A Nice Lunch Out.

You know when you’re grocery shopping and you just want to get the job done so you’re doing your thing but, there are people casually strolling through the aisles looking at everything and blocking you at every effing turn?

Annoying right?!

I am that annoying person.

Sorry.

(I’m not sorry)

In my defense I only do it at certain stores and one of those stores happens to be: Italian Centre Shop.

This place is a small chain of locally owned- Edmonton, AB- and operated grocery stores that sell Italian products AND…they carry stuff from around the world.

The world!

It’s the coolest place ever. I almost never go unless I have a good stack of bills because I will BUY ALL THE THINGS and I don’t want lack of cash to limit any of my choices. There are so many choices! They have an amazing deli, bakery and café. They bring in locally sourced items and have specials and deals and events and are active in the community.

Prices are reasonable, products are interesting and of quality, service is friendly and efficient. It’s basically one of my favourite places. Ever!

I’ve been a fan for almost 9 years and while we usually grab sandwiches from the café to go, we’ve never actually ordered a full meal and sat down for it.

We – the Hubs and I -did just that on a cold day in February.

Our location of choice? The southside on 104a Street. The lunch? Soup and sandwich.

It was the daily special and if memory serves me, it was only 9.98. That golden bowl of loveliness was Chicken & Rice and that deceptively looking simple sandwich was … I can’t remember. Sorry! It had sausage, fresh mozzarella , artichokes, a pepper spread … (CALABRESE! That’s the name of the sandwich. Calabrese! ) and lettuce. I could eat 900 of those things…

The soup was thick with rice, veggies and real chicken. The broth was rich and fragrant with just enough seasoning to be satisfyingly salty but not overdone. It was juuuust right. The sandwich had a nice mix of creamy, crunchy, salty, smooth, spiciness that seems to get tastier and tastier with each bite. I could have done without the lettuce. I found it added nothing really and was annoying to bite through. This is probably a personal thing! Some people like it, some people don’t … I couldn’t be bothered to pull it out though so it obviously wasn’t horrible.

ANYhoo, it was a great meal at an affordable price in a busy little neighbourhood café . It would benefit your stomach and soul to stop in sometime. And if you just want to shop, I promise to try and be more mindful of my surroundings!

Crafts, Racing, Dessert, Gardening and Memes.

Happy Monday!

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’m excited for today! It seems like it’s been AGES since I wrote up a Monday post. Plus, I just adore Mondays.

How was your weekend? What did you get up to?

Mine started on Friday when I took the “day off” and did my very own thing. I went to the Spring Craft Sale at the Butterdome.

WOW, what an event! There were so many quality artisans selling their wares and I bought some nice things for Lune- I’ll showcase them as I open them soon – I had a great time, chatting with the vendors and popping in and out of the stalls, in awe of all the talent in this world.

On Saturday, I puttered around the house and spent the afternoon watching The Kentucky Derby,

THAT was a whole THING! What an ending…yikes! The Hubs and I went out for dessert and spent the night watching Netflix.

And then on Sunday, I enjoyed a lazy morning , drinking coffee and playing online Mahjong, and spent the afternoon, weeding, interspersed with a grandbaby visit! ❤ I saw two worms *shudder AND my asparagus is poking up! Woot Woot! I thought it’d never grow. It had me worried…
but worry no more!

Today, I’ll be out weeding again and I can’t wait! A day spent outside just feels so good. Like a day fully lived.

Here are our Monday Memes:

I’m a little late with this one but still…it has me laughing like a lunatic!

Haaahaaahaaa!

This one appeals to the introvert in me :

Teehee

And lastly, some silly fun!

I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. I’ve got an event to attend with friends and our weather is supposed to start warming up too. Maybe I’ll see my own worker bees 🙂

I hope your Monday is just the ginchiest! ❤

Heart Shaped Yums

Boston Pizza had an event on the 14th, for Valentine’s Day. Buy any small or medium pizza ( heart shaped or not ) and one dollar from each pizza would be donated to a local children’s charity.

I like pizza. I like excuses to go out for lunch in the middle of the week. I like celebrating love with my Hubby. I like money going to kids.

