December Delights

So as I mentioned in my last post, I am planning a December Blog Project! Lately I've been feeling like 2010 in general has zipped by - especially November! So in an effort to make sure I fully appreciate December - one of my favorite months - I wanted to document it fully. I love Christmas - that's what makes December awesome for me. I really like Ali Edward's idea of doing a December Daily album but I just don't think that would work for me. I want to be able to keep it up throughout the month but I don't have a photo printer and I'm not going to send one photo to Black's each day to get printed. That would be silly.
So I'm doing an online, bloggy version instead! Basically the idea is to give 31 reasons why I love December to fully appreciate this month. So starting on the 1st of December I will post about one activity or thing that I love for each day! Some will be traditions that I look forward to every year, some will be random. I'm gonna be honest here and say that I probably won't post every single day but I'll at least have a picture for every day even if have to post 2 or 3 on one day. I hope you follow along and play along if you like! Leave me a link to your blog if you do! It's going to be super fun!


Goal update

Back in August, I made 4 simple goals - inspired by Elsie. I've completed about half but I already have some more ideas of things I want to do!

My autumn goals were -

1. Make a mixed paper journal - completed! I made this journal for my New York trip and it was soo helpful. I had a section for everything that I wanted to see/do/eat. I had way more than I could do but the good thing is I will be able to use this book again for when (not if) I go back! It was so great to have with me at all times, to be able to write down a rough schedule each day and have my travel journal here too. A practical and cute keepsake.
nov 27 004

2. Have a photo shoot that's cute and fun (still need to do this one!)
3. Go to the dentist, doctor, and eye doctor finished! - got new contacts, and some shiny new fillings (ugh)
4. Make a playlist for both autumn and winter (will be sharing in December)

My new goals to do before the end of 2010 are
1. Make and send out Christmas cards!
2. Finish my secret knitting project 
3. Go thrifting (its been so long!)
4. Have lots of peppermint mochas (I haven't had one yet but I think I'm gonna change that today?)
5. December blog project - I'm gonna blog about this in the next couple days but I've got a great idea to fully appreciate the month of December this year. I can't even believe its the end of October -  November, seriously??

Can you believe it's almost the end of the decade?? I'm super excited to see all the "Best of the decade" lists! Send me the links if you see any! Specifically books and movies. Pictures would be sweet too...

PS - guess what I'm FINALLY doing tonight?? soooo excited



So maybe you're not super into music videos, or maybe you're just living under a rock but if you haven't seen this video, you should watch it now cuz people everywhere are talking about it. I'm not just saying that.

Americanarama - by Hollerado

Amazing right?
Well, I was introduced to them when they came to Sled Island last summer and they came back to Calgary last week! I went to see them with a friend and we had so much fun. They put in such an amazing show that even if you don't know their songs you can still dance and sing along. Plus, when you buy their CD, you love it just as much!! 

They're super awesome guys too. After the concert they just walk into the audience and hang out with the crowd. They're so not pretentious.


Its Keen-wha, I promise

A couple weeks ago I went to a new local restaurant called the Boxwood Cafe. It is the sister restaurant to one of the best restaurants in town - the River Cafe - which I have never been to because it is very expensive! But this new cafe is much more affordable. We went for lunch and tried a number of different dishes.

I think this was the best idea, because other than the sandwiches, none of the dishes seemed like an actual entree. So we sorta made it like tapas where everyone has a bit of each dish. It was soo yummy! Each dish had tons of fancy ingredients (I should be a food critic, I know). We had beet quinoa salad (I am newly in love with quinoa - it is so good), a lentil soup, salad with the most delicious glazed pecans, this amazing bread that had potato chunks in it!! and a porchetta sandwich. It was wonderful. I think they keep changing the menu too, which would entice me to return. You should check it out!


A day in my town...

