October

I keep a few of my favourite classics at bedside to go back reading time and again whenever I feel wistful of my childhood. Anne of Green Gables is one of them. How I adore Anne, her imagination and positive outlook on life. Anne also loves October, just like me and every October I think of the following lines from the book.

October was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths

Anne would tell Marilla it would be terrible to live in a world where there are no Octobers. And I concur with her wholeheartedly. I love October with leaves changing colours to fiery red and golden yellow, cold crisp air, the thought of warm drinks and hearty soups (the weather makes me want to drink more tea not my usual dose of coffee.)

And starting October we see more and more of sweet potatoes and all kinds of ugly but adorable winter squashes and orange pumpkins piled up in grocery stores- oh I love it. October so far was nice. there was Thanksgiving here in Canada so my family celebrated the day with the usual turkey (roasted with apple, cinnamon sticks, onion, and rosemary/sage/thyme inside the cavity), pumpkin black bean salad with candied pecans, and a pumpkin pie. It was a good weekend filled with laugher, warmth, and love. I adore my home.

Then back to Toronto – I’ve been quite busy. This Saturday felt good with cleaning up the house, cooking, catching up on shows, reading a bit. Also the weather was gorgeous- it was a pure joy but it’s a shame because I realized last night that I probably should have gone out to a park or something. At times I feel trapped in this ultra high rise condo in the heart of downtown. Convenient? Yes. Lacking natural touch? Absolutely. I feel quite removed from surrounding to be honest. There are too many buildings all the time around me.

In my university days, the city I lived in was hands-down beautiful. Small community, lake at the foot of the campus, student neighbourhood lined up with trees. I walked everywhere, too. I never thought I would say this but am I the only one missing school? I miss it. I miss studying for my classes (my history courses were amazing), I miss living with my best friends, our small but cozy house, fresh air, beautiful limestone Starbucks I used to go to study ‘bird courses’.  October, this fall weather, makes me want to go back to all these. But for now I’m going to be grown-up about it and be happy with the memory.

I roasted squash. Eat it mashed with a bit of maple syrup or put it in a salad with asian dressing- makes a world of difference in your salad.

Made myself a cup of vanilla tea.

It’s mid-October already. I want to savour every remaining day. Happy October!

September is here

Image

September has been great so far. Fall is by far my favourite season and crisp air each morning makes me happy to get out of the door for work. I don’t want it to ever leave me.

This weekend was such a nice lazy one. I watched 1.5 seasons of West Wing, had brunch with a friend, walked around a beautiful neighbourhood I just discovered, and slept a lot. I’ve accumulated enough strength to get through my week. We shall see.

Happy Wednesday.

Brunch

Sunday afternoon.

I’m currently in love with Beirut. I can’t get enough of their songs– almost makes me want to take off and get out of this city.

Yesterday I got together with a few friends of mine for a brunch at Smith. It was my first time there and what a beautiful place.

My friend Judy and I had to share their warm blueberry cinnamon scones to start, reminiscent of our London days. Clotted cream was missing as Smith only had vanilla whipped cream. Nothing compares to clotted cream, jam with scones. But these scones were still good.

Toronto is hot again compared to the relatively cool weather last week. I can’t wait till fall is here.

pretty fruits

My lovely sister got me these cutest marzipan fruits while she was travelling in Switzerland. She also got me a whole bunch of chocolates alongside that I forgot about these. Last week as I was going through my walk-in closet, these came to my attention! And guess what– they were gone within a week. I never thought I would enjoy eating marzipan. But they are actually not bad especially when they are so tiny and pretty as these ones. A big thanks to my sis!

 

Found it.

Hi all,

The weather here is starting to get warmer. A few days of spring rain are expected this week and next week but temperature-wise, it looks like spring is finally here to stay.

I made a quite exciting discovery over the last weekend. I found a chestnut spread (or crème de marrons, if you want to be fancy) from a grocery store. Ever since I found a jar two years back (it was a Bonne Maman brand) I’ve been wanting to buy it again. But it doesn’t seem like it is common around here. So when I saw thison the jam aisle, you bet I jumped silently with joy.

