Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Beautiful Day

We enjoyed another day exploring and discovering new places.  We started out at Orange Groves Winery. They make all of their wines from tropical fruits using no grapes at all.  Quite a difference from what I am used to.  We had a tour of their facilities and then had a tasting where we got to sample a number of their wines.

Although we found the wines too sweet for our taste, it was interesting to see.  Once we were done there, we took a short drive along the Gulf and then walked around Pass-a-Grille exploring the scenery and the shops.

Relaxing tonight with pizza and champagne.


Quote of The Day

Good Morning everyone! As you may notice, there are some aesthetic changes being made on our blog. We are moving things around and trying to see what looks best so please, bear with us and if you have any suggestions feel free to share them with us! Also, from now on I would like to post a 'Quote of The Day' on days when I find a good one. I'm not really a 'what's the meaning of life' kind of person, but I do like a good quote and think that the right one can set a positive tone for the day. So for our first quote of the day, let's go with the much-loved serenity prayer.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!
With Love,

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mother Nature Knows How to Take Your Breath Away: Part 2

I love being outside when the weather is nice so being down south right now, I refuse to spend my days inside.  Today we went to a nature preserve.

It was my first time exploring swamp forest area. It was so peaceful.

I was a little nervous when we ran into our friend.  But I had been wanting to see an alligator and so I was happy we finally did.

It was a lovely day.


Case of The Mondays

Heyooo! So my day is almost over and even though it went by pretty quickly, I think we can all agree that Mondays are most definitely not our favorite day of the week. By the afternoon on Monday, I am usually tired, cranky and just want to be out of the office and get home. I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way, so I decided to share a video that is sure to cheer you up featuring none other than the one and only Liz Lemon. Gotta love 'er! So hang in there; the end is near :)

Courtesy of NBC

With Love,

P.S. I hate when people say 'A case of the Mondays' so I apologize for that...

A Week of Dinners

Good Monday morning everyone! I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend and are having a good day as well. As I've mentioned before, one of the many benefits of having an Italian boyfriend is that he is a phenomenal cook. Not only is he good at cooking, but he actually enjoys cooking and trying new things. Being a bit of a picky eater, I may stiffle his creativity just a tad, but I've been making some changes recently and find I'm actually learning to love trying new things. Though we eat out quite a bit with family and friends, E and I almost never go out because we actually prefer to stay in and cook a nice meal just the two of us. I was never much of a cook myself, but I am actually proud of myself and how good my cooking skills are getting. This past week I actually tried, for the first time, to make lasagna completely from scratch. Though it didn't turn out perfect, E ate his whole piece and promised that it was delicious. Coming from him, this is a true complement because, from what I hear, his sister makes the best lasagna he has ever tasted. Talk about setting the bar high :) One of my New Year's Resolutions was to try new foods as well as eat healthier and fresher dinners... so here's a week in our apartment seen through dinners.

Cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef and sauteed vegetables. You could replace the beef with any meat of your choice or, for a vegetarian option, just fill it with the grilled vegetables. I have to say, I was a little hesitant to try them at first... but they were actually amazing. After they are made, you then let them simmer in a tomato and vegetable sauce. E made the entire thing from scratch and since the recipe yielded enough for 5 people, we froze some of them for future lunches or dinners.

The prep work for my lasagna. I found there were too many steps in the preparation for a dinner on a work night, but would love to try it again on a weekend when I am not as rushed. I made everything, including the white sauce (beshamel) from scratch. Even the tomato sauce. It was worth it.

The nights when I go to Yoga, or the gym after work tend to be more hectic. By the time I get home, I'm starving and hardly have time to heat something up (we don't own a microwave, so everything gets heated up in the oven or on the stove), so I was happy last week to come home to E cooking away. He made an amazing chicken dinner, complete with sauteed mushrooms, steamed Edamame, and roasted potatoes. It was delicious, and exactly what I wanted after a long day.

We always go out for family dinner on Friday nights, so on Thursday, we opted for a lighter meal consisting mainly of different salads. To make things more colorful, I made a few different salads instead of one large one. It was a nice change, and a good option since I don't like to eat meat every night.

Preparing the 'Caprese Salad' with nice, big, ripe tomatoes and a delicious fresh Buffalo Mozarella.

To complement the other salad, I made a Green Salad with iceburg lettuce, cucumbers and Edamame. It was nice, light, fresh and delicious.

The colors of Italy :)

All this talk of food is making me hungry, so I'm off to heat up my homemade chicken soup left over from yesterday.

