Things I Love Thursday – Being home and the idea of home. #TILT

Time flies when you’re having fun, and this week back in Toronto has completely flown by. I enjoyed my time in Edmonton greatly, but it’s so good to be back home. I’ve been thinking a lot about “Home” and what that means lately, maybe because I was working on writing wedding vows, maybe because at some point I’ve put roots in Toronto, and maybe, it’s because, after a few months of searching, JC and I found a house and fell in love with it. I’ve always felt very transient. Couchsurfing and hostels and vagabonding around the world  seemed like the ideal way to exist, working from “home” or rather “wherever I had my laptop” allowed me to do this for a few years, but then… here I am. With a desktop computer & a netbook. It’s almost symbolic of my inner thoughts, I’ve got something static, and also something for running around with (and for some increased symbolism… I’ve started to use my desktop computer more.) Recently though, maybe since getting a little older, and finding a nice human to spend time with, I’ve been feeling okay with staying put for long stretches of time. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is here. JC and I found a house in a neighbourhood we love, on a quiet street, close to a giant park, and a giant lake.  But now we wait. We wait to sell the place we live now, we wait to move into the new…

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Things I love Thursday on Friday – Edmonton Edition. Earths General Store, The River Valley, Yoga, Food.

There are so many things I love, and so many things I could be talking about, but this week, I’m relishing my time in Edmonton. It’s been a little under a year since my last visit, and at some point last month I realized I missed my family & friends, and it was time for a visit. So there has been food, and fun, and lots of catching up. I’ve really enjoyed it. Everything is novel, and I’m a tourist in my hometown. I’m comparing notes, I’m remembering old haunts, and realizing they are completely gone. I’m discovering new and interesting places, and old and interesting places, and exploring the city through a whole new lens.

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Things I Love Thursday – Edible City, Defiant Daughters. Coffee. The Ghosts in Our Machine.

Oh look, another long TILT post. Bon Jour! I’m in the process of developing a morning routine that involves going to the gym and reading (on the elliptical trainer or stair climber.) I find it strange to read at home (vs. in a cafe) or in places other than a streetcar, subway, or bus on my way to some other destination since somewhere along the line, I stopped looking at reading as a get away, and more of a time filler when for some reason or another it wasn’t feasible to be doing something else. Lately I’ve been attempting to shift my thinking away from reading as a waste of time (and I know it isn’t), and more towards reading for the pleasure of reading or learning something new (that’s not on the internet). Curling up with some new (usually-non fiction) book still doesn’t really happen, when I’m at home, but reading at the gym has already helped me polish off several books in a short span of time, and I think I’m getting back into the swing of things. Today’s TILT: The Edible City Defiant Daughters Book Club Ghosts in Our Machine Coffee

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Things I love Thursday – Co-ops. SNL Veganville. Pomdeter. Artisinal vegan cheese.

You know those times when you have a great idea as you’re falling asleep and think – whoa, I should really write this down so I don’t forget it… but then you wake up the next morning not having written it down, remembering only that you had a great idea, but not the idea itself? That’s me most of the time. This morning, I remembered this magical idea, and actually started the process towards making it happen. So at the top of the Things I love on Thursday, it’s that. I’m sitting in Tori’s Bakeshop, writing today’s TILT. It’s one of the dairy-free, egg-free, meat-free bakeries in the city, and I think that’s pretty swell. I was here the day they opened just over a year ago (they celebrated their 1 year anniversary on Saturday), and I’m happy to say that they appear to be thriving. Sure I had to take a streetcar for 45 minutes to get out of my nice cozy Trinity-Niagara/Parkdale neighbourhood cocoon, but that’s not so bad. Especially since reading on the streetcar is just another one of those things I love to do anyway (in theory – but rarely in practice.) Try reading on the Queen streetcar at rush hour and tell me how it goes. From experience – it’s not so great actually. I had one of the Bakeshop’s now famous Coconut-Lettuce-Tomato sandwiches, again, and every time I eat it, I’m transformed back in time to the first time I ate the vegan “B”LT…

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Things I love Thursday (on Friday) and a Sunshine Award from Sarina at Earthgiven Kitchen.

The lovely Sarina from Earthgiven nominated me for a Sunshine award last week, and it happens to be Things I love Thursday day so it seemed perfect to combine the two posts together. I’ve already written a little blogger love note to Sarina after she sent me a bunch of treats for Vegan Food Swap back in August. Everything I said still stands, I still really love her blog, and her seemly endless positive outlook on life. Rules: If you are nominated you must include the link in a blog, linking to the person/blog that nominated you. You must answer some questions and nominate 10 fellow bloggers and link their blogs in your post. Let the people you have nominated know that you have nominated them! The questions: 1. Who is your favorite philosopher OR your favourite activist? I really like the work that Connect the Dots, Food Empowerment Project, and the Vegan Police are doing. I think their focus on connecting human, animal, worker, class, poverty, health, race, gender, and politics together is important to me and others. 2. What is your favorite number OR your favourite cookbook? Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry is easily my favourite cookbook. It’s also one of the ones that I had a paper copy of… and then it mysteriously disappeared! Thank goodness for Kobo’s and e-books. 3. What is your favorite animal? Any variety of cat. I’m also especially fond of cows. I also really like JC (what… humans are animals too.) 4. What…

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Things I love Thursday – on Friday: Basil (Ocimum L.), a learning experience.

