2014: food, books, dogs

Of course, it’s all about recapping the year right now. At first I wasn’t going to do that, because 2014 sucked hard and I didn’t want to acknowledge it even existed. Bring on 2015, I say. But I can’t erase a year from existence, so I’ve decided to celebrate the good things, in food, books, and dogs.

My favourite food photos of the year:

smoked meat sandwich at Caplansky’s, Toronto // burger at Allen’s, Toronto // churros and chocolate at Xoco, Chicago // fried chicken at momofuku noodle bar, Toronto // birthday key lime pie // beet caprese salad at Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto // pizza at Pizzeria Libretto // birthday ice cream // ice cream sandwich at Moo Milk Bar, Toronto

Amazing grapefruit juice at Fat Pasha, Toronto // the rotisserie duck at momofuku ssäm bar, NYC // poutine in Ottawa // the Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffin that got me a new job// amaretto-chocolate budino with whipped cream, sour cherry compote, and chocolate at Pizzeria Libretto // a meal I actually made myself in the summer

I decided that I spent too much time watching TV and on my iPad and not reading enough, so I set a goal of reading at least one book a month in 2014. I surpassed that, while still watching too much TV and spending too much time on my iPad.

  • Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham – the book every blogger was pictured with, it was fine and entertaining, but pretty self-involved. I liked Tina Fey’s and Amy Poehler’s better.

And finally, my favourite random dogs of the year (just call me doggie paparazzi):

Like I said, bring on 2015. It can’t be any worse than this year. In fact, I’m determined that it be better.

Thanks everyone for reading my insane thoughts and looking at all the photos I post this year. Happy New Year!

December 2014 in pictures

December, you were a good month. Even if I did catch bronchitis and was out of commission for a week, with a lingering cough for over two.

J.Crew Bliss sweatshirt // R is for Rachel (or Roots, really) // gus and abby coaster and notepad // Quimby sleeping with his paws up // Quimby and his sister, Echo // trying to detox a little // LOL // yum // yum again

I’ll be back later with a 2014 recap of sorts.


Christmas: a recap in photo form

Many photos of puppies and food ahead; you’ve been warned.

Travelling in Hugo Guinness for J.Crew Springer spaniel tee (I thought it was a basset hound but I think it’s a chubby Springer spaniel)

A really pretty tuna sashimi bowl for lunch before going to the Boston Pops

An actual Springer spaniel at Quimby’s daycare, where we left him before going to the Boston Pops.

The Boston Pops

My sister and her sleeping puppy



Laziest dog ever.

Christmas Eve prime rib roast.

Ginger-cherry white chocolate chip cookies, adapted from this Ming Tsai recipe.

Christmas duck, puppy wants some too.

Still the laziest dog ever.

Homemade poutine on Boxing Day (or as it’s called in the U.S., the day after Christmas).

Will and a lapful of labradoodle.

Waiting for Shake Shack ice cream.


After Shake Shack, a play date with his sister Echo, who lives in the same Cambridge neighbourhood. My brother-in-law met her in the park by accident, and he and Echo’s human realized that they’d both gotten the puppies at the same breeder in Maine. What are the chances?

What did I say about Quimby being the laziest puppy ever? But after playing hard with his sister, he deserves a little lie-down.

Making the NY Times chocolate chip cookies.

They are delicious, and worth leaving in the fridge for 72+ hours.

Quimby and his big buddy hanging out before we left. He (the puppy) and I got depressed afterwards. Perhaps 2015 is the year I finally get a dog.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas too!


So many Santas (and Christmas indulgences)

It’d be better if there were snow on the ground, but it’s pretty cool. It’s a street in Toronto where 45-50 houses (nice houses, this is an affluent part of the city) have 14-foot inflatable Santas on their front lawns.


I struggle every year to get into the Christmas spirit, but this helped!

Every year Will and I like to treat ourselves to a nice dinner at Christmas, so we went to momofuku daishō. This is what I wore:

The light wasn’t great in the restaurant, but here’s a sample:

The dry-aged beef tartare was AMAZING.

Hanger steak ssäm

Roasted rice cakes with spicy sausage, Chinese broccoli, and tofu (essentially Asian gnocchi, so good)

I had this milk bar cookie for breakfast this morning:

Followed by some Soma chocolate

Hey, it’s Christmas, it’s time for indulging.

I haven’t done a lot of shopping recently, but I celebrated my new job with this J.Crew necklace (no longer online), at 70% off:

I’m heading to Boston tonight to spend Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law, and my nephew puppy. Lots of puppy pictures to come on my Instagram. I hope everyone has a good one!


How a chocolate chip muffin changed my life

Alternate title: Can a chocolate chip muffin save your life? (short answer: yes)

Real title: How a craving for a Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffin led me to be in the right place at the right time.

I’ll explain. But first, this is the muffin I was craving:

Can’t blame me, right?

It’s no secret that 2014 has been a craptacular year for me, and also seems like it was for a lot of other people too. So I’ve been a little desperate to have some good news to end the year. Cutting it a little close, but I got it.

One morning a few weeks ago, at the end of November, I was sitting at my desk at work being frustrated about something or other, having a bit of a hard time being back in the office after being home sick/working at home the week before, and trying not to give in to a craving for a chocolate chip muffin. Finally I just said screw it, sugar and wheat be damned, I’m getting the damn muffin.

To make a long story short: I ran into a colleague I used to work, I let him cut the Tim’s line in front of me, we started chatting, I mentioned it might be time for a change in the new year, and he said he’d just posted a position that I might be a good fit for. I got back to my desk (with my muffin and peppermint tea), looked up his job, and messaged him that it looked interesting and I would apply for it. I applied, had three interviews, and got the job, in less than three weeks. It’s a great opportunity for me, it’s something new and something more along the lines of what I want to do, and I’m so excited to be starting that in the new year.

So is the moral of the story to never ignore a craving? That could be dangerous, because I have a lot of cravings. But if I’d squashed this one and stayed at my desk, I wouldn’t have run into my new boss in line, and I might have passed by his job posting. It was truly a case of being in the right place at the right time, and proving that having a good work ethic and working hard pays off in the end, because people want to hire you.

At any rate, thank god for the good news, or else I would have had to write off this whole year entirely. I’m very grateful for my good luck. Very grateful.


November 2014 in pictures

Christmas is just around the corner, and almost at the end of the year. This year has just flown by. I can’t say I’m upset about that though, because it’s been a pretty crappy year for me. If it’s going to be a bad year, at least it went quickly. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that things are looking up, but emphasis on “cautious” there. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll have some good news…

In the meantime, this was November:

doggie in jail? // Remembrance Day // eating cupcakes for the United Way // Saturday morning grocery shopping // sunrise // sunset // ice cream in winter // a manicure and my book of the month // quizzical doggie


I love fall

I’ve been stuck inside for the past 5 days with a nasty cold. While I’ve been sitting on my couch drinking strong ginger tea (grate fresh ginger, add hot water, steep, strain, drink) and hot honey and lemon (squeeze a lemon, add honey and hot water, drink), it suddenly turned into winter.

What is this white stuff? I was enjoying fall and I want it back. Mostly because I haven’t had time to write my “I love fall” post. But it looks like fall temperatures will come back next week, so maybe it’s not over yet.

And it could always be worse, it could be Buffalo today.

I love fall for the colours.

The last two pictures are at Queen’s Park, here in Toronto. I love fall for the cool temperatures, comfortable for walking around the city in.

I also love the coats (fall weight, not winter weight) and the scarves, even if I am incompetent at tying them and can only do the European loop.

Soia & Kyo trench coat // cashmere pashmina from Nepal (gift from Will)

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