After all this talk about New York, I'd like to tell you that I do appreciate the town in which I live - Calgary, as well. I hold the belief that there is something good in every city. Some cities you might have to look a little harder for it, but I'm pretty sure it's there. Here are some pictures from a weekend I spent with a few friends exploring Calgary. A friend was visiting and we spent the weekend eating, walking, and talking. Basically my idea of a perfect weekend!

Coffee and a Ginger Snap at Caffe Beano. Cheaper than a Starbucks Latte! (But really, I do like my Starbucks too)

My city. Always under construction.
Just so you know this was a few weeks ago - in the past couple days, we've experienced winter in a big way.

I've never seen such a beautiful Bug.
People often say 'There is nothing to do in Calgary" or ask "What is there to do in Calgary?" Well I think here is a lot to do in Calgary, and even areas that I haven't yet explored! I don't really intend on staying here forever but I'll try to give it a good name while I live here!


Ugg...ly. A warm but cute winter boot guide

It struck me this weekend while doing some "back to winter" shopping, that despite every "What's Hot, What's Not" or "what not to wear" list, Ugg's are still popular. I saw them at every store that sells shoes and some were quite expensive! They're not nice looking and they're not unique! So I decided to help the masses stay warm and look cute by providing options that are alternatives to Uggs. This is also for my sister to prove that there are indeed cute warm boots out there.

1. Cougar boots (Tamarack)- $160 approx
2. Minnetonkas - $50-80 - (lots of styles)
3. Aldo - Litsey - $90.
4.  Steve Madden - $90 - I think these are my favorites of the list!
5. TOMS Botas - $90 - I want these really badly
6. Tretorn fur-lined rubber boot - $60 - fyi - the short rubber boot trend looks awesome

As for the guys - well, I'm really not sure what you're supposed to wear!


New York Highlights

- This is a long one so you might want to make sure you favorite this page and come back when you go to New York yourself! -
When people ask about my trip to New York, these are the things I always mention and would totally recommend -
  • renting a bike in Central Park. It took me two hours to ride completely around the park. I would recommend only doing the southern half if you're not really looking for a workout but I missed the turnoff. The northern part of the park is quite hilly and is more tiring, especially on a bike not made for hills. But it was totally beautiful and a great way to see just how huge this park is! There are tons of bike rental companies; I rented mine from http://www.http//centralparkbicycleshop.com/ - It cost me $8/hour by doing it online - and I kept it for an extra hour and they didn't even charge me for it. Honestly, they weren't the greatest people I've dealt with, but they like to be quick and get you on a bike fast. If you want something, you need to ask for it (helmet, bicycle, map, etc) but they'll gladly give it to you. I didn't have a problem with them. So much fun!

  • The Frick Collection - my favorite museum in NYC. It's the old house of the late Mr. Frick (coolest name ever). Mr Henry Clay Frick used to collect art in his home, and they've now expanded it into a museum. The collection is great - full of European classics including Rembrandt, Turner, Renoir and Velasquez, so there's lots to appreciate there. But my favorite part was actually the house itself. It is so beautiful. Some rooms are decorated in French Revolution style, some have elaborate Oriental rugs, all have beautiful chairs and tables, and other vases and furniture. I got to go during the Pay What You Wish time, but usually the admission is $18 - I'd say its worth it. Such a nice place, and it includes a good audio tour as well.

  • Promises Promises on Broadway. I went to the TKTS discount ticket booth, waited for just an hour and got a seat in the 6th row. It was fabulous. It's based on the screenplay The Apartment, which I had seen before. But this has music and singing and dancing! It was great to see the Mad-Men styles come alive. And there were big name actors in it too! Kristin Chenoweth (pretty much decided to go to this show because of her), as well as Sean Hayes, and Molly Shannon and Tony Goldwyn too. It was so much fun.

