Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I had plans. Lots of plans. For lots of organizing and lots of writing and lots of reading. Reading is about all I got done this month. So I made a list tonight. And maybe I'll actually get around to some of that writing (or blogging) in February...we'll see I guess...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Some More

38.7 - 38.11 Eat at ten new restaurants or coffee shops

Yum yum...the last five for this challenge. Which of course doesn't mean I'm never going to go to a new-to-me restaurant ever again. I might just do that later on today...

New Oxford Public House

Alex and I decided we were going on a real date for our anniversary this year, so we got a sitter for J and decided to go to dinner and then a concert. But we wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been before for dinner. I got a bunch of suggestions from a bunch of people and we eventually settled on one my boss suggested, the New Oxford Public House in Yaletown.

new oxford public house

Alex made a reservation and thank goodness he did because much to our surprise, we chose to go to Yaletown in the middle of Taste of Yaletown.

taste of yaletown

We decided to go with the set menu - it was choice of an appetizer, main and dessert and for $10 more it included a cocktail or beer pairing with each course as well. So, we went with the $35 dollar option. We both had the same appetizer - a yummy soup (the other choice was a salad and it was cold and wet outside, so soup it was). Alex had pasta and I had steak and we shared the two desserts. Alex chose the beer pairings and I had the cocktails and it was all so good.

strawberry cocktail

We quite enjoyed our meals...if we weren't heading off to a concert, I would have been happy to hang out there all night! Check out the ceiling...

ceiling bikes

Saturday's Fish & Chips

We met Alex's family for Alex's mom's favourite, fish and chips at Saturday's in Surrey.

saturdays fish and chips

J ordered salmon - I've never seen salmon on a fish and chips menu before, but it was good and she ate the whole thing much to the amazement of her uncle, cousin and grandparents (salmon happens to be her favourite food).


The fish was tasty - not too much batter - the chips were perfect. It was good. It's too bad it's so far from home ... or we'd be there more often.The booths were huge - all seven of us fit in one booth...

ice cream

J would love it too...she loved the dessert Papa ordered for her...and I'm sure she'd like to have one every night!

BoatHouse Kitsilano

No pictures of this one...we were here for a work function. We started with some of the yummiest crab cakes I have ever had and then I had the chicken and prawn bowl with green curry. It was good. I love seafood, but that day I really just wanted chicken strips. Hello, boring, but the curry was scrumptious and I was more than  happy that I chose something far more interesting than chicken strips!

I didn't think I'd ever been to the BoatHouse before and I know for sure that I've never been to the one at Kits Beach, but as I wandered around their website, I realized that years ago, when I was a student, my aunt came to town and took me to the one in Richmond. And after however many months of cafeteria food, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

Luke's Corner Bar & Kitchen

A few days after Christmas, my mom and dad showed up at our place and kicked us out. They took J for lunch and sent us to find lunch elsewhere. We decided to walk up Granville and try somewhere new to us. We knew if we couldn't find the right place for a post-Christmas lunch, we there were a few standbys along there to fall back on.

We settled on Luke's (which is where Red Door was). We were starving so we started with a prawn appetizer that was super tasty.


Alex and I ended up ordering the same juicy bacon cheeseburger. It was soooo good. Alex ordered the shoestring fries and I kept stealing them - they were perfect! No over cooked or limp ones in this batch.

burger with shoestring fries

I ordered sweet potato fries that Alex kept stealing, so I guess we're even! Alex's came with homemade ketchup which he traded for my chipotle mayo. I loved the ketchup. And if you know me, you probably know that I am not a condiment fan, but I ate all of the ketchup. I might just have to try my hand at making ketchup next tomato season!

burger with sweet potato fries

Our only complaint was some kind of inconsistent service. We think we might have arrived right at shift change as the servers all seemed to switch a few minutes after we arrived. When someone finally came to take our drink (and by then food) order, the server looked surprised to see anyone seated at our table...they seemed to sort it out eventually and our last (of three) servers was awesome. We'll go back and give the service another chance for sure - but the food was awesome, no question!

