Things I Love Thursday: Wedded Edition.

We are in the beautiful North Bruce Peninsula this week for a little break after the excitement, stress, and fun of planning, then having our wedding last weekend. I’d like to post a more detailed update about the wedding soon, but for now – I (and JC) had a lovely time. I went in thinking whatever will happen will happen, and no matter what I would be leaving married to an amazing partner, lover, and friend, and that’s what it was all about. Everything else was just icing on a tasty vegan wedding cake. I loved seeing friends and family I hadn’t seen in a while and meeting new people and some of my new family for the first time. Unfortunately it was a tough year for some of my family/friends and several pairs couldn’t make it due to illness, but they were in my thoughts. I’m still left with this lingering wish I had invited more people that were important to me – but didn’t invite because I thought they wouldn’t/couldn’t come, or it wouldn’t work out some how. Because there were some invites I sent out, with no expectation of attendance, where I was pleasantly surprised. I also wish RSVPs and Invitations didn’t get lost. We mailed out about 70-80 envelopes, and it turns out some still haven’t arrived. This doesn’t completely shake my love of the postal system, but I do wonder if my terrible printing had something to do with cards never arriving. I’ll try and…

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Things I Love Thursday on Friday VeganMoFo –

It’s time for another edition of navelgazing Thursday, except it’s happening on Friday. JC Do you know what I realized this week? (Okay, I already know this) I like JC a lot. Which is good, since we’re getting married in a mere day over a month now. He was away for a few days, and while, it was nice that he was still on a similar timezone, and I’m quite content being by myself (albeit sleepless) – it’s really really great to have him back home. I like that things are coming together for the wedding. Reply cards are being returned. By Mail. Which I LOVE. Frankly, I’m just glad at least some people have received invitations. Every time our mailman comes, I’m curious if another little envelope will appear (subliminal message here: Send back your RSVP cards people!!!) It’s actually kind of funny – some people in Warsaw, Poland have gotten their invites – but my parents in Edmonton, Alberta, have not. Of course, this is in no way a slam against Canada Post, though perhaps it is one against my Parents’ Mail Carrier (as others around the country have already gotten theirs.) I’m simply impatient. Wegetarianski Bigos I love that when I went to the big Polish store on roncy today I stumbled upon something new to me (while at the same time being old to me) and vegan. This is the “Sauerkraut Stew,” it’s also known as bigos, aka “Hunters stew”. And traditionally, it contains meat. But…

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Things I Love Thursday – (kinda) Non-Wedding Edition.

Every week (most of the time) I like to post a Things I Love Thursday(TILT) list. Some weeks it goes by the wayside, sometimes I look forward to a navel gazing post about things I like, the week it has been, and other random things I’ve encountered. This is one of the “looking forward to it” weeks. One of my first TILT’s on this blog was actually during VeganMoFo in 2011. It’s nice to be able to look back on memories and moments that brightened my life, and a nice way to check in on how things are going in general. Our wedding is now just a little over a month away. We’ve been meeting with dressmakers, tailors, caterers and event space folks, sending out invitations, booking cakes, and attempting to connect with photographers and florists and the other usual weddingy things people do. It’s a flurry of excitement and nervousness. And a healthy dose of tediousness – I could pretend the wedding planning process is 100% fun, but it’s not.There are a lot of hard choices to make, or easy choices, sometimes you have to be stubborn, and hold your ground, sometimes you have to find a compromise. I’ve spent a lot of time crying over this process, but I’m happy to say that most of those tears were spilled feeling absolute joy. I’m crying over traditions, new, old, and created and since it’s a little over a month away, things are feeling very real, and very soon. We…

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Things I Love Thursday – Home Sweet Home

In mid July, JC and I took possession on a new house, but with all the travelling we’ve been up to we haven’t really had the opportunity to live in it. In fact, as someone recently pointed out to me, since we’ve  “moved” I have spent more time away from this house than living in it. Time to change that! So, in addition to missing our sweet little kitties, I missed the house too. Even briefly, it already feels like home. With its nice red door and ivy covered brick exterior walls, for some reason it still surprises me that we live here and it is ours. Most of all, I’m just happy that everything just seemed to fall in to place when we found it. It’s one of those unlikely Toronto stories, which sellers are always afraid of. One single offer. And it was ours. Sure there are still bits and pieces we need to fix up, and I’m looking forward to digging up most of the yard and planting herbs and vegetables for our neighbourhood raccoons to enjoy (partially kidding – but I’m sure they’ll be wrecking stuff as soon as it’s there.) It still feels like we’re house sitting for someone else, but at the same time, I’ve realize what a comfort it is to be here. This is home, and I appreciate it. Even if we still don’t have internet. Or only intermittent hot water. But really… let’s not talk about that. We’ll have those in September.…

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Things I Love Thursday: The Big Apple.

