Another Pregnancy Post. Somewhere in the Second Trimester

Bath time

Well, as some of you know, I’m pregnant, and if you want to read about the fun of the First Trimester, it’s over here. I’ve set out to be honest in these pregnancy related posts (and every post), because I feel like I was so surprised by a lot of the things that happened during this time, so if I can be helpful to anyone out there, or make someone feel a little less alone, then I’m happy. I also want to remember this time in my life, because I know things are going to get even busier, and even more frenetic and it’s nice to be able to go back in time and read about past experiences with fresh eyes. Pregnancy is not all sunshine and roses. In fact… come to think of it, I’ve only gotten roses once, and they were unrelated to my pregnancy. I’m somewhere in the second trimester and that’s the time when things are supposed to get easier and energy is supposed to return, and you get an increase in appetite, and you can do more things, and just end up getting bigger along with your developing fetus. Well. You might have noticed I…

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Weekend in Detroit

Michigo Deep Dish Pizza

I’ve needed to get out of town. Somewhere new(ish). Somewhere interesting. But still something close enough to drive to on the weekend. So we decided to visit Detroit last weekend. When we left Toronto it was windy and rainy, as we continued on the highway it got worse and worse. Visibility was low, you could see large commercial trucks weave into adjoining lanes with nearly every gust of strong winds. It was no joke. When we pulled into the Ingersoll En Route, it seemed like our trip was over. It was windy, raining heavily, and a lot of cars didn’t seem to be driving with consideration for the weather.  We grabbed a couple of teas and dry toasted everything bagels from Tim Hortons (yes – they’re vegan [most of the time]) and decided to spend the night somewhere close by, maybe Ingersoll, maybe London. Probably not Detroit. At least not that night. I booked us a night at a hotel in London and we started driving there. The road seemed a little calmer, and a little less hectic. Traffic wasn’t as tight. When we got to the hotel, a computer glitch meant we hadn’t been booked in that night, but a week later.…

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Simple Pickle Soup – Zupa Ogórkowa bez śmietany

Pickle Soup - Zupa Ogorkowa

In the middle of the day last night I had this craving for Pickle soup. I started thinking about it, and then could not wait to get home and make it. JC and I stopped in to a grocery store to pick up a few white potatoes and a carrot (because I knew we had a bunch of onions and pickles at home), and I was ready to get cooking. Making this soup felt like I was running on some kind of deep genetic pickle soup knowledge when I got into the kitchen, because of course, zupa ogórkowa (ZOO-pah, Oh-goorr-Koh-Vah), is a thing I’ve eaten since I was a kid. I’m sure I watched my mom make it when I was growing up. Maybe even helped peel or chop potatoes (maybe.) This recipe is simple and perfect for preparing after a long day. Not too many ingredients, and doesn’t take too much time. It could conceivably serve four people, but the two of us ate all of it.   Ingredients: 3 small chopped yellow onions 2 small chopped rinsed leeks a splash of oil 1 medium sized carrot 4-5 diced potatoes, you can peel them if you want to (I didn’t)…

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Brunch at Cosmic Treats, Toronto

Cosmic Treats

This weekend we finally checked out Brunch at Cosmic Treats. I haven’t been in there since they opened, but JC brought me a few of their baked goods shortly after they opened. and I liked ’em. But we decided to actually go and eat inside since they are so much more than a candy and ice cream shop. Kensington showed its friendly face to me in the street with a random stranger bullying me on the sidewalk. After that, I was ready to just go home and stay home for the day or week. But instead we walked into to Wanda’s Pie in the Sky and drank soy lattes while I pretended to read books for about two hours before Cosmic Treats opened for brunch. Cosmic Treats opens at 11:30 am, and we stood there like hungry cats in the rain (except there was no rain, and you should really keep your cats indoors at all times anyway) until a line up of other hungry people formed behind us. I considered scratching at the door, but resisted. They let us sit a bit sooner than they were ready, and the restaurant filled up steadily after the door opened. But frankly, I…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Alberta – Waterton Lakes National Park

Rainbow Mountain

I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this helpful map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag to peek at some of our past summer adventures sightseeing and eating delicious vegan food across Canada and the USA. After we left Head-Smashed-in Buffalo heritage site and Vulcan nerdville, we drove on the hour or so south to Waterton Lakes National Park. It was cloudy and blustery in the afternoon when we left Calgary, countering the very hot day we’d had the day before, and the wind was escalating as we moved southward – it turned out that the day we were there was the windiest day of the entire year. I get a bit nervous in National Parks during storm conditions, but mostly we were trying to get there before sundown (which shouldn’t have been hard since it was still one of the longer days – sunset was nearly 10pm officially) but the clouds made it less obvious. I spent a nonzero amount of time during the trip checking out sunrise and sundown levels, especially when we were planning on setting up camp through our travels. Conveniently,…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Vulcan, Alberta


