toronto, on/life update

This post is quite overdue. I’ve been trying to sit down and write about the experiences I’ve had this summer—from graduation, a short trip to Toronto with my family, driving across the country to move back in with my family, and now, starting to work full-time in something that could potentially become a career. There has just been SO much! So I’m going to start from the beginning.



Once the school term was finished, I spent my time working full time and volunteering. A lot of time spent with friends, enjoying the weather and the patios, as well as keeping a pretty full schedule with my usual commitments. In June, my parents flew out to Ottawa to attend my convocation. I graduated!!! I received my Bachelor’s degree and damn… it felt good. 5 years of hard work and a piece of paper with my name on it. Overall though, it felt good to have what is essentially a closing ceremony of my time at uOttawa and undergrad. My degree is now in a giant frame hanging on the wall. While some of this stuff may be cheesy for some (and trust me, the wall of my certificates and what not in my parents basement is sorta cheesy and hilarious to me!), I feel immensely proud for getting this degree and finishing school. It feels good.

During my parents visit to Ottawa, we decided to extend their visit and spent a week in Toronto. A short little trip that included walking around the city, going to the Royal Ontario Museum, eating, drinking and my favourite part—going to the Toronto Zoo! While there is a zoo in Calgary that I have been to many times in my life, the highlight of the Toronto Zoo was the pandas! Pandas are one of my favourite animals, and it felt pretty surreal to get to see them in real life. It seemed like they could just be people walking around in panda suits. I was so stoked to see them, and it felt like that could have been more of a highlight than walking the stage… ha!



After I returned to Ottawa, it was more of the same summer for me. Although it felt more as if I was tying up loose ends—seeing friends, and prepping for my big move. Well, that’s all for now! It was nice to write up a little update, and next time I’ll be sharing more about my cross country drive.

-g

seattle, wa


I've got a major crush on the Pacific Northwest. I went to Seattle for the first time in 2011 with my mama on a little weekend expedition when I was still living in Victoria, BC. I've been back three times now, and I still can not get enough. This summer, my boyfriend and I headed out on a road trip to both Seattle and Portland in late August, and we were not disappointed.
Percy's & Co Space Needle
^^^ We brunched at Percy's and Co., and had the most amazing rum sticky bun.
The Negroni Experiment at Canon
^^^ Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium. This is the Negroni Experiment, which is three variations on the negroni. The boyfriend went with a Skull and Blackberries, which was made at the table and super cool.
Pike Place MarketAnalog Coffee
^^^ Obligatory Pike Place photo, plus Analog Coffee.
Skillet Diner, Take 1 Slate Coffee
^^^ We made two breakfast stops at Skillet Diner, and I got the same thing both times. That place is damn good. This is also my second time visiting Slate, albeit a year apart. It's my favourite stop for coffee in Seattle.
Bandera Mountain
Bandera Mountain Hot Cakes
^^^ Bandera Mountain. We were not prepared for this hike at all, but it was well worth it for the views. We had dessert and a drink at Hot Cakes after dinner at Delancey. We opted for the smoked chocolate whiskey cake, which was quite possibly one of the best things I've ever had in my mouth. I've gotta learn how to recreate that one.
Pike Place Market
EMP Museum The London Plane
^^^ The EMP Museum for a visit to the Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix exhibits, plus breakfast pre-hike at The London Plane. We both went with the biscuit and friend egg with bacon, mustard greens, and salt, as seen below.
The London Plane The London Plane
A few of our food favourites:

Revel. My second time back and still quite possibly my favourite meal of all time. Last year I got to experience it as a vegetarian and it was amazing, but the meat dishes are even better. Get one from every category and don't stinch on dessert.

Slate Coffee. The staff are knowledgeable as hell and also so friendly. We had the best iced coffee there, and I took a bag of the stuff home that I've been enjoying for weeks.

The Whale Wins. If the interiors of this place doesn't win your heart, the food certainly will. We had some pretty unreal roasted carrots here.

Skillet Diner. Like I said, we went back twice in the span of five days. Check out their Instagram for some major food porn.

Canon Whiskey & Bitters Emporium. If fancy ass drinks are your thing, Canon is the place for you. All we could keep saying is, "I wish we had a place like this in Calgary!"

- s

weekend links 20

Cherry galette
We had a little "catching-up since Christmas" dinner last night with Gabi, myself, and two other friends. I love to host these things, and I always meticulously plan out an extensive menu. I love planning everything, so this sort of entertaining style works for me. Sort of. When it comes down to it, I usually end up spending the evening rushing around, making sure that the courses are being put out, tending to drinks, and overall not getting to spend a whole lot of time mingling with guests. My plan ended up falling through, and our meal was a lot more free-form than it usually is. Although at first when I realized this, I was a bit stressed out and unsure of what to do, in the end it worked out better than ever and I had the opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation. The cherry galette, pictured above, was a last-ditch effort to throw together a dessert an hour ahead of guests arriving. All in all, the meal turned out great, and it was nice to be part of the catch-up conversation for a change.

Popsicles to keep cool in the heat.
7 things you need to stop doing to be more productive.
The importance of making time for friends.
Turning jealousy into motivation.
A new to me blog that I'm really loving.

- s
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Serenading cattle with this excellent trombone version of Royals.
Hats, hats and more hats (and home decor).
15 Ways to Beat Anxiety.
Chris Pratt RAPS!
Pursue everything.

-g  
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