This is a mini ode to basil. This time of year, I think about basil a lot. I love the way it smells, the flavour, the richness. It helps that it’s everywhere. I picked up a giant bunch of basil at the Dufferin Grove Farmers Market last week, and I’ve been thinking about it since. The scent of basil inspires so many vivid memories. All of them positive. First of all, here’s some science: the olfactory nerve is located very close to the amygdala (connected to the experience and memory of emotion) and it’s also very close to the hippocampus (associated with memory). So upon smelling basil, it’s no surprise I’m taken back through the history of every delicious thing I’ve eaten with basil in it. I’m also transported back in time to a moment I stood over a field of purple and sweet basil at the Horticulture Field on my university campus. That’s the moment I look back on, where I discovered that fresh produce was really really amazing, and how powerful it can be for an otherwise be a disconnected urbanite, taking part in growing amazing and delicious plants for my own sustenance, and in August/September/October, it was possible. I stood in a big plot of basil, weeding, and also picking. To the right, a plot of bright orange tomatoes, next to a row of juicy red cherry tomatoes, to the left, another plot of basil – purple this time. In working on our little experimental farm, I…

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Things I like Thursday – Home (Toronto) #TILT

Well, after yesterday’s reminiscences I needed a list of postive happy things that I love more than ever. I’m still thinking about Jasper and our visit to Edmonton last week. It’s hard to believe that it was such a short trip, because we packed a lot into it. I managed to see most of my friends, and spend some time with family, and catch one of my favourite events (Heritage Days). I’m still writing recaps of the fun, but the one thing I really want to talk about is coming home. Coming home to Toronto that is.  In such a short time, this place has become something really special to me. Coming back to Emmie Cat and our bed, and our kitchen, and the big box left over from JC’s Birthday BBQ present, it felt different. As if I had picked up what I needed from Edmonton (both literally and metaphorically) and now I’m back to where I belong. Our flight was late, and we were standing around extra late at the airport picking up our bags. But the moment we walked off the plane, and into the hangar I was hit with this intense wave of humidity, and I knew I was back. Other stuff:

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Things I Love Thursday (on Friday) – BBQs, Birthday, and some other B’s (not really)

On Wednesday I successfully put together the BBQ I ordered for JC’s birthday (which was on Saturday). It was delivered in a giant 70lbs box, and upon opening it, I was immediately transported to less happy times, putting together Swedish furniture. But luckily, it was really easy, and the instructions and pieces made logical sense, so putting it together was a breeze. The major selling points for this BBQ for me were the specialized veggie grilling basket and pizza stone. Grillingwise, things turned out quite well. Yesterday we grilled up the giant zucchini we got from Fresh City Farms on Wednesday, leftover eggplant, and some Gardein Burgers on it. It was Grilltacular. Other things I’m loving and excited about: – I’m posting this on Friday, and I don’t care. – Next week JC and I will be in Edmonton and I’m so looking forward to it. I miss my friends and family, I miss the familiar places, and I’m looking forward to being a tourist in my hometown (AND especially looking forward to showing JC around town!) – Vegan Food swap – always. – Using my technical skills to help local (and not-so-local) organizations do cool stuff. – Farmers Markets. This week it was Tuesday’s Trinity Bellwoods (for Vegan Empanadas from Bus Kitchen and Niagara Peaches) and Thursday’s Dufferin Grove Farmers Market for Spring Rolls from Earth and City. – Creative baked goods. – Hot and Spicy Festival at the Harbourfront Centre this weekend. – Toronto Beer Festival next week. Vegan…

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Things I love Thursday – It’s hot edition

The past 7 days have been interesting, they’ve been hard, they’ve been exciting, they’ve been nerve wracking, they’ve been inspiring, and they’ve been fun. It’s not often that I get to go on a roller coaster of emotions in both my personal and professional life, but I’m often better off for it. Decisions that are hard to make, are worth making. So what does all that cryptic navel gazing mean? Not a heck of a lot. But things I love Thursday is still exciting and it’s a list that’s not hard to make at all. I love fancy face junk. I’ll admit it, I like fancy skincare products. The older I get, the more I experiment with them. Maybe I’m searching for the holy grail, maybe the options for really good vegan friendly cream have increased, maybe it’s both. I’ve never had much excitement going into a Sephora in Canada. We seem to be missing huge chunks of product lines that would be really exciting and vegan friendly. But this time around I stumbled into Boscia, and I’m really happy about it. A little over a month ago I went to the Spoke Club for an Eco Beauty Market by Environmental Defense Canada. I was disappointed by the lack of vegan friendly makeup (or any make up really,) but that’s something I am accustomed to at “natural” events. What I’m especially tired of, is the label of “100% Vegan” while still using beeswax (cera alba.) (also, why honey and bee…

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Things I love Thursday – Bike edition

Today, I fell off my bike. Thrown off into the street by street car tracks, literally turning onto the street I live on. This is common. I’ve gotten the impression that this happens to people often enough that it’s known at the hospital. When JC fell off his bike around this time of year, and broke various bones, we were at the hospital and when he said “I fell off my bike…” the first question was just “street car tracks?” So yeah. I wasn’t surprised as I was falling. But I was pretty mad. Shaw street isn’t busy, but it was busy when it happened. It took me a few seconds to get up, and get off the street. Why is this unpleasant event on my Things I Love Thursday post? On my way down I screamed several expletives at the top of my lungs and it felt amazing. As far as I can tell I haven’t broken anything but some skin and ripped a pair of jeans. Someone came out of their condo and asked if I needed help. I’m okay. Just a few tears, a big swollen knee, and a slightly bruised ego. Also helmets are essential and I’m glad I was wearing one. I’m also thankful that I’m okay. I absolutely loved biking to and from work today. Incidentally it’s the first time I’ve done this. Yesterday I picked up my new bike from Urbane Cyclist, my first non-bixi Toronto bike. There is this amazing quality to…

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