Sunday, soup day.

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Today’s dreary weather called for a pot of hearty, homemade vegetable soup. And, for fun, a handful of tiny grilled cheese ‘croutons’ (apple, brie and white cheddar).

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Sundays

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I love Sundays. Sundays are my sleep-in days and generally the one day a week I can do as much or as little as I want to do.

This past Sunday was the perfect, rainy, dreary day for a giant, cheery and comforting lunch: pan-seared zucchini and Roma tomatoes, roasted sweet corn, sliced avocados, whole wheat toast and a bed of greens. Easy meal for an easy day!

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Spring Eats

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One of my favourite salads to make is one that’s simple, hearty and as full of flavour as it is colourful. And it’s an “anything goes” type of salad too, so whatever you have a hankering for, chuck it in.

I went for seasonal veggies, spinach, red cabbage and some fresh mango for a tangy, sweet kick. For the dressing, I combined a small amount of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shredded garlic, shredded ginger and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (The dressing packs a powerful punch so not much is required). Toss in some cooked pearled barley or your grain of choice and you’re good to go.

Another reason to love spring!

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Foggy days

I love foggy, misty mornings.

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Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale

I came across this lovely poem today and had to share it. When life has got you feeling swallowed whole, so to speak, it’s almost a forced reminder of the small things – the seemingly mundane details that make you grateful for each day.

Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments
of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you.
Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.

Dan Albergotti

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Childhood, revisited

I walked into an antique store on a whim the other day. I walked out with parts of my childhood in my hands.

It was a part from those younger years in elementary school, were I had first encountered books by Robert Munsch and Kathy Stinson and fantastical tales by Enid Blyton. It was there, in a small little library, packed to the gills with books from many an era, that I was introduced to one enchanted world to the next, worlds which I was free to choose to explore. It was where I first fell in love with the books and authors I still search high and low to find today.

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It’s hard to explain nostalgia, to describe the effect that revisiting the past has on me. I’ve found that many an element from my childhood have a deep and meaningful hold for me – elements which to date have me searching for physical mementos of moments long gone. It is not enough that the bits of my past remain just there, in the back recesses of my grey matter. No, I need remnants and reminders I can hold onto. A map directing me back down a favourite old alley again, so to speak.

There is this coil of excitement in the pit of one’s stomach when you suddenly come across the authors and shows and games and toys that each had their own fleeting part in the formation of who you’ve come to be. Or, at the very least, provided you some company, comfort or entertainment growing up.

Life moves so quickly that before you know it, the simple and little joys you reveled in get replaced by fears, concerns and anxieties of the working, adult world. The innocence of childhood replaced by the burden of the overcomplication that we call Adulthood.

Technology changes so quickly I fear books and simple toys (kaleidoscopes! Etch-a-sketches, marbles and jacks, crayons and plastic animals and paper planes! All those days my brother and cousins and I made and flew just paper planes… ) are too quickly becoming replaced by apps and shiny video games that dictate how children should think, see, imagine and create; replaced by games which constrain the limits of imagination to that of a finite number of scenarios which may fall within the parameters of the product.

There’s a lot to be said for the uncomplicated simplicity of a piece of Lego. For a plain building block. For a piece of paper and a crayon. For mud, rocks and a handful of twigs.

Call me a stickler for the good old days but the older I get, the more I feel it is a necessity for me to retain the simple joys of my childhood and remember the times when the small things, the uncomplicated wonders a seven year old could wonder, still apply today (and still will decades from now). And if I am lucky to have kids of my own one day, I’ll have a happy stash of “ancient” playthings and books they will hopefully come to cherish as well.

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Snapshots from Bolivia

Two months ago, a good friend and I embarked on a short, whirlwind jaunt around the small, oft overlooked country of Bolivia. It was a somewhat random, casually organized trip, planned over one Skype call and via a quick succession of messages on Facebook. We mapped out the cities we wanted to see, assigned an approximate number of days and nights to each destination, booked the first two night’s accommodations…and that was that.

This was the least planned out trip I’ve ever taken…

To a region I had never been to…

Where they speak a language I barely knew or understood.

But I wouldn’t have had it any other way as it was easily one of the best, most exhilarating and breathtaking trips I have ever been on. This was one for the books.

Snapshots from Bolivia:

Requisite bathroom mirror shot before departure

Requisite bathroom mirror shot before departure

El Alto, Bolivia

El Alto, Bolivia

Street Art in La Paz, Bolivia

Street Art in La Paz, Bolivia

Colourful streets in La Paz

Colourful streets in La Paz

Cholita y hijo

Cholita y hijo

llama fetuses, Copacabana, Bolivia

llama fetuses, Copacabana, Bolivia

Cholita overlooking Lake Titicaca

Cholita overlooking Lake Titicaca

Isla del Sol, Copacaban - Bolivia

Isla del Sol, Copacaban – Bolivia

Isla del Sol

Isla del Sol

Thermal llama leggings - came in handy many times ;)

Thermal llama leggings – came in handy many times 😉

All in a day's work - Copacabana

All in a day’s work – Copacabana

Pidgeons in La Paz

Pidgeons in La Paz

Vegetable market in La Paz

Vegetable market in La Paz

Salt Flat illusion - Bolivia

Salt Flat illusion – Bolivia

Salt Flats, Bolivia

Salt Flats, Bolivia

Salt Flat Illusions

Salt Flat Illusions

Lagos Colorada, Bolivia

Lagos Colorada, Bolivia

Wildlife in Bolivia

Wildlife in Bolivia

Sunrise over geysers

Sunrise over gysers

Natural hot springs in Bolivia

Natural hot springs in Bolivia

4x4'ing it in the Bolivian deserts.

4×4’ing it in the Bolivian deserts.

Jump shot in front of a volcano

Jump shot in front of a volcano

Laguna, Bolivia

Laguna, Bolivia

En route to Death Road, Bolivia

En route to Death Road, Bolivia

Foggy ride up to the start of Death Road

Foggy ride up to the start of Death Road

A look back at the the winding Death Road path. Scariest bike ride of my life.

A look back at the the winding Death Road path. Scariest bike ride of my life.

the Jungles of Coroico

the Jungles of Coroico

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Millennials Are People Too

"Be like Aslan," she wrote.

I’m tired, y’all.

Tired of not fully understanding my French reading. Tired of not having proper time to go the the Rec. Tired of my phone being broken.

Above all, dear reader, I am tired of being a Millennial.

Not because I’m ashamed of my Millennial brothers and sisters. Not because I wish I was born in another era (that’s a whole other story). But because I’m tired of being bashed in popular media.

I read anotherarticle the other day which sarcastically mocked 20-somethings. And it just might have been the straw that broke the 20-something’s back.

Hi, I’m an entitled and broke 20-something and today I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks to grocery shopping on a budget that I’ve picked up over the past year and a half. You see, I graduated college a year and a half ago and, without meal plans or…

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