday night and since we hadn’t had poutine yet, it was the perfect opportunity to try the famous greasy national dish of Quebec.
We left the pub and headed to Rue Rachel (yes, you guessed it) where the legendary La Banquise sits. By sheer luck, there wasn’t a long queue outside and there were empty tables on the terrace. The weather was very pleasant and hunger was peaking. Without consulting the menu, I ordered the bacon poutine (recommended on Urban Spoon) and an oval dish heaped with fries, cheese curds, Canadian bacon and gravy showed up on my lap (OK, table!) less than ten minutes after. Don’t get me wrong, it is the right food for a growling stomach after a pitcher of beer, but the amount of oil that enters your system is simply indigestible! The fries are laden with oil and the gravy just makes it more mushy. There’s nothing wrong with the taste; the cheese curds are actually yummy. I just had a problem with the floating fat in my stomach when it was time to sleep!
Bottom line: I can understand why you like poutine, but no thanks.