Category Archives: Whirl-Wind Weekends

Night Nation Run: Toronto

Last Saturday night I participated in a FUN RUN…it was so much FUN! Way back in February….I saw that the Night Nation was coming to Toronto…it was cold and dark so I thought why not sign up for a fun run? Then bring on the actual day… Saturday was a HOT and Muggy night…but there was a nice warm breeze…but it was SO HOT.

Nation Night Run_0001

At the last minute the friend I was suppose to go with texted me and told me she was sick! So I put a FaceBook status out there asking if any friends would like to come join me in 5 1/2 hours to run a race? My friend Michelle…figured out childcare and drove down from Barrie to join me! (Thanks to Michelle’s Hubby for rearranging his day… so they could swap off the child care duties.)
Nation Night Run_0002

So what is a Night Nation Run?

The Night Nation Run is the world’s 1st Running Music Festival. A 5K musical voyage filled with live music, lights, lasers, and celebration for the lover of Electronic Dance Music. Run, walk, skip or dance your way through this electrifying adventure with music carrying you every step. Your journey will take you through an illuminated racecourse to multiple on course DJ stages, each with its own unique exhilarating party, finishing with an explosive main stage after party featuring top EDM DJ’s and special guest celebrity performers.

We started off with a dance party at the main stage… then started to make our way to the start line!  Michelle and I actually randomly bumped into people we knew… (me from my university days) and Michelle use to run with them before she had babies! (then a random guy in orange photo bombed our selfie!)

Nation Night Run_0006

Michelle kept track of our distance…apparently it was just under 5km… but it was a fun run, so distance didn’t really matter!

Nation Night Run_0003

All the route markers were in ‘miles’…even though we are in Canada and run ‘kilometres’ but…that’s ok! (never did see the 3mile or the finish line marker….there was one, but it was dark by the time we got across the finish line.) Nation Night Run_0004

All over the course there were dj stations to dance, selfie stations for photos…and well just lots of people having fun! I must admit I did run a wee bit…but most of this ‘race’ was walked…with a really great friend!  It was pretty cool to actually get onto Woodbine Race Track…and run where the horses do…. even though some of the tunnels really were pretty ripe… heat + humidity + horse poo = a fast sprint through those tunnels! LOL

Once we got across the finish line it was time for the after party! (Reminder: sometimes your friends will take videos of you, if you hand them your phone and ask them to take a photo…)

Nation Night Run_0005

This is true… I am really enjoying running…but I do RUN for the AFTER party for sure!!!! Thanks again Michelle for joining me…it was fun to party with you!  

I just hope there is a break in some of this heat soon…because I have learned that I don’t enjoy running in the heat and humidity…and I need to keep on running for my next run that’s happening in September!

Making Artisan Bread- Dough for $$$Dough$$$

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0013

Today I ended up doing something I wanted to do for over 4 years!!! My friend Pat started doing Artisan Bread workshops in order to raise awareness and money for Seva Canada.   This was way back in 2012.  I was up in Pangnirtung seeing all Pat’s Facebook posts about making awesome bread in Winnipeg—even though I couldn’t smell it drove me crazy!

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0001

Pat decided to combine her love of baking and teaching by giving something back to people that need the gift of sight. Seva has been working to do this…and a $50 donation can help change someone’s life! It blows my mind that something so simple can totally change a life… anyways.

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0022 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0021

In the fall of 2014 Pat put out a Facebook message to her friends to see if they wanted to donate to help her reach a fundraising goal at that time.  I decided after researching a bit more about Seva it was something I wanted to support so did an online donation.  Pat so far has raised $18, 290  for SEVA by offering workshops! She promised me a bread making workshop the next time I was in WInnipeg… fixed (1 of 1)

I was so excited to join 3 other friends to learn how to make bread.  Pat did not disappoint!! We were Pat’s 58th bread workshop and numbers 211, 212, 213 and 214 that have baked in Pat’s kitchen.

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0004

Pat had pre-made dough to make a seeded oat bread.  She started off with the teaching… how to slash bread, why we need to do that (to let steam escape) and then how to ‘throw’ a loaf into the oven onto the stone… (3 different ways)! At times I felt so overwhelmed with the information…but Pat was there step by step to reassure and help us out!
Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0005

Cloaking the dough was another new term I learned—basically it’s getting handling your dough ball to get all the gluten lines in a row. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0006 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0007 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0008

Perfect dough… now to flatten it out to make Focaccia.  So yummy… or as Pat said, “Pizza dough without the cheese and sauce!” Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0009

Throughout the workshop we all took turns doing different steps of the process.  When it was my turn to ‘cloak’ the dough it was quite the experience.  I was nervous—because you shouldn’t handle the dough too much… and it was too sticky…(I didn’t put enough flour on it). But I got through it…with Pat’s calm help and guidance and ended up with a perfect dough ball. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0010

It was fun when we moved onto the tasting portion of the day!!! OMG-this bread is so yummy… I can’t wait to get back to my own kitchen to make some more bread. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0011

It was an awesome 4 hours of talking and learning… something that was well worth the wait! Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0012

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATED (July 12th):

I thought that the workshop might be the end of my baking journey…but as luck would have it one of my assignments in my classes was to “learn something new”. I talked with Pat and went over to her house to bake in her kitchen again. She was gracious enough to take these photos of me baking a 1lb loaf and an orange-cranberry swirl from the master dough recipe!

