Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Gifts galore

We're getting close to the new year and there are still about 700 houses in Toronto out of power from that terrible ice storm last week. Workers are still out there plugging away at the one-off disconnections, but most intersections have been restored. 

If you're in the Toronto area, please donate to the local food banks, like our North York Harvest Food Bank, which is low on it's donations this year due to the fact that so many homes in the area were out of electricity and donating food was probably the last thing on people's minds. 

Now on to some happy stuff!

For Christmas, my sister got me these cute socks with polar bears on them. Only downside is that they won't possibly fit into shoes, so I can't wear them out.

 Then, today, I got the a gift in the mail even more awesome than cute socks:

My new physiology text book!! Woo hoo!! I've signed up for a course at the online university, Athabasca University, starting January. Eventually, I want to enroll in a physiotherapy program somewhere, but I've got a whole staircase of baby steps before I get there. 

Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Iced in

We were hit with a terrible storm a few days ago here in Toronto, and our public systems are still struggling to restore power and hence, heat, to thousands of homes.

For my humble little home in North Toronto, we were cut out of electricity in the early hours of the 21st. When we got up in the morning, the floors were freezing cold and the dog was shivering. It was pitch black out, but the blue flashes of light in the distance reminded me that we were only one house out of hundreds of thousands out of power and heat.

It was like we were suddenly transported north of the Wall.... without even a stop at Winterfell....

Once the sun came up, I took the dog out. I was surprised to find so much damage even in our neighbourhood.

Also, Two-Two's leash froze solid in the 15 minutes we were outside.

By late afternoon, we knew we needed provisions for dinner... for us and our neighbours. We found a restaurant open quite far north of the city, and ventured out to pick it up. Nearly every single traffic light was out, but we made it there and back.

At home, we had a few families in our neighbourhood come over to our house to eat hot food. We lit candles and kept each other warm. During dinner, the lights did a quick flash, and then the sky struck blue again and power went out. This happened 2 or 3 times, until we stopped cheering and just silently hoped that this time the fix would stick.

Eventually, we got too cold just sitting around the house, so we ventured out again for a hot drink.

By the time we got home, lights were on! We went to bed in the warmth and woke up in the warmth! It was marvelous, but plenty of our friends had to sleep through the night in the cold. So we're currently playing warming shelter and charging station to a bunch of friends until they can get power restored.

What an ordeal. Driving is still a headache as so many intersections are out of power, trees are blocking lanes, and some people are being aggressive assholes. I'm not looking forward to driving to work later today, but I know I'll be glad to be there when I finally get there.

About an hour ago, we got TV and internet back, so now I finally feel like we're back in civilization.

Hoping all of you Torontonians out there are keeping warm!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Winter is here...

Winter is here, and I'm pretty sure I only like it because the cold only makes my daily Starbucks caramel brulee lattee taste SO much better.

Otherwise, my back and arms are getting the workout of a lifetime clearing the snow off my driveway. Snow is FREAKING heavy, people. HEAVY.

At least Two-Two is loving the weather. She jumps through the snow like a little rabbit. I guess that's what you gotta do when there's snow going up higher than you have leg for.

Because of the snow, I joined the rest of North Toronto at Canadian Tire to buy some salt for my walkway and winter windshield wipers so that I can drive and see at the same time. Look at me being all winter safe and responsible!

I saw this sign on the side of the salt tub and literally LOL'd.

I don't have any babies (just the canine one, whom I'm sure can manage to maneuver herself away from a bucket of salt), so I'm sorry for being insensitive, if this comes off as such. But this bucket came up to my KNEE. HOW CAN A BABY FALL INTO A KNEE-HIGH BUCKET?! If the baby is tall enough to climb up the bucket (and not tip it over), fall INTO the bucket (which is conveniently filled with salty drowny liquid), then it should have the capacity to either call for help or muscle itself out.

You've got to admit, the warning sign on the bucket is really REALLY funny. That baby just looks like it's grabbing salt to eat...


Green smoothie update?

Still rockin' the smoothe-a-day routine. Sometimes it's breakfast, sometimes it's lunch, and sometimes it's 1/3 of a dinner. But it always, ALWAYS still leaves me hungry about half an hour later.

Plus, that waking up with more energy in the morning thing? Gone.

I'm back to sleepy, reluctant, sore and lazy. Welcome back, my true self.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Will green smoothies help?

Happy December everyone! 

Snow is on the ground and the sun is setting by 5:00! Woohooo Nothing like wearing 3 layers of pants and 5 layers of sweaters to take your dog for a walk....WINTER IS HERE FOLKS! 

So I've noticed in recent days that some of my sweaters no longer fit. I'm 100% positive this has something to do with my increased intake of cookies, cakes, and cupcakes, and my decreased desire to do anything outside of my house (it's cold out there people). 

I've heard a lot about the wonders of green smoothies decreasing appetite because you've got your fill of vitamins and stuff, and hence weight loss. Since I'm not big on taking things out of my diet (just makes me want it more), I thought it wouldn't hurt me to add something healthy and filling instead! 

Here's the first few days...

Day 1. 
Avocado, cucumber, Silk soy milk, kale

As a first green smoothie, I decided to be conservative with my serving size. I didn't want to hate it and have this all fail. 

Luckily, this was DELICIOUS! Unluckily, I was starving about 30 minutes after I had the smoothie, and absolutely needed to inhale some real food.

Day 2. 

Apple, avocado, water, lemon, kale. 

Woke up with lots of energy today! I made a bigger smoothie this time to see if I could fill up for longer...nope... hungry again in 30-40 minutes. 

Day 3. 

Still waking up with lots of energy. 

I made the same recipe as yesterday to simplify things. I think I could really start to like this drink. It's definitely not a meal replacement yet for me, but I could try adding some higher protein things...

Day 4. 

I was nearly late for work, so I had no time to sit and enjoy this smoothie (it was more of a gulp and go kind of morning). 

Again, still waking with lots of energy. I may have to start changing up my ingredients soon. I'm getting tired of this apple-y taste.

Anyone out there tried green smoothies? What's your verdict?