Buon Appetito!
With Love,

Mother Nature Knows How To Take Your Breath Away Best - Part 1

We walked along the beach yesterday.
I wanted to see the sunset and I am glad I did because it was beautiful.
We weren't the only ones there to enjoy it.  At the beach side restaurant, people crowded around to enjoy the site with us.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Love Where You Live

If you read my blog posts at all, then you know a few things about me. You probably know that I live in Montreal, that I love fashion, that I have an Italian boyfriend, that I am a hopeless romantic, and that I hate winter... well, I'm trying my best to phase that last one out. I'm trying to stop with the complaining and learn to love where I live. They say that "Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories" so, let's make us some warm memories! This year, I'm trying my best to put winter in it's place; show it that I'm the boss and it can't ruin my mood anymore. As B says 'You have to say IN YOUR FACE WINTER, and do your best to enjoy it'. Well, B, I'm trying to do just that. The sun was shinning today and despite the harsh wind, it was beautiful out so I decided to go for a walk in the park with E to show winter that I can learn to love it... as long as it tries to be kind to me as well :)

This is the park just a few blocks from our apartment.  It was pretty quiet today. 

E was so happy to get out. I hate the cold, so usually I only last about 5 minutes. 

E and I, having a nice, relaxing walk through the park... until...

Why is it that guys can never just have a nice, calm, romantic walk through the park? They always have to do something to turn it into a competition...

This used to be a beautiful, big tree that all the kids would climb all over in the summer. It was rotten, and they had to cut it down. This is all that is left of it. I hope they plant a new one.

Jacket and leggings here are from Zara, my muff is Mad Men for Banana Republic and was a gift from T for Christmas and I love it... They laughed and said I would only wear it on nights out to the theater, but I showed them :).  My boots are Ralph Lauren, you can find them here.

I love a good jumping picture... and thought this was a great idea. Until...

The ground was a little harder than I thought it was going to be.. Sad times :(

It was a lot icier than I thought it was going to be... lucky my boots have good grip.

After we were done taking pictures in the park, we walked through to the end where the public library is. Inside the same building as the library, there is a small, free, city botanical gardens. I had never been before, though you can see the flowers a little from the outside, so E and I decided to go in and take a look around.

Well, I'm glad we did... the flowers were beautiful and really brightened up my day. Who says you can't find flowers in Montreal in January? You just have to know where to look.

The colors and flowers were absolutely stunning. It may have been the sun shinning in the windows, or the breathtaking colors we rarely see in nature during the cold winter months... but something in the botanical gardens set off a spark in me. I realized, that all this time, I'd been hiding from winter instead of embracing it. I promised that this year would be thee year that I stop complaining about winter, and love where I live. Well, I'm getting there, slowly, and I'm having a pretty darn good time along the way. 

So here's to winter, and finding beauty in the everyday. 

With Love,

Things That Make Me Happy

Good Sunday afternoon everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday, doing things you love and spending it with loved ones. As a real estate broker, my weekends are usually very hectic and busy. Well, my day yesterday was beyond hectic; literally jam-packed with work, but today was actually quite quiet. I actually slept past 8, stayed in bed longer than I should have, and had time to make a delicious home-made lunch of focaccia and chicken noodle soup. E and I are going for a nice walk to the park because the sun is shinning and it isn't so cold out there. So I'm off for now and will be back later with some pictures from our walk. Before I go out, here are some things that make me happy, especially on quiet Sunday Mornings.

Reuniting with loved ones. I went out for dinner with two of my best girlies, E and A, and we had such a lovely time. E has been my best friend for, and I can't believe I'm old enough to say this... 20 years. Honestly, she has been with me my entire life and it feels like just yesterday we were fighting over toys in the sandbox. Love... Speaking of love, we went to my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world: Bottega Pizzaria in Little Italy. I have mentioned it before, and it did not disappoint last night. So, until we meet again Bottega xoxo. 

Fluffy slippers that keep my feet warm and remind me of my dad because he bought them for me a on a native reserve near my grandmother's house in Ontario. 

To up the comfort level, I paired said slippers with my comfiest grey roots sweatpants and a big cup of coffee. Good morning :)

Mimosas made with leftover champagne from the boys night E had last night. 

Having sugary kids cereal with my mimosa instead of a fancy breakfast, because it makes me feel young. Plus, you may not know this, but it's the real breakfast of champions.

Mini jams in glass jars at breakfast that make me feel classy... and just a little bit british.

Text conversations with best friends/long lost sisters who live out of town and who I miss dearly. Don't worry nice, we will be together soon... and it there will be cuddles, and wine :) 

Alright I must go, the smell of focaccia is filling my apartment, and I don't want it to burn.

Have a great Sunday.
With Love,