I tasted a spoonful the other day. I think this brand is definitely a lot less sweeter than the Bonne Maman one. It says it’s made with at least 51% chestnuts per jar. I think that’s why. Tasted like I’m eating slightly sweetened mashed chestnuts! I’m thinking about what should I eat this with.

1. waffles
2. white toast
3. crackers
4. pancakes
5. straight out of the jar:p

I have none of the first four. Those will make their way onto my next grocery list.

Hope everyone is having a fun Saturday morning:p

 

Lovely

It’s raining outside!

I love rainy days as much as I love days with sunshine. Rainy days are perfect for snuggling in bed watching favourite movies with a big mug of tea and just being cozy. Rainy days are also best for studying. When the weather is nice I just kept wanting to go outside instead of studying I guess (as was the case for all of my final exams back in my university days- it was a struggle studying in the library when the gorgeous Kingston weather was luring me to come out- drinks in patio and eating gelato? Yes hundred times over.)

This morning I’m writing this post at a Starbucks. I just had a black iced tea but I don’t think I should have- I’m shivering because I’m feel so cold.

It hasn’t been a productive weekend so far. I still need to organize my room, go shopping, and watch Hugo on Netflix. Plus I have a whole lot of other lists going on. The only thing I’ve done is my groceries. I’m set for next week on that respect.  I bought mini bocconcini, cucumber, and tomatos to make some nice salads for lunch. I’m really excited.

Anyway, I need to get back to whatever I was doing. Happy Sunday!

saturday coffee

What a relaxing Saturday.
Woke up to a beautifully dark, windy weather (perfect weather for staying in bed:p) and watched An Education in my bed. Carrie Mulligan was stunning. She’s my new fave now. I rarely change my favourite actor and it changed this weekend.

I wanted to do million things this weekend and I also wanted to do nothing. Ended up eating sushi while catching up with my friend Judy and walked around downtown, went into a cafe for some nice desserts and coffee&tea and even more chat:) At night I finally did my long over-due grocery shopping and am happy to report that I stocked up on fruits! (red plums, blackberries, strawberries, and kiwi fruit)

Now it’s Sunday night. I’m on YouTube listening to some old songs…which makes me think how it could be already 2012. Where have all those years gone? Surreal. These old tunes took me back to my childhood- when I was ten-years old (90’s!!!). Those years seem so close to my heart. It’s still difficult for me to believe I’m a grown-up now. Do you ever still feel that way? I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this feeling.

hope everyone’s getting ready for a new week. xox.

 

Quiet Saturday morning

After a full week of long working days I finally found some time to clean up my room and relax a bit over a slice of my favourite lemon poppyseed loaf and hot coffee in this cold winter day.

Last week I had difficulty falling asleep before midnight but I found an excellent way to fall asleep.

1. Close my laptop at 10:30pm
2. Read a book in my cozy bed

within 20 min, I’m ready to go to bed. See- I’m the type of person who can never sleep in. I usually get up before 7am without an alarm clock. This applies to weekends, vacation days, summer holidays, you name it. I don’t like lying in bed when I’m not sleeping either. When I get to bed I fall asleep almost instantly and when I get up, I get out of bed equally right away. I utilize this side of me and used it to make myself go to bed early and it worked out marvelously!

After a good night of rest, my head is so much clearer and I focus better at work. I feel good, too! Such a win-win situation, don’t you think? Not only I get to catch up on my reading as well. During school I never seemed to find enough time between classes, group projects, social life, and work. I thought this situation would improve once I start an adult life. Now that I work full-time, I’m disappointed to report that my reading hasn’t expanded as much as I hoped. But now I have a way to make reading my daily routine.

Currently I’m reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Yalta:Price of Peace by S.M.Plokhy.

Walden- I feel I’m a little lost so far as to where the author is going:) But definitely a good read whenever I feel tired of this busy city life.

Yalta- I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I took courses on Russian history from late 1800s to all the way up to the collapse of the Soviet Union (and a bit of aftermath), Fascism in Europe, as well as on Jewish history during my university years. As a commerce graduate, from time to time I felt my major to be a little dry and superficial. I appreciated what I was learning but I needed more from my university experience than just balancing debits and credits. To me, these three courses were an oasis. It really brought out the emotional side of me, made me think of human nature as I often placed myself alongside of the individuals from the past events and thought about what I would do if I were them. I don’t want to lose my curiosity and passion to learn history. So I’m glad that I found this book.

