Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well Fed: Columbia, MO

After a week filled with Midwest hospitality and deliciously over-sized meals, I'm shocked I haven't gained 10 lbs! We had a great trip visiting E's mom and baby sis, Addie, in Columbia, Missouri, and eating to our hearts' content! Our meals consisted of some great home cooking and these worthy takeout meals:
First stop: Smokin' Chick's BBQ, Original Missouri BBQ. Now, growing up in Canada, I didn't fully realized there was a cuisine called "BBQ" until I met my Midwestern husband. He has taken me out a few times in search of authentic BBQ in NYC [didn't happen] and in Kansas on previous trips to visit his family. But it was only on this trip that I fully understood why people salivate at the mere mention of baby back ribs. Chick's baby backs were tender, fall-off-the-bone tasty. I did find the St. Louis ribs a bit fatty, but the baked beans and potato salad didn't disappoint. I'm officially a BBQ convert...

...and so is he!

Since first meeting E's familia, Dairy Queen has became a staple during our get-togethers, but this time we skipped the DQ and headed to Culver's for frozen custard. Addie tried to convince me that custard was just thicker ice cream, but after sampling the Concrete Mixer [a Blizzard in disguise], I'm pretty sure they're the same consistency and equally tasty! I had the banana/Reese peanut butter cup combo...Heaven! [Just a bit of warning: do not look up the nutritional info at Culver's if you want to enjoy your custard!]
[right before I devoured my 'Mixer]

Being in a *college town* [Columbia is home to the Mizzou Tigers] it's almost a necessity to have good pizza to keep the students well-nourished and Columbia didn't disappoint. Addie took us to Shakespeare's Pizza in the downtown district for some mouth-watering, whole wheat crust deliciousness [you didn't think "mouth-watering" and "whole wheat" could be in the same sentence, now did you?] Voted "Favorite College Hangout" by Good Morning America, Shakespeare's was packed to the rafters and had an hour long wait! Luckily, we called in our order and it was ready to go when we got there. Our pie was piled high with toppings that it was a balancing act trying to get a piece to my mouth without it falling apart in my lap! Paired with a yummy red wine, this pizza dinner was just about perfect.
Definitely check out these spots if you're ever in Columbia. I'm still salivating reminiscing about our trip!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snapshot Sunday: week 47

Hope those of you south of the border had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We were in Missouri for the family feast, which was as relaxing as you can get. Lots of eating, playing and even some working out. Really! I have the photos to prove it!

What did you do for the holidays?

[day 325: Sitting behind first class still gives you lots of leg room...I couldn't even touch the seats in front of me. Too bad all the first class passengers were probably cursing our unhappy tot during the flight. Yes, we became that family.]

[day 326: Columbia, MO is full of lakes and ponds that Indy was eager to check out.]

[day 327: Working out at Wilson's, a chic boutique gym that costs less than the stinky gym-rat gyms I belonged to in NYC.]

[day 328: My after workout shake...Yes, I worked out twice on vacation!]

[day 329: Thanksgiving breakfast made by my little man. Authentic Canadian maple syrup too!]

[day 330: Midwest hospitality even extends to the airports: plastic baggies for your 3oz liquids and gels! They even made an announcement for a lost turkey lunch left at a gate. Makes traveling to JFK or LaGuardia that much more painful.]

[day 331: Happy at home...and sporting papa's hat.]


Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Greetings: free from Shutterfly

I've always loved sending holiday cards since I heart all things *snail mail*. With the addition of Indio to our lives and the colossal number of photos we have of him, it only made sense to capitalize on his cuteness with the yearly seasonal greetings.

I've always preferred the quality of Shutterfly for prints to send off to the grandparents and family and photo books to commemorate our vacations, but only last year used them for their large selection of holiday greetings. I loved the simplicity of Shutterfly's site, from uploading and storing photos, to editing them for my card. Their cards are printed on thick card stock in either 5x7 folded or flat and the ever-chic 5x5 flat size.

last year's choice.

Of course, I couldn't limit my snail mail to just the end of the year. So this year, I also made Halloween and Diwali cards.
my sweet pumpkin

happy diwali: of course, I couldn't choose just one!

I still haven't narrowed down my choices for 2010, but these are a couple that I've already saved in my project gallery. [I don't want to ruin the surprise!]
yes, we've already done santa photos this year...i hate crowds so i decided to avoid them this year!