We ordered the Viva Italia. The description from their website:

Arrabbiata pizza sauce, pizza mozzarella, Genoa salami, chopped bacon, spicy Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, goat cheese, freshly grated Parmesan and a pesto drizzle.

What we got:

How did it taste?

Damn good! Even with that slightly dark crust.

I’m not a huge Boston Pizza fan. I find the food to be … pretty basic. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s just me. Having said that, I do have a favourite go to whenever the Hubs wants to eat there – Jambalaya Fettucine- and whenever I order it, it is consistently good. That is HUGE for me. So right away the place gets props for that.

This pizza brings my list from one to two. It was amazing! Lots of ingredients, spread evenly over the crust. The overall taste was salty-in a good way-briny, creamy, spicy, and savoury. Not one ingredient overpowered the other. Each one was distinct and everything worked so well together. I even liked the pesto drizzle. I HATE pesto but it was a STAR on this pie. I would order this again. Hell, I’m craving more now!

We didnt eat the whole pie-I wanted to!- because we were saving room for dessert! One dollar from each sale of their Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake goes to a local children’s charity, too. From their site:

Dark chocolate sponge cake layered with milk chocolate and white chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream and a chocolate coin.


The verdict. Good if not plain. There was nothing wrong with it and nothing overly spectacular either. That didn’t stop me from stuffing my face 🙂

Our service was fast, friendly and efficient. The food was good. It was a great way to spend the lunch hour, that’s for sure.

And because it was Valentine’s Day, I bring you this:

One neatly folded napkin -my husband. And one crumpled messy one-mine.

This makes me laugh because a. my Hubs pointed it out to me, which means he’s gathering insight which is unusual for him. b. this is a direct view inside each of our brains-him neat and organized, me- messy and all over the place c. despite this huge difference and despite some pretty major troubles in our 20 odd year marriage, we’re still here together, living and working and growing through it all ❤

The Best of January.

Ha Ha Ha. Goodbye January and Helloooooo February!

How did you make out? I am alive and well, and grateful for the month behind me and the days ahead of me!

Let’s do a recap!

BEST THING I ATE: Sweet- Chocolate Wacky Cake. Savoury- Hub’s Lettuce Wrap. I ate a half pound of ground beef. Oooops!

BEST THING I DRANK: A perfect cup of spiced chai. I have finally mastered the recipe. Oh yes I have!

BEST OUTING: Taking baby OV out to the Farmer’s Market. Why? I don’t know. It was just good to be out with our boy.

PERSONAL VICTORY: Hearing my husband speaking about me with pride, telling his mum about how brave I am as a traveller. ❤

COOLEST MEMORY: A house full of family, good food, shot gunning’ with my girls in the kitchen and enjoying my grandbabies. Everyone was civil and relaxed. There were lots of laughs, no meanness just… love and fun.

BEST BOOKS:

BEST THING I LEARNED: To better prepare for the looooooong days of January. Have things planned. Don’t just sit around and whine, do something!

BEST WAY I LOVED MYSELF: See above. And see below!

I finally have my grey hair! It’s coming in white and silver and I’ve been wanting the whole process to just hurry up. I adore grey hair and was excited to get this. It took two years but my stylist finally got me to a place where we could just ash it out. The brown is still in there but not as noticeable. I am finally a grey haired sea witch 😉


I’M MOST PROUD OF: Making it through the month just fine. And resolving to do different next year.

SOMETHING UNEXPECTED: The length of this month! And my reaction to it.

SOMETHING UNCERTAIN: Everything. Specifically, will I find a job this month and will I care if I do or don’t ?

WHAT AM I LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE MONTH AHEAD: EVERYTHING! Valentine’s Day, Justin Timberlake, a long weekend, a trip? maybe, book club, my witchy group, reading, reading, reading, family dinner.

What are you looking forward this month? Happy Friday and Happy February!

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Book Brag January- *19

Good Goddess! 19 Books?! I amaze myself.

January is the LONGEST month. Its no wonder I guess. I’ve got 15% of my reading challenge completed. Woot-woot! It’s been effortless thus far. Not having a job will enable that 😉

Who Killed Mom by Steve Burgess was excellent! A Canadian memoir and real love letter. It was tender, funny. clever and wise. One of the BEST memoirs I’ve ever read.

