October 17, 2011

The Lonely Wife

I just finished reading "The Paris Wife" By Paula McLain. I just happened to grab it on my way out of the library because it looked interesting. It is a fictional book about the non-fictional Ernest Hemingway, but written in the voice of his wife, Hadley. It's set mostly in the Jazz-age of Paris in the roaring 20's, when the city was essentially made into what we know it as today.

Beware lovestruck, pining women everywhere. This book is truly heartbreaking at the end, telling the real story of how the Hemingway's marriage was ruined by the Parisian society, Ernest's desire for success, and another woman. It seems that it was the thing to have a mistress in Paris, even in the 20's, and perhaps even today. It made me sick to my stomach to read Hadley's thoughts on her husband as she knew he was carrying on with another woman, especially when it was her best friend, and sometimes in the next room. She graciously granted him a divorce so he could pursue the other relationship. He did, however, offer Hadley all of the royalties from his book "The Sun Also Rises", which he wrote while married to her. Ernest later wrote, "I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her." After his fourth marriage, Ernest Hemingway eventually took his own life. It may be one of the best modern true-life love stories.

Probably not the best book to read while my beloved is at sea, thousands of miles away, with rich women all around him. But definitely a great read, especially for someone who is dreaming of Paris.

October 2, 2011


I love to scrounge.  I love digging around shops for things that nobody else has.  I know so many people who hate that (like my friend who refuses to enter H&M because she can't bring herself to actually search for her size amongst the piles or clothing). That's probably why I love Etsy and handmade so much.  I can search and search all day if you let me. I don't want things that everyone else has.  I'll dig to the bottom of piles and reach to the highest of shelves to get what I'm looking for.

My sister and I visited the Queensville Antique Mall yesterday to have a scrounge.  It is one of the biggest places I've ever been for vintage and antique stuffs.  I had been there once before with my Nana, where she spent the entire time commenting how "she owned one of those" or "she could have sold her collection of that".  I love their slogan: "If you want it, we can find it, if we can't find it, you don't want it!".  I'm always on the hunt for milk glass, an obsession I have, and there were plenty of pieces there.

So, if you're in the North Toronto area and have a spare hour or two, check out the Queensville Antique Mall.  It's the perfect day trip for the hoarder and scrounger in you.

September 24, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas

Let me start off by saying that my mother was never very adventurous when it came to cooking.  Our veggies would consist of carrots, corn, and peas (which I always hid under my potatoes).  When I moved out, it was like heaven where I could try anything and everything that I always wanted.  I'm still on the road to discovery and yesterday was the first time I tried Chickpeas.  I know.  It's ridiculous.

I opened the can of chickpeas and had a sniff.  It didn't really smell like anything.  I've never been a fan of peas and they suspiciously looked like them, but in a cute disguise.  I headed to Foodgawker to see what I could find to dress them up a bit.  I came across a whole load of recipes for roasted chickpeas.  I love anything roasted, so sounded good to me.  I took a whole bunch of recipes and turned it into something that I thought would work...and it did!

Roasted Chickpeas
1 Can (540mL) Chickpeas
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/8 Tsp Cumin
1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Ginger
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1.  Preheat oven to 400F.
2.  Drain Chickpeas then let soak in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes.  Strain in a colander and run more water over to remove as much sodium as you can.  Pat dry and set aside.
3.  Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add the olive oil to create the coating.  Add chickpeas and stir with a wooden spool until all chickpeas are coated. (I like to remove all the skins that come off so it looks pretty!)
4.  Spread chickpeas over a baking sheet (with a lip) and bake for 40 minutes or until crispy.  After about 15 minutes, shake the baking sheet so that the chickpeas come loose. 

And there you have it!  You can eat the chickpeas either warm or cooled.  They're really crunchy and a great alternative to chips.  Chickpeas are really high in protein and good carbs, and they're perfect to take on the go.  Better yet, when they're roasted they don't taste like peas.  Hooraw!