Visit Shutterfly if you're looking for traditional or modern, fun and funky, simple or ornate greetings to send all year long. If you're a fellow blogger sign up to get 50 free holiday cards for yourself! Shutterfly wants bloggers to review its new holiday card designs, no matter how big or small your blog is!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snapshot Sunday: week 46

This week is a bit of a blur. Indio was sick for a big chunk of it. E was under the weather and up to his eyeballs in work and apparently I only used my phone to take photos. I was desperately trying to get our holiday cards ordered, Blurb book completed and pack for our trip too!

We are probably mid-way to Missouri by the time you read this. We are headed there to visit E's mom and baby sister for American Thanksgiving. I'm excited to see them, explore Columbia, and eat turkey! Hopefully, I'll have time to blog from there, but if not, see you in a week!

[day 319: when mama runs out of coins for the fountain, Indy gets his own!]

[day 320: my fearless boy at the indoor playground, followed by his knight.]

[day 321: sbux holiday drinks taste even better when it's buy-one-get-one!]

[day 322: I ordered a Lactaid decaf latte and got sewage water. as much as I want to support mom-n-pop shops, at least with the big corporate guys, they get it right every time.]

[day 323: sticking grapes in his ear because his mouth was full.]

[day 324: our time at the playground is quickly diminishing as the weather gets colder.]


Thursday, November 18, 2010

From the mouths of babes

My heart goes a-flutter every time Indio says, "Tank you!" for everything from a bowl of grapes to helping him off his highchair, without us prompting him. I'm sure Miss Manners would be just as proud.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like...

blank canvas: rockefeller center circa 2006
I know it's still only November, but I'm already getting giddy thinking about the holiday season. This year, I will finally have my very own Christmas tree! Growing up in a Hindu family, we didn't celebrate Christmas [though we took advantage of the Boxing Day sales!], and I did exchange gifts with friends and spent a lot of time at my cousin's place, whose house was always festive and traditional.

E grew up celebrating Christmas, and though we both don't like the commercial aspect of the holiday, we are excited to begin our own family traditions and continue those he shared with his family.

To jumpstart my ornament shopping, I joined the lovely Micaela's Ornament Swap! I was paired up with a fellow Canuck, Erin and after perusing her fantastic blog, I set out today in search of the perfect adornment for her tree. As I was walking along Queen St West in downtown Toronto I stumbled upon a fabulously ornate store called Ten Thousand Villages.

From their website:
"Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit Fair Trade Organization (FTO). FTOs are non-governmental organizations designed to benefit artisans, not to maximize profits. They market products from handicraft and agricultural organizations based in low-income countries, providing consumers with products that have been fairly purchased from sustainable sources."
I only had about 20 minutes before my parking meter ran out, so I had to move fast. [I have bad luck with trying to outrun meter-maids...] TTV had so many gorgeous ornaments decorating their faux trees that it was hard to narrow down my choices, but in those 20 minutes I managed to collect about 20 beautiful, handmade embellishments that would be perfect on almost any evergreen.

I can't share my wares just yet because I want Erin to be surprised when she receives her swap package, but as soon as my tree is up and decorated, I will be sure to post it here.

Do you celebrate Christmas? What are your holiday traditions? Have you started any of your own?
one of the ornaments i had to pass up...though i may go back for him b/c he's utterly adorable!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snapshot Sunday: week 45

Another week gone already. It's crazy how quickly they seem to be slipping through my fingers.

Have you started thinking about resolutions? Do you do that sort of thing? I don't, but maybe this year I'll start. What do you have in store for 2011?

[day 313: after almost 2 hours of fun at an indoor playground Indy found this sandwich board to be more exciting. go figure.]

[day 314: I couldn't get the camera out fast enough to capture Cassius's nose inside E's slipper. weirdo.]

[day 315: I was trying to distract myself from the pain of my first gym visit in over 2 years(!) with the pretty leaf.]

[day 316: unbelievable fog on the drive home from girls' night.]

[day 317: my latest library acquisition and my fancy new bookmark.]

[day 318: another at-home haircut. wow, he looks like a little man!]


Friday, November 12, 2010

Festival of Lights

Last week, my family and I celebrated Diwali, the *Festival of Lights*. Diwali marks the new year for Hindus around the world. This year Indio was super excited to light the diyas, calling out "Candles! Candles!" all night long, and eat all the delicious food my parents prepared. It was a really special moment for me to share something that I loved so much growing up with Indio and E.

homemade Indian sweets with real silver foil

colourful diyas

lighting sparklers and fireworks outside

Indy's favourite part of the evening...I have to admit, it took a lot for me to let him hold his own sparkler, and luckily there were no injuries!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Help me make a bike or two

[how many is too many?]

