Thursday Thoughts

1. I feel like this post could accidentally turn into one full of whining, and nobody likes a whiner, so I’m gonna paraphrase my woes just to get it over with (and to hopefully not touch on anyone’s nerves since they’re MY whines!) Here goes: facebook in general, the cleaning lady at my office gym, the Tuesday night yoga instructor, laundry, my recent eating habits, work. Phew, I feel better already.

2. So happy Amazing Race and Survivor are back- I love mentally checking out and watching *other* people get through mental and physical toughness. Twinnies are gone already though, womp womp.

Natalie & Nadiya


3. I’m pretty excited that this lady is moving closer to me!  We will be yoga/mountain/wine/food friends. She’s decorating the extra bedroom in her new place to my liking, so this just might work out. I’m re-reading MWF seeking BFF  to get myself ready.


4. My favorite Dogeared Karma necklace broke last week. (is that bad luck?!) SO SAD. CUE DRAMATIC AND DEPRESSING MUSIC. I wore that necklace every day for the last 2 years and only took it off on my wedding day. Now I’m reluctantly in the market for another gold necklace that’s good for everyday wear. Suggestions?


5. Whenever I give love to my dogs, I say weird things. Such wierd things include “I’m gonna eat your butt” “Hairy wiener love pup” (Reggie) “Vagine” (Layla) “Stinky patoon”. These are just a few of the many names I have. I also refer to Reggie as either Reginald or Renaldo. Layla is more commonly Laylando. Poor dogs.


6. The girl next to me in yoga last night actually complimented me after class on my standing bow. I BLUSH. I also want to hold hands with her and bring her everywhere because compliments are rare and nice and now I need her in my life. I almost really hope she doesnt read this because that could be totally awkward.

7. Bushman died! So sad. He was the best. In case you’re wondering who this bushman is, WELL…at Fisherman’s Wharf in SF there are a lot of street performers and homeless and whatnot. This guy’s gimmick was to sit on the corner, nestled between a cluster of those newspaper/flyer stands, with a ton of bushes (branches he was holding) to use as a disguise. Because it’s such a touristy area, masses of people would be crossing the street at once, and when they got to his corner, he would jump out and rustle the bushes and definitely scare a good percentage of people. It was hilarious. Unless you were the scared person, then you’d have to go to the nearest Micky D’s bathroom and check your pants.

That’s all I have to share today, folks. The end.

My Favorite Hometown Places to Eat (upstate NY)

When people ask me where I’m from when they find out I’m an American, I tell them Boston. But I guess that’s not really where I’m from. I actually don’t know what to tell people. Because when I say Boston, they say, “well, you don’t have an accent.” Then I say “Ok, ok, I’m from NY.” And again, the response is “you still don’t have the accent I thought you would.” Well people…SORRY! haha

I grew up in a bunch of places and always seemed to move at integral parts of my upbringing, so there really isn’t a right (or wrong) answer. First is was Southern California, then Northern California, then upstate NY (where my parents still live), then I went to college in NH, and finally moved to Boston.

Home will now always be NY (unless my parents decide to buy a condo somewhere warm. ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME, PARENTS?!! SOMEWHERE W-A-R-M!!!) and there are TONS of things (read: FOOD) that I miss now that I live in Calgary.

And with that, I thought I’d share some of my favorite places from home that I miss:

Dunkin Donuts: Yes, yes, yes, I love me some Tim Hortons (HELLO: they are so cheap and so fast and the product is actually tasty– even if the only thing I ever order there is black coffee and an everything bagel toasted w/cream cheese) but there’s something about an iced coffee from DD that I just LOVE. There’s no need for an explanation here.

Trader Joe’s: Another ‘no duh’ addition to this list. They offer tons of yummy foods at not-so-expensive prices. I particularly miss getting my nut butters from there because of their low price. [Um, why is nut butter so expensive in Canada? Some places are trying to charge my $16 for a jar- that’s nuts. Pun intended) I also love their sweet potato tortilla chips, candy cane tea, pre made salads, hummus, frozen tamales, and pumpkin pancake mix.