Secret Daughter by shilpi somaya gowda was a real nice read. The story moved quickly and was thought provoking and engaging.

In Search of Buddha’s Daughters by Christine Toomey, was excellent! These women are so inspiring! I was interested the whole way through and found this book to be well written and highly interesting.

How To Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach was another excellent one. A lady after my own heart, Jenny gives us not only really cool recipes but also inspiration to celebrate ALL THE THINGS. I’m totally down with that. A lot of cute stories and a lot of good recipes to try.

Educated by Tara Westover gives homeschoolers the world over a very bad name, ha ha ha. Did I ever tell you I homeschooled my kids? Well, I did. And none of the awful crap that went down in her family, went down in mine. I just feel the need to put that out there, lol. This book was hard to read. But interesting. People are weird. And sometimes, not in a good way. Capably written if not triggering for child abuse. Be you warned, if that sort of thing gets to you.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a quick and easy read on an awful topic. A novel by Heather Morris, it’s based on a true life story. It inspired me to start looking up my own Jewish grandmother.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs was interesting. Steve Jobs was a total dick. I tried to find sympathy for him because he seemed so obviously disturbed and he was human, after all BUT I’m afraid I failed in that department. Just like he failed with his daughter. Ugh. I really felt for the author. She writes honestly about her relationship with her famous father, her mother herself and life growing up between the two.

Aware by Daniel J. Siegal, MD had such great potential. I was excited to read it because I’m a meditator. Alas, I found it dry, repetitive and hard to follow. There is a lot of excellent information here, its just hard to get at.

Let Us Compare by Leonard Cohen was a gift from my hubs. Which is really the only reason I finished this one. Ha ha. I found it hard to follow at times and that frustrated me. It was also a tad pretentious. I stuck it out and found some beauty too so maybe this is a book one needs to go over a few times to fully understand and absorb.

Making Friends with Death by Laura Pritchett was a book I suggested my public library buy. YOU’RE WELCOME EDMONTON! It was SO good! One of the best books on death I’ve read to date. And I’ve read A LOT on the subject. Part work book, part … I don’t even know, this book was practical and heart felt, touching on everyone’s greatest fears in such an honest, friendly, supportive, non judgemental way. I will be adding this one to my bookshelf!

Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford was alright. A quick read. There was detailed killing of animals throughout so if that is not your jam, be forewarned. This one made me grateful for my creature comforts and in awe of what us humans can do.

A Different Kind of Normal by Cathy Lamb was a no for me. Overly simplistic and totally unbelievable. The story idea was great. It was just the delivery that failed me.

Here’s a tale about another dick, My Life with Mr. S by George Jacobs and William Stadiem is about the author’s life working as Frank Sinatra’s valet. People! People, people, people. With their egos and their insecurities. Oy! It was a quick read, capably written. I grew tired of reading about spoiled jerks after not too long.

The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman is a book that needed to be written. It passes back and forth between the kidnapping of Sally Horner and the writing of the book, Lolita. (which I have not, nor will read) It was capably written. I found myself grossed out throughout much of it. Why are people so awful?

I loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti and boy did she ever! If you like endless spaghetti recipes, this book by Giulia Melucci is just the thing for you! Recipes for pasta and other things are interwoven through tales of relationships gone wrong. This book reminded me how awful dating is, ha ha.

Epic Hikes of the World by Lonely Planet was not wrong. This book is huge and epic. A shit ton of hikes all over the world to awe and inspire you.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson came my way because of the Netflix series. It’s supposed to be SO scary so I thought I’d better read the book first! I enjoyed it. It disturbed me, not because it was scary per se but because it reminded me of how I get every Autumn with my S.A.D. Is it really depression over taking me or am I being over taken by something otherworldly….who knows! A quick read that still stands.

I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell started out strong for me and has the honour of the only book on death I’ve read, that scared me. We’re dodging death left, right and centre and it was scary to realize that and see it, in action! A good read.

Oh. MY. Heart. I am in love with this book. I don’t even know where to start. and I honestly feel like my words, wont come close to doing it justice. The characters are so well developed and real. The story will break your heart and then give it back to you. My life is better for reading this one.

What are you reading these days?