I finally have a good reason to buy lots of Swedish Berries and Mini Eggs! [you really can't understand my joy the day I found out I didn't have to wait until Easter anymore for those scrumptious chocolate eggs!]

Cadbury Canada has started a fantastic project, the Bicycle Factory, as a way to build bikes for children in Ghana, Africa to help them get to and from school. Last year, they built 5,000, which they are hoping to do this year as well.

How does eating Swedish Berries and Mini Eggs fit into this? Well, each Cadbury product has a UPC that can be entered on the Bicycle Factory site. Each UPC equals one virtual bike part and it takes 100 parts to make each virtual bike. [Trident and Stride gum as well as all Cadbury chocolates also qualify for bike parts.] So, if I was the type of person who already ate her entire candy stash from Halloween, I might have just built an entire bike. [Good thing I'm going to the gym these days.]

Unfortunately, this project ends on Sunday, so go eat some chocolate and start building some bikes!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What have I gotten myself into?

Ack! I just signed up for a 3-month contract at a gym! I haven't stepped foot into such an establishment since mid-2008, but I finally realized that just living with a fitness guru wasn't really getting me into shape. I'm nervous and excited to get back on track. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Technicolour Tuesday: week 44

Seven weeks of 2010 left??? That's it? Wow. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed that I've stuck with Project 365 this long, [patting self on the back] but I don't think I'm going to attempt it next year. I'm looking for a new creative photo project. Anyone have any ideas or things you've done in the past to record your life in pictures?

[day 304: Fruits of our labour.]

[day 305: Sous chef at it again.]

[day 306: Nothing like grilled cheese and tomato.]

[day 307: His handknit acorn hat still fits!]

[day 308: Festive cups always make my latte taste better.]

[day 309: What are we going to do with that mop???]

[day 310: A gift from mom--I think it's a lily of sorts. Hoping I won't kill it.]

[day 311: Totem pole in Little Norway Park, right by the Toronto Island Airport.]

[day 312: Riding the choo-choo at the mall.]


Friday, November 5, 2010

Diwali Mubarak!

May this Diwali
bring light to your spirit,
warmth to your home,
and joy to your life.

With lots of love from our family to yours.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I loved in October

The past month was chock-full of product suggestions from friends. Here are a few that have become staples in my life already:

I was lucky enough to lots of face time with Paula over the last two weeks, and of course, that meant sharing our fave items that get us through the day [besides wine!].

  1. While at the Dollarama checkout counter, my eyes caught sight of a Reese Bar. Now, being a huge fan of chocolate and peanut butter, it was hard to look away, but I did...until a voice behind me said, "Have you tried these? Mmmm, they're so good!" [I never said she was a good influence!] And yes, it was! I ate the bar over the course of almost a week, savouring each little piece while reading in bed. I'm glad this is a limited edition, though I may just have to make a Dollarama run soon, before they run out!

  2. Being moms, Paula and I are always looking for new and exciting snacks for our kids, who seem to get bored of anything we buy in bulk. [You liked it last week, which is why I stocked up this week!] On a short grocery store trip [read: Indio was with us, thus the shortness of the trip], Paula pointed out Voortman's Ginger Kids packed with *whole wheat goodness*. I just had to pick up a pack for Indio. Funny thing is, I think he's had one cookie so far while they've become a complement to my evening cup of tea. Hey, they're good for me! It says so right on the package!

  3. Since having Indio, my hair has become more curly/wavy. No really, I'm serious! Of course, the wonderful combo of only knowing how to style my hair straight and not having enough time to do such styling, I've been looking like a hot, frizzy mess most days. Nooreen, my go-to makeup and hair gf [she did my wedding makeup!] continues to put up my with constant badgering of how to get my hair to look like hers. Her new fave curly products have become my new faves too! Pantene's Curly Hair Series are a product-phobe's dream! The Curl Enhancing Spray Gel and Satin Hold Hairspray don't make my hair crunchy and I can apply them over and over again for a few days without my hair looking greasy. If I was organized enough I would even show you a pic of what my hair looks like today, day #3 since washing it.


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