Apple Picking: Pretty much a staple of living in the NE. Usually, I would drive back to NY on Columbus Day weekend so the three of us could hit our favorite orchard, drink cider, eat apple cider donuts, and stuff our pockets and bags with as many apples as possible. Then I would nap in the car on the way home. Dad would usually get a hot dog. Mom would point out every cow she saw.



Sutton’s Apple Dumplings– This is one of the ‘go-to’ breakfast/lunch places in the area. I’m not really a fan of their restaurant food and they push WAY TOO MANY Rachel Ray products (since she’s a native of the area) but I do OBSESS over their apple dumplings. Walk in, grab a few, sit in the car and devour– most likley resulting in sticky fingers and a lap full of icing crumbs. NOM.


Frozen Dreams- This place is just too good. Soft serve ice cream that is all too conveniently located near my parent’s home. I ALWAYS get a small twist with rainbow sprinkles. And if I’m feeling lucky, I’ll get an extra cup of sprinkles on the side. There is always a line up throughout the summer, and most people sit in their car with the A/C running to enjoy their frozen treat. Oh man, what I would give to be able to go back to NY this summer…



Downtown Saratoga- there are lots of places in Saratoga that I love to visit, and they’re all concentrated in the old downtown area:



  • Cantina– the food is always good and the margaritas are always better. If you visit this place in the summer, sit on the patio with a pitcher of sangria and you’ll be all set for some of the best people watching ever.
  • Saratoga City Tavern–  It’s a 4(?) story bar that offers something different on each level- live music, dancing, and a rooptop open in the warmer months. Love their beer selection but their bathrooms are 1-800-FAILCITY.
  • Bettie’s Cakes– Because cupcakes= YES.
  • The Track– what’s better than being able to go watch the races for free while also sitting on your own cooler filled with whatever selection of eats/drinks you brought? Nothing.  PS: you don’t have to bring a cooler. Or sit on one, either.
  • Bailey’s Cafe– Love going there in the winter and ordering the S’mores for dessert along with a specialty coffee. Mmm now I have the warm fuzzies.
  • There’s also a ton of fun shops and boutiques to meander through!

Poopie’s– Such a good greasy spoon place that my parents used to take me when I was little. Order everything, it’s all good. Also, who doesn’t want to eat at a place called Poopie’s?!



Noon Whistle Deli- this is the tiniest little deli but oh man is it delicious. The people there are super friendly and will customize your order if you want. I always get the turkey club and bring the pasta salad/chips home for my parents. SOOOO YUM.

Bistro LeRoux- OMYGOSH this place is one of my favorite restaurants. EVER. The food is just over the top amazing. The menu varies, but it always has a selection of items that make it hard to choose. The food is fancy without feeling like you’re at a super fancy restaurant. And the prices are really great. Same with the service. I really really REALLY love this place and it’s one of the few places I’ll actually eat the bread, an app, a main course, and dessert. Woof, I’m stuffed.



Lake George- Ok, maybe it was more fun to go here while I was in high school…or home from college… but it’s still nice to go up once in a while and take in the lake and the fresh air and maybe an adult beverage on a patio somewhere.



Glen Lake/The Docksider- There is a small lake in my hometown that allows locals to launch (non-motor powered, only motor-powered vehicles are allowed for residents on the lake). My mom, dad, and I would take our kayaks there, loop the lake, then have lunch at the Docksider restaurant, located right next to the launch. Ok, my parents would eat and I would usually just sunbathe (or have a drink if they were having live music) since their food is kinda ‘meh’ in my opinion.



El Mexicano– This place is pretty good authentic Mexican food. With your dinner order, you get chips/salsa, a free mini cheese quesadilla, a complimentary sweet chimichango (with banana/honey) and sometimes a shot of tequila. Ok, I haven’t been there in a while, so they may not offer those freebies anymore, but it’s still a great place to go!



Apparently I like to eat.

*in case you missed it* check out my favorite places to eat in Calgary here. 


What’s your favorite hometown restaurant? Where is your hometown?

Quickie Weekend

Ew, it’s Monday again. Gross.

Per usual, the weekend FLEW by. No bueno.

Friday night was low-key: ran a few errands after work, ate pizza that Tyler made, and caught up on recorded episodes of The Following.

photo 1-6

Saturday, I got up early to get ready/paint my nails prior to hitting up the afternoon session of WINEFEST! More deets to follow…

photo 2-6

Sunday consisted of a hangover, a trip to Costco, napping, watching the entire Ke$ha reality series on Mtv, and walking the dogs.

