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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Quick Post – Superfood Eateries – Vegan on Adelaide (Toronto)

I’ll admit, I went to Superfood Eateries last week by accident. It just happened to be there on my walk home, and I just happened to be craving a bit of a pick-me-up. Serendipity really. The bright green sandwich board outside caught my eye, and there they were speaking my language (I like emphatic vegan wording, but “plant-based” works too), so I walked in and checked it out. One of the people inside was super helpful and friendly, and he gave me a run down of their products. He mentioned that they had a full menu on their website, and were rotating options to see what people liked the most. I sampled, then purchased the DiplomatiC – a cold-pressed juice blend of grapefruit, orange, and spirulina. Its sour citrusy goodness really hit the spot as I sat outside in the sun. While there is a small seating area inside Superfood Eateries, it was far too beautiful a day to stay inside. Other than colourful cold-pressed juices there are also a variety of To-Go options like raw pizza, and pad thai, as well as dehydrated snacks like kale chips, sweet potato chips, & other assorted magic. I also picked up a mini Pad Thai to-go bowl. Gluten-free. It’s got carrots, zucchini, red peppers, a gingery dressing, kelp noodles, nuts, and full of flavour. Prices were about the same as you’d expect from any raw-food take away place (not-inexpensive/moderate) but they do occasionally have things on sale for 30% off. They have…

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May Vegan Food Swap from the Antique Appetite

Another month, another lovely swap, this time from the Antique Appetite, aka Jessica. So, funny story, I had matched Ms. Antique Appetite up to receive a package from Devon, and I had matched myself to send to Devon, and since we live in the tiny city of Toronto, we all ended up meeting up to exchange our swaps. Fine, this story isn’t funny at all, you just had to be there. I met Devon at Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar to do the exchange. Sadie`s delicious grapefruit juice also happens to be totally perfect on a hot day, so win, win. Jessica is a few buildings over, we wandered over, and exchange treats again. Devon brought a cute pink box, with a bow, the swap I gave her was in a brown bloom cookie co paper bag. Devon wins. Jessica also wins, because the bag she gave me was covered in polka dots (anyone that’s seen me in the last few weeks has probably noticed a dot trend.) I went home to gleefully look at the contents of my present. Inside I found:

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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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Edmonton Trip 2013 – Home at last.

It was oddly bittersweet leaving Edmonton today. My parents and some friends are still there, but my home is now firmly planted in Toronto. Maybe it’s because I’m writing this on the plane shortly after take off, but I’m feeling really sentimental. I miss my family, but I’m looking forward to being “home.” Where home is now JC, our kitties, the foster cats, and the amazing & lovely community that I’ve found in Toronto and the surrounding area. As an added bonus, my WestJet flight has satellite TV, streaming YYZ CBC and I’m watching CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada from the air with game seven of the Maple Leafs Vs. Boston Bruins game. My love of the Edmonton Oilers has been replaced by a new found Toronto patriotism. Maple Leaf Hockey – the little team that usually can’t, but damn if they don’t have a lot of heart. I’ll admit to a pretty serious love of hockey, but on the plus side, I’m not the only one yelling at the tiny screen on the plane. I’m looking forward to really recapping the trip, and talking about some of the awesome vegan food options that have appeared or strengthened over the last few years, from old favourites like Padmanadi and Bloom Cookie Co, to Newer Arrivals like Veggie Garden and Clever Rabbit. Vegan Nights at non-vegan restaurants and hippie market shopping from places like Earth’s General Store and Planet Organic. My family and I took walks through Edmonton’s beautiful river valley,…

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April Vegan Food Swap – Happy 1st Swapaversary from Jackie at the Short Stack Foodie

It’s been 1 year since the little food swap that could started up. I’ve been introduced to so many awesome and lovely people, bloggers, vegans, and foodies all over Canada. I know that people have started up blogs because of the swap, they’ve made friends, and real life connections because of the swap, and I love it. It runs on participation, and keeps going because of lovely vegans and veg-curious folks taking time every month to find vegan treats for someone that might be a complete stranger. I love the connections that keep happening, and I hope they just keep growing. One thing that I’d like to really push for for this year in Vegan Food Swap is more participation from areas that might not be major centers. We’ve got people from a few small towns, but I know there are vegans in almost every community, and I’d love to see them participate too. The thing I learned when living in Saskatoon (admittedly, not a truly small community, but still – at the time it was less vegan friendly than it is now) is that you can find completely plant-based awesomeness everywhere. it might not have “vegan” stamped on it, but there it is – at farmers markets, and corner stores, and in your own kitchen. If you live in a small town, or feel isolated as a vegan in your community, please reach out, and/or join in. Honestly, it can be tough being “the only one” and I can…

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Things I love Thursday – Patio Weather, Polish Vegan Kids Books, Nonsense, Kittens, Toronto in the Spring, Events

We’ve had a few brief slivers of time in the past two weeks where it was sunny and beautiful outside. Torontonians seem uplifted from the clouds and the cold and every street becomes full of pedestrians soaking up as much of the sun as possible. I was no different. In between meetings around the city I basked in the sunshine as much as possible. Patio Weather

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Toronto – Review – Bi Bim Bap (Vegan Friendly Korean food on Eglinton West)

In my recent and unquenchable search for vegan friendly kimchi in Toronto, I found a review on The Star that made us visit Bi Bim Bap for dinner that very evening. Ironically, the one thing I was searching for – the kimchi – has fish in it, but they have a variety of other interesting and vegan friendly options. EDIT: The kitchen is seafood free now, so both the miso and the kimchi are vegan. Other things I should update this post with include the kimchi fries which are straight up delicious I’ve only had vegan Bib Bim Bap (from Franchia in NYC), but my friends have raved about it for years, and I do love beautiful, colourful food. So it was nice to find a spot in Toronto, that had an understanding of what a vegan diet was and had it written clearly on the menu. (p.s. they also have wifi.) We started with the tofu with a spicy soy glaze. This was my stonebowl – The Tofu Stone Bowl, Tofu was lightly flowered and fried crispy. I got mine with white rice, and besides tofu it was topped with radish, spinach, bean sprouts, julienned carrots, cucumber, burdock, and zucchini, And on top of this collection – there were little slivers of dried seaweed and sesame seeds. I topped it all off with their Mild Hot sauce – the Original Hot GoChuJang. Which for reference – wasn’t that hot on the first bite, but did progressively build up as I ate…

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