I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this helpful map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag to peek at some of our past summer adventures sightseeing and eating delicious vegan food across Canada and the USA. After we left Calgary, we had two stops in mind before heading over to Waterton Lakes National Park. First of all, we had to go to Vulcan, Alberta. The town was actually named by a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 1900’s, after the roman god of fire – but since then, they’ve capitalized on it’s name with Trekkie tourism. (since for those not in the know – Vulcan is the planet where vulcans are from, an extraterrestrial humanoid species that tries to live by reason and logic, rather than emotion, in the Star Trek universe.) We didn’t get there on a particularly busy day, a Wednesday afternoon, but the Vulcan Visitors Centre was open and we got to wander around and take pictures in the museum. The staff seemed pretty bored, just generally tired of weirdos like us, they were nice enough as we wandered around…

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Sudbury, Ontario – Tucos Taco Lounge

TUcos Tacos

When we travel, we often travel for food. Our anniversary was a couple of weeks ago and we went and celebrated the day of with a fancy tasting menu dinner at Alo restaurant. But I think we were both feeling a little flighty, I know I was, and I wanted a change of scenery for a couple of days. Two years ago, JC and I celebrated our not-honeymoon in a cottage up in Tobermory and the Bruce Peninsula. It was easy to fall in love with the area, when we were both basking in our love for one another, but it’s hard not to when the leaves are beautiful shocks of red, gold, and orange – mixed in with evergreens, and fresh crisp air. So we answered the call of nature, but decided to spend it in the Sudbury area. If Ancient Cedars Cafe had been open – we probably would have found a way to pass through Tobermory again, but we had the good sense to check if they’d be open in advance – nope. Closed for the Season as of the week before. Someday we’ll make it out there in time. Someday. We arrived on Saturday afternoon after an easy 5…

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Alo Restaurant – Anniversaries with a Vegan Tasting Menu

Alo - Vegan Pain au Lait with Sunflower butter

Last week JC and I went to Alo Restaurant to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and the other exciting things going on in our lives: a promotion, a new and growing business, my growing belly (p.s. I’m pregnant), and so many wonderful little things that have added up over the last couple of years. It’s nice to be here in this place in life, and that seems like something worth celebrating. I like tasting menus because they tend to be indulgent, not in quantity, but in terms of showcasing a chef’s pride and work. Plus it’s fun to splurge on a fun meal and experience (Oh and The Process, The Process!), and I’m woefully indecisive so it’s perfect for me to have a variety of thoughtfully prepared dishes come out one by one (as long as they’re vegan). JC had had read a review in the Globe and Mail earlier this month that mentioned “vegan tasting menu available with 24hrs notice,” so he sprang into action, and thoughtfully made reservations for our anniversary while I was still wondering if we should do anything at all. Alo Restaurant has been open since sometime in July, and from the reviews I read before heading in, has been a wonderful and spectacular…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Calgary, The Coup, and Phil and Sebastian.

Tempeh Shawarma

I’m continuing my series of posts from our Summer Roadtrip in 2014, you can see some of the past & present posts on this helpful map on Pinterest, or just click on the Roadtrip 2014 tag After Drumheller, we drove on to Calgary, with a brief stop at an incredibly windy power station along the way. The weather was stormy, but it was easy to see why there were so many wind turbines out in the fields. Our first stop was The Coup – a lacto-ovo-vegetarian restaurant that’s been serving meatless meals in Calgary since 2004. It was a frequent enough stop for me, when I still lived in Edmonton, and it’s changed and evolved a bit over time, but has maintained a very similar vibe. It was nice to pop in and see it again with JC. We got a seat right away, I’m sure coming in on a Tuesday evening helped, and started with some cocktails and the pseudo sushi. Which was yam, green onion, marinated tofu, with pear and ginger rolled up in organic brown rice, served with a spicy soy sauce. But they have something new on the menu since we were there that’s pretty fantastic looking – something called…

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Our Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary Visit

Esther Farm Sanctuary

This weekend we went and visited Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary in Campbellville, Ontario. It’s only about an hour and a half west of Toronto, and the drive is quite beautiful (especially because you get to go near the escarpment, and because all the trees are painted with red and gold and green.) On the way, we stopped in to grab a coffee at Flying Monkey Bike Shop and Coffee Bar. Which is this great little place on the side of the road that is both bike shop AND coffee bar. They have soy milk for espresso drinks and wifi if you want to stop in before your Esther visit (or for any other reason.) You need to preregister for a tour at Happily Ever Esther and pay/donate $10 per person for admission, which is pretty much the standard rate around Ontario for sanctuaries that charge for tours. Worth it and more. We drove up to the address, and across a narrow bridge, still not quite sure if we were at the right place (our cell phone service doesn’t extend out there either) – but once we started seeing Fairy Pig cards and “beware of attack pig” on the fence, we…

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