I had doubled up on workouts all last week, so I gave myself the weekend to recover. Plus, I tweaked my right shoulder, so I let it rest. ‘Doubled up’ meaning, I would do cardio or circuits during my lunch break, then hot yoga at night.

Since that’s a pretty basic weekend, the only mondo thing to share is the recipe for the single serving microwave chocolate chip cookie I’ve been making lately to satisfy my sweet tooth!


What you’ll need:

  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (I sometimes used 1 T applesauce instead)
  • splash vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 T choc chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl. Add both sugars, egg, vanilla, and salt. Stir until combined. Add flour, stir. Add choc chips, stir and ‘flatten’ dough in bowl so that it can heat evenly.
  2. Microwave for 40 seconds. Then microwave for additional 10 second increments (I usually only do this once, but I guess it depends on the super powers of your microwave). I generally remove from the microwave when it looks just a touch undercooked, as it continues to cook in the bowl after you remove it from the microwave. Allow a couple minutes to cool, EAT.

Oh crap, I just realized I already posted the recipe here.

My Favorite Places To Eat In (and around!) Calgary

Happy Friday, everyone! Is it just me or do ‘short’ weeks seem infinitely longer? Ah well, I’m wearing stretchy pants at work and plan on scarfing homemade pizza for dinner so today can just do me a favor and whizz on by (well, at least up until 5pm!)

I decided I wanted to share some of my favorite places to eat in and around Calgary. Many of you aren’t remotely near Calgary (i.e.: ‘Murica) but I’mma do it anyways 🙂

Craft- They have the most selection of beer on tap and their food is local. And good. Sitting at the bar is nice as most barstaff are friendly. However, the atmosphere (say, on a Friday night) mostly consists of middle-aged groups and socializing is near impossible. Socializing meaning: single people trying to pick up other single people. Me- I don’t have that problem (Insert: husband).



National- (One location is directly next door to Craft–and has a downstairs bowling alley!- and the other is on 17th Ave.) They also have a nice selection of beer, with a pretty unique TV display of what’s currently available (think: airport arrival/departure screens). The food is also pretty good and the layout consists of several long, solid picnic-like tables. This makes for good socializing.



Brewster’s– Their food is consistantly good. There is never a mishap with an order or with service. Since they brew their own beer on site, we have noticed that the taste can vary from visit to visit, but then we know it’s authentic! We love that they have a location super close to our house, too.



Kinjo– really good sushi. The place is always buzzing and the servers are quick and cheery. It’s also a great bang-for-your-buck type place. I especially like that you can see the food being prepared. And the nice man always gives me chocolate before we leave.



Grizzly Paw– FAVORITE place to go in Canmore. Their food is amazing, the patio is an EXCELLENT spot to view the nearby mountains/people/dog watch, and their beer is one of my favorites ever. I only wished I lived in Canmore (Cough, cough, JO I’M JEALOUS OF YOU) so I could frequent the place more often. PS: They took their fried pickles off their menu, but we asked a server and he said you can still order them. BEST FRIED PICKLES EVER. Especially with their beer.

The Grizzly Paw Pub and Restaurant


Wild Flour- A great little bakery/cafe in Banff. Their food is fresh and healthy and the vibe is pretty chill. It’s always crowded in there with all sorts of people. Bathrooms aren’t labeled ‘men’ and ‘women,’ but rather ‘Humans” (or was it Homo Sapiens? Either way, I always get a good chuckle).  I’ve only ever ordered sandwiches and wraps, but I’m determined to get a brownie next time.



Saltlik- NOTE: There are 2 Saltlik’s- one in Calgary and one in Banff. No offense Calgary location, but you ain’t got NOTHING on the Banff spot. The cocktail menu is pretty delicious (I’ve had everything on it) and their food is PHENOM. I always order the filet mignon with a side of asparagus (or broccoli) and scalloped potatoes. Best place to splurge ever.