So it’s Thursday, and I’m still in New York City. I don’t know what it is about this city, but it’s always got me feeling introspective. Maybe because it was part of the first big transformative grand adventure I went on by myself, maybe it’s that fast paced life that I feel part of now, maybe it’s because I haven’t had enough pretzels, I don’t know. A common theme for me every week (whether I post a TILT or not) is that I feel grateful for almost everything that has transpired over the last few years. If you had asked me 10 years ago, where I thought I would be, I don’t know if I would have had such a positive answer. Life hasn’t always been easy, but I think the harder parts of the past have made me appreciate all the good good things all that much more. We’re staying in a beautiful condo in Manhattan overlooking the river (a view I love) and with a glimpse of Central Park. Officially we’re catsitting, but really, I have come to the conclusion that all vacations are better when I can borrow a cat (i.e., it’s not really cat sitting, it’s cat borrowing). This is Gizmo (an action shot) When we were in Las Vegas I especially missed our cats, and this time is no different, it’s just a bit easier with another cat around to annoy us. I miss Kes and Emmie, but I know they’re in good hands with cat sitter…

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Things I Love Thursday – On Friday – I’m on a Train.

I’m on a train to NYC (magic of internet!) Since returning home from Las Vegas, the last few days have been a frenzy of activity, where we got a few things taken care of for the new house, amongst other things. But most of that was really time spent waiting for installers (that didn’t show up), repair persons (that didn’t actually fix anything), delivery folks (that brought us a nice new bed frame!) and cat sitters (that were lovely). So, a little bit of good, a little bit of bad. Vegan MoFo What I’m really excited about is that VeganMoFo registration has opened up, and you might want to join up if you haven’t yet. I’ve had a lot of fun in past years, and I like how a lot of people have done themes for the month, and since I’m getting married in October, I’ve opted to do an entire month of wedding themed posts in addition to other stuff I feel like posting that month. Hopefully people can make use of some of our planning experience. The Big Apple Now were heading to NYC, and, other than just being happy to be heading down there for a little while, I’m also pretty thrilled that’ll I’ll get to check out the Vegan Shop Up while we’re in the area. (It’s happening tomorrow!) Vegan Shop Up Deets Saturday, August 10th, 12- 6pm Pine Box Rock Shop 12 Grattan St. Bushwich, Bk And it’s even free… until you want to eat…

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Things I Love Thursday – Taking a moment.

This week has been wet and wild in Toronto. We got the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain in the span of a few hours, which led to flooding, power outages, traffic delays,  and a lot of property damage. There is an underpass near our house that was completely flooded, as you can see the picture below. There were many other’s like it. JC was on one side of this underpass, and I was on the other. And not to be dramatic, because we were very minimally impacted by this, but as this was happening it was hard to know what was really going on or what the weather would be like in a few hours. There was thunder and lightening, and we lost power for a few hours, and it just wouldn’t stop raining. I think the situation in Calgary was very much on the collective consciousness, especially since it was so recent. But the rain stopped, and everyone started cleaning up. Sadly there were lots of people without power, some people were trapped on Go Buses or Subways for several hours, or had flooding in their basements. I’m thankful that our experience was comparatively easy, but my thoughts go out to those that weren’t so lucky, and hope that things are getting a bit closer to normal. Most of all, I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse and that things are getting straightened up again. Moving I’m not sure if I like this, but I think I do.…

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Things I Love Thursday on Friday: Dufferin Grove Farmers Market, Brixton Grill, Lavender, Chocolate.

One of my favourite things to do on a Thursday is to try and make it to the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market. Yesterday was one of those hot muggy days. It’s a feeling anyone that’s been to Toronto in the summer would have experienced. When I looked out the window, from my air conditioned bubble, it seemed grey. Maybe even cool. But all that changed the moment I walked out the door. Bam, here’s the weather. Hot enough for you? P.S. FYI There is also humidity. Of course, unlike many, I happen to really like this kind of weather. Coming from an extremely dry province, I almost feel like I don’t have to moisturize here. I can breathe through my nose with ease, and I love walking through the thick fog of summer. I might not be in the majority on this one, but I’m happy – especially because I’m also lucky enough to have air conditioning if I really need to escape. It was nice to take a moment and wander through the Market yesterday. I picked up JC’s first taste of Brixton Grill – you know, the delicious vegan BBQ stand. They’ve always got four options, sometimes a special, and I like how they always have a visual representation of their stuff available for people to order.

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Things I Love Thursday – Vicarious trips to Japan. #TILT

JC is in Japan right now (for work), so for the last few days he’s been on the other side of the world, and I have been in Toronto. While I would have loved to go too (and wish I had,) I had agreed to cat sit for a friend, we’re in the middle of making plans for our new home, and of course someone has to tend to Kes & Emmie, & a bunch of other excuses like money and meetings and projects and all that usual boring day-to-day stuff. View Vegan in Japan – Customized for my favourite human in a larger map Before he left I put together a tiny list of vegan friendly places for him to potentially visit around his hotel. I’d been given the impression from almost everyone that I asked online that it was difficult or impossible to find vegan food in Japan, and thought that seemed a little strange. And also thought… “I used to hear the same thing about Alberta.” Which PrairieVegan has proven isn’t true!

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Things I Love Thursday – WEFC community supported Orchards, Green is the New Red, Vegan English Toffee

Some weeks, writing a TILT is a trial. Some weeks, I don’t know what to say. The basic “things” I love area always pretty static – JC, Emmie, Kes, Earl Grey Tea. These things are probably not all on the same plane, but they are constant sources of joy in varying degrees. We’re in the middle of moving. Which means that our world is upside down. It’s oddly bittersweet to be saying good bye to the place I’ve called home for a couple of years. But it’s very exciting to be moving to a new home that will really be OURS. I want to talk about the amazing weekend we had, because it was wonderful, but I’ll get to that tomorrow. Enough navel gazing. On with the TILT.

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