Boulangerie la Parisienne - Yaletown Cafe

We were in Yaletown last weekend to get J's haircut and of course she was starving afterwards, so we went across the street to this little café. J wasn't so sure about it until she saw this:


So many choice and she didn't know what to choose - blueberries, raspberries, mixed berries. I'm certain she would have had one of each if we'd let her.


Underneath the berries was cream and custard and the pastry was coated in chocolate. Yummy.

pain au chocolat

I had an almond pain au chocolat. I tried really hard to imagine myself in Paris, but it didn't quite work. Pastries were tasty though! Thanks Rebecca for suggesting it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

38.3 - 38.6 Eat at ten new restaurants or coffee shops

After a slowish start, I've actually surpassed my goal of visiting ten new (to me) restaurants or coffee shops and I'm only about half way into the 101 in 1001 challenge. It would seem that the little kerfuffle that came along with my review of a local coffee shop put me off updating the rest of the new places we visited.

Here are the first four, starting back in April.

Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel


The first time we visited, it was for my sisters' big birthday back in April. I think we've been two or three more times since then. I love the Malay Shrimp Omelette. Yum. Now I want one. I think that's the only breakfast item I've ordered.

The last time we went was for drinks and appetizers and dessert after the Wizard of Oz. It was later in the evening and the kitchen was about to close, but the spring rolls were sooooo good. Alex had some kind of dessert and loved it. They brought J a hot chocolate and made sure it was just lukewarm.

They were awesome with J - they have a selection of high chairs and booster seats and a good kids' menu.

We'll be back for sure. Alex and I are planning to go there for a grown up dinner one night some time soon...

Pacifico Pizzeria
pacifico pizzeria

J and I came here with my mom one night at the end of July. I thought I took a picture of the brick pizza oven, but it looks like the only thing I managed to get a (not blurry) picture of was my gnocchi. Everything we had was delicious - my mom's food came out on a long platter (it might have been some kind of ravioli? squash maybe?) and J had a yummy pizza. When the meal came, I figured there was no way I'd eat all of it, but I polished it off. We also had dessert(s)...I can't remember what they were or how many we had, but J definitely had ice cream!

This restaurant is right by the movie theatre on Burrard and would be a great place to visit before (or after) a movie. I'm looking forward to going back with Alex who has a great appreciation for Italian food. (note: I just checked out the yelp/urbanspoon and they were super mixed, particularly not liking the menu changes this fall...maybe we'll rethink going back? We'll see...)


Way back in August, my parents very kindly took J to Kelowna with them for a little holiday. That meant I got to do things I'd done before I became a mommy. Things like go out for dinner after work and not get a babysitter and not have to choose somewhere kid friendly and not have to worry about what time I got home at.


and I met at Nuba for dinner. I'd never been to this particular Nuba before - I'd been to the one at Cambie and Hastings, but I had no idea there was one on 3rd near Main.


The food was delicious! I had (if I'm remembering correctly) falafels and most likely hummus and (I know I'm remembering this correctly) grapefruit juice. I loved the cinder block walls. The atmosphere was great. I was really early because my time-and-distance-estimating-skills-when-driving-a-personal-motor-vehicle are a bit sketchy at times, but no one seemed to mind that I pulled out my book while I waited for Heather (I've had people give me dirty looks in a restaurant for reading before...)

Transylvania Flavour

I did NOT want to go this restaurant. I was going out with a group of people and someone else was in charge of choosing the restaurant (sorry no pictures). I had walked by this place often when we lived in the ghetto pink palace and noticed it, but not really noticed it.

Before we went, I checked out the menu and I still didn't want to go there. I was so not impressed and I was totally craving something else. I just didn't know what.