Calgary Farmer’s Market-  I love me some local goodies. And this place isn’t your typical tent/parking lot market. It’s an actual building that runs year round, Thurs-Sun. They have all sorts of products: meats, produce, dairy, GF, exotic, baked goods, florists, etc. etc. etc. I think my favorite part- besides all the free samples- is the ‘food court’. They have so many vendors that offer a variety of yummy things that you can sit and enjoy. Unless you go on Sunday afternoon, you’ll most likely be entertained with shrieking children and frazzled parents.



The Rock-  Good pizza. It’s a chain restaurant from the states, but they still make a mean pizza that doesn’t feel ‘chain-y.’ From our experience, the staff is so-so and we’ve recently resorted to taking home our order.



Anejo- some amazeballs margaritas. Cool vibe. Great food. Down side: $14 for guacamole made with only two avocados. Another downside: margaritas are small. Upside: they play movies via projector up on the brick wall, and there’s a cool upstairs space. And lots of tequila. Definitely get the tacos. In all varieties.



Una- PIZZA NOM NOM NOM. I have heard from several people that this place was amahhhhhhhzing and they were right. The food is fantastic and the service is great. The restaurant is tiny and narrow, so it can make for some awkward seating (we were put up at the counter by the prep stations, just in front of the bathrooms). Nothing a bottle of wine can’t fix! Another bonus: since they don’t take resos, they take your phone number and suggest hitting the bar next door (National!) to wait for a table. Not a bad way to spend your waiting time.



I know I’m probably missing a few, but these are the front runners (in my opinion).

Ask Me Anything…With Answers!

And a happy Thursday to you, friends.

First, a quick little blurb to celebrate the life of my aunt (ok, my mom’s cousin, but who’s counting) who passed away this morning.


Now, as promised, I have rounded up your questions…and even added answers! Hope this isn’t too boring!

1. Sharing dreams?

Yes, I have really weird dreams. I could go on and on about how intricate and random they are, but that’s a novel in itself. Recent topics that have made it into my subconscious:

  • Vin Diesel
  • Las Vegas
  • Handsome men (nermind who they are. All famous.. or strangers)
  • Pregnancy (WEIRD)
  • Nutella (as expected)
  • Places that I’m apparently supposed to be familiar with, yet look completely different in my dreams
  • Plaid skirts

2. I want to know what ten blogs you are loving right now. Always looking for new ones to read!

I have been a super shitty blog reader (and writer) as of late, and haven’t really added anything new to my lineup in ages. Most of my blog reading is now actually through twitter because it’s so much more convenient. But here’s some that I’ve looked forward to seeing in my Unread box lately:

(That’s 10-2)

3. What was the hardest thing about adjusting to life in Calgary? Do you miss home, or is Calgary home now? Doing any better in the making friends thing? You went a long time before getting a job offer here, how are you adjusting to full time work life again? When are you going to sign up for an Ironman?

The hardest thing about adjusting to life in Calgary? Well, other than it being an entirely different country, I guess it was just really hard for me to go from working full time, going to grad school full time, teaching a bunch of group-ex classes, and travelling to NY to see my parents….to doing ZERO things. Granted, I had my dog to keep me company while Tyler was at work, it was just really different to not go out and buy things or do things or have people I knew to do them with.

Do I miss home? Yes…when there’s a lot of laundry and I don’t feel like cooking. (Joke) (Sort of). I just miss having a lot of my familiar things: friends, family, places, etc.

Doing any better in the making friends thing? YUP! Have met lots of different individuals who I connect with in different ways. But I definitely miss having a group of people! Sometimes constant 1-on-1 feels super date-y. I LOVE GIRLS NIGHTS.

FULL TIME WORK: It’s totally not as stressful as before. In Boston, I had to jet home from work to make it on time to teach classes. And traffic was a bitch. And I SERIOUSLY disliked my job. Now, there’s FAR less crying. Although I do hate now having to take public transit because it just eats so much time on either end of work. But my office now has a gym so there’s a plus. Ahhh, I guess there are so many pros and cons to each that it’s comparing apples to oranges. I’m gonna have to cut this one short before I put my foot in my  mouth.

I plan on getting a half marathon under my belt first. Then maybe a full. Ironman would be in the far distant future. 😉

4. What is your favorite sport in the winter olympics?

I like watching a lot of the skiing/snowboarding events. They are fast and tricky!


Ok, that’s all I had in questions. Hope it was interesting enough!!