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0020

It was so awesome to see that I had remembered a lot of the steps. If I had a question Pat was quick to help out…but for the most part I proved to myself that I could do it!

Making the master bread recipe… 4 ingredients…so easy!

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0018

…this danish dough whisk is awesome… I need to get me one of these bad guys! Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0019

After it’s all mixed up it had to rise for 2 hours in the bucket…then you can bake with it….OR keep it in your fridge…the older the dough is the more ‘sour-dough’ taste it gets!

Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0014

…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… when you have an excellent Bread Mentor and teacher! Once you have the master bread made…you can do so many things with it!
Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0015

The Cranberry-Orange Swirl is such an amazing bread…Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0016

…you just have to add the extra stuff.. then roll it all up, then let it rise for an hour! Then pop it into the oven.
Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0017 Thanks again Pat for your help and opening up your kitchen for me.  You have such a huge heart and I’m so glad I can call you my friend. If you are in Winnipeg and interested in a workshop let me know…I can see if Pat’s available!

Montreal Mayhem: Bagels & Jazz

This past weekend I had a blast visiting family in Montreal.  I went to visit Sarah and Craig and their boys in December of 2009…it was a stop in Montreal on my way back up to Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. However, that wasn’t the last I had visited them…I saw them a few summers ago at the cottage on Haliburton Lake.  I went up to spend a night with them while they were there.

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0014 Needless to say, I was pretty excited to go and spend the weekend with them… and catch up!  I decided to take train from Toronto to Montreal.  Then when I was looking at the ticket prices…it wasn’t that much more to splurge and go ‘business class’.  So I must say, when you travel business you have this fantastic lounge to wait in at Union Station.

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0001…it was a HOT Friday night. I’ve been slowly adjusting to the ‘summer’ temps after my years in the Arctic but honestly am struggling.  Leaving Toronto it was a bit rough for the first 2 hours or so…(until just after Kingston) our train didn’t have any AC. It was a HOT sticky mess…I was so thankful that they got it working as we left Kingston!  It is fun travelling in that first class car–because they feed you…and the food is actually really yummy.
Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0002

I arrived around 10:45pm…and Sarah came to pick me up.  We hurried off to a pub where Craig was playing a gig with one of the jazz bands he is in. (He plays in quite a few bands–one is a corporate band that has done gigs around the world). But tonight it was a gig at a fantastic Irish Pub.  I was so excited to finally see him play live!

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0004Years ago when I was a kid, I remember listening to him practice at the cottage… sometimes my little brother and I would sit outside the window and look into his cottage to watch him play. It was a totally different and amazing experience sitting in an Irish pub listening to him play enjoying an ‘adult’ beverage! This was one of the best parts of my trip to Montreal to FINALLY get him to see him play. Craig you are so talented…thanks for sharing your gift of music with me! Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0003When you have a household of 5 boys…there’s always something interesting going on in… (I didn’t have any set plans for the weekend other than to hang out and catch up with everyone…sometimes the best visits and adventures happen without any plans!–and this trip I totally wasn’t disappointed).

On Saturday, I ended up going to see Alec play hockey…it was fun to see him play! It was totally easy to spot him with his yellow helmet! When I visited before he was too young to play but saw his older brothers play instead.
Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0005

Overall the theme of the weekend was studying… Noah, Caleb and Liam…all were studying for their finals.  Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0013

So while Sarah stayed home to help make sure studying time was ‘focused’…Craig, Ethan and Alec & I went into Old Montreal to explore and see what we could find.  Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0006

As we were walking by Craig pointed out this spot where he FIRST played Jazz when he started doing gigs…it has long since closed…but the windows in the lower unit still had the signs!

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0007

Second cousins having fun…wandering the streets…waiting for me to randomly take photos! (Thanks Craig for snapping this awesome shot of us…) Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0008

I know I shouldn’t be so juvenile–but when I saw this delivery car for fast food chicken…it made me laugh! (I had to snap a photo…) Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0009

…having fun exploring and enjoying some ice cream.  (It was the BEST ice cream…I can’t remember the name but it had maple sugar bits and carmel in it…OMG—I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0010

Had to stop to take a selfie of all of us… honestly this one hour walk was a highlight of my trip. It was awesome to spend some time walking and talking with you Craig! Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0011

…they still have horse drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal.  My first visit to Old Montreal with my friends Erin and Amanda we decided to take a ride in one.  Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0012

Sarah and Craig…it was so awesome to visit your family.  Our conversations over the weekend have left me thinking about so many different things…and one thing I know I’m blessed to have such a large family that you are part of.  I also have come to realize that nobody will understand the craziness of your family better than your cousins!!

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0015

I promise my next visit will be sooner than the last 6 1/2 year gap of this visit…especially now that I’m living back in Southern Canada! Enjoy your summer…and keep on smiling.