Hope everyone is having a great saturday morning!

Cafe explorers

My friend Mandy and I were meaning to get together for awhile- but Christmas and the New Year happened in between so we finally found a time to go out for coffee this beautiful Saturday afternoon. The weather in Toronto was warm that it almost felt like spring was on its way!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Starbucks. I like the atmosphere, its omnipresence (there are three in 3 minute walking distance from my place and work), the consistency, and free wireless, etc. I’ll probably be going to Starbucks more than I go to any other places. But for this coffee date and for many more to come, Mandy and I agreed that we need to branch out and explore more of Toronto’s hidden gems rather than relying on the international chain for our daily caffein dose. So here was our first stop- the Bulldog Cafe just off Carlton street in the downtown core.

I couldn’t believe how close this place was as it was less than a ten-minute walk from my place. The cafe was small, warm, and bustling with neighbourhood charms! The cool-looking baristas certainly added to the magic as well. The menu wasn’t as diverse as Starbucks but I didn’t expect it to anyway. I ordered soy chocolate chai latte and Mandy’s pick was something mint latte (I don’t remember!) But I thought latte with mint flavour was pretty cool!

The baristas drew us cool latte arts with chocolate syrup:) cute!

Over coffee we chatted about our work, books, relationships, New Year’s resolutions, and all kinds of random things, including how to use ‘Bump’ app in our Iphone. It’s always nice to catch up with her. She is the type of person you walk away inspired and feeling warm. We decided to make our coffee date a monthly event, each at a new local coffee shop. Another thing to look forward to this year.

On this nice, relaxing Sunday morning I started it with toasts and Sarabeth’s plum and cherry jam I just bought on Saturday. I’ve heard so much about their jam and I really wanted to try it. The jam was very fresh and full of flavour rather than tasting like sugar and pectin in jams I normally buy.

This weekend has been truly relaxing so far. I’ve loved every minute of it. I got sufficient amount of sleep, worked out, read books, watched shows (they’re back!), hung out with good friends,and ate good food. What more can I ask! Hope everyone’s having a nice first weekend of 2012!

Moving to a new place

Getting used to a new place can be exciting but may give you this weird feeling at the same time.
I’ve moved a lot throughout my entire life. I’ve switched school more than anyone else I know. In some way I feel like a veteran in this front. Meeting new people, making new friends and making myself home at different houses, cities, and even countries.

I moved again a few weeks ago. I found myself still getting this weird feeling. Excited but detached, ever missing my hometown, and people I love. I think it’s quite normal so I am trying to accept. Do I want to ‘move on’? Of course not! I am happy that I loved my experiences in the past enough to be still missing those times. It’s a very special feeling.

I hope I get to love this city.
Have you been to the CN Tower in Toronto? If I remember correctly, it’s the second tallest standing structure after the one in Dubai. It’s my first time there. My family ate at their restaurant at the top. What an amazing view! The food was just okay- nothing memorable, definitely expensive for what you get. But you get to beat the line for the elevator since the restaurant operates its own. Also, you get to enjoy this spectacular view! I would highly recommend this to all those visiting Toronto. It’s fun.

And I finished watching the last season of Gilmore Girls. It’s one of my top 3 favourite shows of all time. I watched most of the episodes or bits and pieces of each episode. Last year while I was waiting for the internet installation at my place back at school, I watched the entire seasons 2 and 3. This time I watched the last season from the start to finish- also waiting for the internet. Life san internet sucks to be sure but it helps you focus especially if you are like me and enjoy having 3 windows and 17 tabs open at the same time and actually use them all.

Gilmore Girls ends with Rory graduating Yale, finding a job and leaving her mom and her home. It’s such a witty, heart-warming story and I adore it. I think I enjoyed it even more because I could sympathize with Rory’s life.

I’m facing my own challenge right now and it’s both exhilarating and nerve-wrecking! But I’m grateful of all these amazing opportunities.

Hope everyone’s having an amazing Wednesday night. We’re on halfway to TGIF!