  • Central Park in Autumn. I had hoped to see a real Eastern Autumn, and I feel like I experienced still only a taste. Obviously I didn't get to do any pumpkin picking and maple sugaring, but I did see some beautiful colours. Surprisingly (for me) many trees were still green! There were alot that had changed colour too but considering back home there were barely any leaves left on trees, it was rather shocking! Central Park is such a great place to see a season of colour. There are so many trees, and it is seriously so big! It took me nearly two hours to bike around the park! It's amazing

  • High Line Park - I went to this park early (ish) one morning and was able to enjoy it in such a natural and quiet setting. This park only opened in the summer of 2009 so its relatively new, and many New Yorkers haven't even ventured over to see it. But it's so cool! It used to be a railway that they built above street level because it was very dangerous. They stopped using it as a railway and let it grow over. Now they have transformed it into an above street level park which will stretch to a mile and a half when completed (they are still working on section 2.) 
  • The food. Oh, food glorious food. A few years ago when I backpacked around Europe, we were such poor students that we didn't spend very much on food, (until our last stop in Greece where I think we were too sick of bread to eat any more!) I feel like I need to go back now, just to experience that huge part of the culture that I feel I missed out on! So my new travel philosophy is food is worth it. So here's some of the places I ate that I would recommend:
    • Crumbs - oh my gosh the best cupcake ever. I don't even like any other cupcake in comparison
    • Braai - a wonderful South African restaurant. Delicious food and wine and great staff
    • Hale & Hearty - People stop at the Grand Central Terminal just to eat in the dining course. I tried this soup joint and it was delicous. There are at least 15 different kinds a day and you can test before you buy! 
    • Angelica Kitchen - my friend took me here on my first night in the city. It's a vegetarian restaurant and there was NO WAY I could have finished the huge portion of my dragon bowl. We had the famous cornbread, and the best chai tea of my life.
    • Beckett's - on the beautifully quaint cobble-stoned Stone Street, I had the Maryland Crab Cake Sandwich in honour of my friend who came up from Baltimore to spend the day with me, as well as a very good Oktoberfest beer as well
    • New Belgium Brewing Co. - This one isn't actually in New York and it sounds silly because it was actually in the Denver airport - but I'm telling you it was really good!! They have an awesome story of travelling by bike through Europe and developing their own beer recipe. I had the chicken tacos and Fat Tire beer. Very nice for en-route dining!!
    • Cuba - This was part of my food tour and I had the best, most authentic mojito here as well as some delicious empanadas. Would love to come back here for a full meal.
    • ETA - Vivi Bubble Tea - This place in Chinatown restored my faith in bubble tea. I had the strawberry green tea (without milk) with bubbles and it was so delicious. It was made with fresh, real stawberries even! I also had the popcorn chicken - a typical Taiwanese food. This would be perfect to share as it was too much for me! The chicken and the tea was less than $5! Amazing!
Those are just a few of the wonderful things I spent my time doing, seeing and eating while in New York. Have any of you done any of these things?


just what I dreamed

 So, I'm back. From New York. And it was fabulous. I have so many pictures, I've been trying to sort through them while battling a cold I got as soon as I got home. But let. me. tell. you.

I had SUCH a great time!!

I'm sure I'll have several posts about New York, but I'd like to start off with a list of things I love about New York.
  • Brownstone houses are beautiful
  • Excellent food everywhere
  • Doormen everywhere
  • Busy subway system (maybe not the best but so many people use it!)
  • People are way nicer than their reputation!
  • Central Park. obviously.
  • Dogs and babies!! On a Sunday afternoon everyone is out walking with either a dog or a baby
  • Such good museums. yay!!
  • History - around every corner is a claim to fame where someone wrote, spoke, sang, cooked
  • Stores are open 24 hours!! all over the place. seriously this city never sleeps
  • Converse - everyone wears them.
  • The three times I got mistaken for a local. NBD.
  • You're never more than a block away from people and shops (it seems)
  • Everything is represented in New York somehow - all types of people
I got a bunch of pictures printed and I'm going to make a mini book inspired this and this book by Elise.
I'll post all the pictures on Facebook cuz you have to. And I'll do a few more posts here and try to tell some stories.