September 23, 2011

In Pursuit of Ultra Metabolism

I'm on a health kick.  I thought I'd get a head start before a) hubby arrives and b) new years when I usually make empty promises to myself.  I've already lost 20 lbs since moving home to Canada, but I'm stuck.  My body just won't lose any more weight.  My mum keeps telling me (in that motherly nagging tone), "Afton Marie, you'll have to change what you're doing because it's not working anymore".

I've been really inspired by this book I took out at the library (don't get me started about how much I love the library again).  It's called Ultrametabolism.  It's not a diet plan, but instead a plan for healthy living.  It talks about all the good things and bad things we do to our bodies.  Here are some things that I'm looking to change:

1.  Cut down on dairy.  I always had this idea in my mind that they only way to get calcium was through dairy.  Infact, we don't really need dairy past the age of 4 or so.  There are loads of other ways to get calcium, like leafy greens for example.

2.  Carbs are not the enemy, unless they're refined carbs, which is mostly what I was eating.  I really love these Stonemill breads, which have a low glycemic index and 0g of sugar!  We can eat carbs - in fact we MUST eat carbs - but we just have to choose the right ones.

3.  Learning the difference between good fats and bad fats is really important as well.  Knowing the good fats, like monounsaturated fats, is really great because most of them are so yummy.  Examples are nuts and seeds, avocado, and olive oil.  They can actually help you lose weight!

4.  Understanding the bulls*%t that companies spew to make you buy their products.  You know that old saying "no added sugar"?  Well guess what, sure they don't add sugar, but they certainly add a whole lot of sweetener.  I'm not going to get into it, because of the controversy, but there are a whole bunch of health problems associated to sweeteners.  There are so many foods that they want us to believe are a healthy alternative, but really they're just more chemicals with fewer calories.

5.  The best way to go...don't eat anything with a label on it.  I know it's difficult, but I'm going to try and eat as much fresh food as I can, including hormone free lean meat.  I learned a lot from living in Romania, where they grow everything without pesticides, organically, and straight to the table.  Sure, sometimes it didn't look pretty, but it was healthy nonetheless.

So there we have it.  I would really recommend picking up the book Ultrametabolism.  There's also an accompanying cookbook.  And maybe you could also go to the library, because you never know what you're find...it could change your life!

September 12, 2011

Pinterest Pick #4: 50 Rules for Dads and Daughters

WARNING: Mothers, have some tissues handy. Check out this list of rules for all the dads out there on www.fromdatestodiapers.com via Pinterest. Maybe I'm being oversensitive because the baby hasn't seen her Daddy for 5 months, but this list really made me tear up.  I really think that every father should do everything on this list.

My favorite on the list: #14 Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won't always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

We have that one covered, although baby's are pink.  We don't want Daddy to wear pink Chucks.  That's just taking it too far.

September 7, 2011

Glossybox in Canada, please?

The lovely ladies of the UK have a major advantage over us North American ladies, and that is Glossybox.  Upon signing up and paying £10 (about $15) per month, each subscriber will receive a beautiful Glossybox in the mail which contains 5 luxury beauty products.  Your box is sent directly to your door.  Past boxes have included amazing products like the Nars Orgasm Illuminator and the below Ciate Nail Enamel

So why am I telling you all this?  Because I want Glossybox to come to Canada!  If we show enough interest, they'll consider coming to our great land!  Just go to their Facebook page and post to let them know that you want Glossybox in Canada!

August 31, 2011

Come Back to Me

One of my greatest time-fillers online is browsing through Tumblr, which is really funny considering I don't even have an account.  Why don't I have an account?  There comes a time when a n3rd like me has to say "I have enough online accounts and I'm sick of doing password recoveries".  So I browse and pin.

My all time favourite tumblr blog is ComeBackToMe.  So romantic.  So sad.  So inspiring.  The music, if I listen to it long enough, makes me ball my eyes out, longing for my love.  It's ridiculous.  But I think that we have to be a little ridiculous sometimes because it reminds us of reality and who we really are.  Unfortunately we can't live in the movies or solely through our blogs.

This image from ComeBackToMe is now displayed on my desktop.  It reminds me of my love and that everything we're doing to be together isn't in vain.  One day, my love will come back to me...


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