Again, due to my super awesome time-and-distance-estimating-skills-when-driving-a-personal-motor-vehicle I was quite early. The hostess figured out which table was ours - there was only one reservation that size and it must have been listed under the name Snuffleupagus because I tried the names of pretty much everyone in the party and she didn't have any of them. She finally asked me how big our party was and said, well, there's only one that size, so it must be yours. I never did find out what name it was made under.

Anyway. She was very cheerful and friendly and came over to check on me a few times before the rest of the gang arrived. By then I'd sort of come out of my funk and decided to order chicken paprikash.

It was so good.

The chicken was falling off the bone, the crisped beans were so good and the gnocchi was delicious. I'd never had gnocchi like that before. I think it was cooked and then pan fried and it was divine. There was a lot of food - I took some home for Alex and he said it was great the next day too.

The person next to me had the perogies and a second appetizer (I can't remember which one) and she said they were awesome. The food all looked so good.

I didn't end up having dessert, but the vie en vert cake (lemon and basil meringue cake) got rave reviews.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh hello 2012, yes I am a bit behind the times...

Well, I was going to do a 2012 resolutions goals post, but I didn't get around to it. And then I thought, meh, why can't I do it now, 11 days into 2012? I normally don't make resolutions because I figure if I want to set a goal or make a change, I may as well start now...I don't have to wait until January 1, because sometimes that's a long wait (e.g. 355 days from now if I thought up something brilliant today)

So what will 2012 hold for me? I have no idea. But I hope I can take it in stride. In the past, the way 2011 ended would have had me living life as a raging insomniac with an upset stomach. But this time it didn't and I'd like to see that continue this year. Nothing was particularly horrible. Mostly it was stuff that I couldn't change and that would sort itself out on its own and until that happened, I just had to live with it one way or another.

That sounds cryptic.

It isn't meant to be.

Let's see. I can't really give a good example, but here's something that happened before with my job that is similar but different to my job situation in December. Let's pretend that's what's happening now.

There are things happening in a number of departments, some closely associated with mine, some not remotely associated with mine, that likely will impact the nature of my job and quite possibly my job description in the next 3-6 months. I can't do anything to change those things and the result of a change in one department can easily cause something in another department to do a 180. So, in the next 3-6 months, my job will

(a) stay the same
(b) have a huge change in job description and no change in salary
(c) have a huge change in job description and a change in salary
(d) stay the same but I'll be in a different department
(e) disappear

In a perfect world the best outcome would be (c), followed by (a), but at this point I can't do anything other than prepare for the worst possible outcome and then put it out of my mind. Because otherwise I'll go crazy.

So I've done that. I updated my resume (which I probably should every 6 months anyway) and I go to work every day like I usually do. And I'm okay with that. A few years ago, I'd be all stressed out over it and it would be making me miserable.

I also said no to bunch of Christmas stuff. I decided we didn't need to have cookies. Because I didn't have time for them. I love doing the Christmas baking and most of the time find it quite enjoyable, but when it becomes a rush to beat the clock and I end up staying up too late, well, it sucks. So I didn't bake this year. And do you know what? Christmas was awesome! I didn't even notice the missing baking and if anyone else noticed, they didn't say anything.

So what are my goals for 2012?

1. Exercise a minimum of twice a week with Georgia
2. Go to yoga regularly (once a week at work) and try to do yoga at least 4 days a week
3. Stick to our weekly menu plan - I can't believe how much bigger our grocery bill is when we don't stick to it - not necessarily because of eating out either
4. Sort out the storage issue
5. Get moving on our plan to move (this is not an imminent move - it's a good 6 months away, but we figure it could take up to 24 months...)
6. Hone my cribbage skills in preparation for SACO 2012
7. Finish up the list of tasks from 52 weeks of organizing

Some of those are big goals - like #5 - that have multiple little steps on the route to accomplishment. Some are smaller - like #1 - #3 - and I just have to make time to do them regularly.

So 2012, here I come...I'm going to do my best to not fret about things that are out of my control and do my best to stay focused on small steps to reach bigger goals.