Exploring Prince Edward County

This past May 2-4 weekend I went to visit my friend Johanna in Trenton, Ontario.  I had visited her last in February when I finished up my quilt and also have experiments with crazy cold weather and boiling hot water!  

The weekend was jam-packed and we had a blast visiting, going to yard sales and exploring Prince Edward County! (We even had time for me to start my next quilting project…but more about that later!)

May 2-4 Weekend_0001

The Crab-Apple trees in front of Johanna’s house were in full bloom… so gorgeous!!! It was the perfect time to have a little photo shoot.
May 2-4 Weekend_0003

The next day a lot of these blooms were covering the sidewalks and ground….seems like our photo shoot was perfectly timed! May 2-4 Weekend_0002

On Sunday we got up and decided to check out some yard sales…we decided to go on a bit of a road trip to Prince Edward County.

Prince Edward County is located in Southern Ontario at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. It is an island community encompassing less than 700 square kilometers (270 sq mi), with over 800 kilometers (500 mi) of shoreline.The permanent population is approximately 25,000. We share our spectacular natural beauty with over 100,000 visitors each year. A popular attraction is Sandbanks Provincial Park, attracting thousands of visitors on hot summer days.

The island community has retained a unique character that evokes fond recollections of days long past.  Idyllic country roads wind through historic towns and villages, countryside dotted with farms and vineyards, past artists studios and antiques shops,  and along shorelines that border Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte.

May 2-4 Weekend_0004

We took some back roads and enjoyed the views… (stopped to talk to people along the way…) and took heaps of photos! We stopped for a picnic lunch overlooking the water (view on the photo below on the left) in Picton… May 2-4 Weekend_0005

We continued on to Bloomington.

May 2-4 Weekend_0013

One of the things that Prince Edward County has started is a Barn Quilt Trail…it was so cool to see so many colourful blocks up in front of homes, businesses and barns as we drove by!

May 2-4 Weekend_0006 May 2-4 Weekend_0007

We wanted to stop in the antique store called “Dead People’s Stuff” .  The name of the store is perfect…and the store did not disappoint! May 2-4 Weekend_0008

So many fun displays and signs… I love visiting antique stores and finding one thing that is the treasure I didn’t even know that I needed to have! May 2-4 Weekend_0011

…this shopping experience started off as a window shopping only trip.  However, Johanna found a fabulous basket…and I found an adorable kids table with two chairs.  (It reminded me of one that I saw as a kid….right now it’s in my apartment and the perfect table to hold my printer!) May 2-4 Weekend_0009

…so many treasures!May 2-4 Weekend_0010

…If I ever have a fence… I think I’ll be doing this to it!! May 2-4 Weekend_0012

At the beginning of the day I told Johanna at some point I needed to shoot a new header for my blog.  So that became one of the projects of the day…I always like to have some sort of header with Me on a Road.  So we decided to keep our eyes open to see if we can find something “spring-like” for a little photo shoot.  Johanna is an incredible photographer so I was excited that she was game to help me out.  Near the end of the day we drove past this LONG driveway with this random YELLOW bike on the side…. it just was perfection! I said–STOP the CAR!!! and we backed up and then walked down the road… Thanks so much Johanna for being my photographer! I LOVE these photos…

May 2-4 Weekend_0014

Road Tripping with another photographer is always fun…because they get when you see a cool barn or some run down buildings.. and say STOP let’s get some photos!
May 2-4 Weekend_0017 May 2-4 Weekend_0015

I can’t wait to come back and explore this area of Ontario…so many awesome Bed and Breakfasts and places to explore… May 2-4 Weekend_0016

We had to stop at theMurray Canal/Brighton Swing Bridge so that a boat could pass… it was pretty cool to see the swing bridge in action…and of course Johanna and I had time to steer our boat along the side of the water! May 2-4 Weekend_0018

Even with all that fun outside exploring in the evenings we did some planning.  I did some cutting, sewing and piecing…starting my next quilted project! I will return in the summer to finish up this project. May 2-4 Weekend_0019

It was a perfect long weekend…the first in awhile I haven’t had to deal with snow!  Thanks so much for your awesome company this weekend… I can’t wait until we see each other next!

Icy Trees…

This past weekend while driving I was greeted by the most amazing sight.  The trees on either side of the road were sparkling in the sunshine.  The crazy weather from earlier this week left the area with snow and freezing rain…which left everything covered in icy goodness! icy trees_0001

I love how the ice clung to the fence which normally would have just been a boring line in the photo below! Even the fields were full of shine and sparkle as I drove past! icy trees_0005

The road signs and street signs also were covered in icicles that at one point had been dripping, but then stopped frozen in time… sometimes life is like that. We are moving along and then suddenly we are frozen in time…until the sun comes out and we are released and ready to flow again.  icy trees_0002 icy trees_0003

Had to stop to take at least one fun selfie in Milo’s window… icy trees_0004

…close to sunset one last snap that makes me smile and be glad I was there to witness it! icy trees_0006

It feels good to be taking photos again, although I feel a wee bit rusty. But I do know I’ve missed my photo walks with my camera.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...