a life changing lunch

Today I had lunch at Quintanas. I had my favourite meal there.  I never order anything else when I go there.  Fish tacos = heaven. I LOVE them. The menu made me laugh though.  Not sure how “Life Changing” they really are, but they *are* delicious. If you need your life changed, maybe give them a try.

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walking on a wednesday night

20131120-195112.jpg My son takes music lessons on Wednesday evenings. The lesson is only for 45 minutes so hardly enough time to go home. So it is the perfect opportunity for a walk downtown while we wait.  Most of the stores are closed (which may or may not be a good thing) so we stroll around. This evening found us walking down the famous George Street.  It was very quiet, except that Greensleeves had a Guitar player/singer performing inside and you could hear the music on the speakers outside. So for a few moments we stood outside and looked through the window while listening to the music. A beautiful evening. A beautiful moment. Much has changed since we first met in this building. I wouldn’t go back for a second.

middle cove beach

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Sunday we took a drive out to Middle Cove. Surprisingly enough, my honey had NEVER been there! I could hardly believe it, although he is from the west end of St. John’s, so maybe it isn’t so surprising. I think the last time I was there was the summer after grade 12 for a bonfire.

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Is there anything better than skimming rocks and listening to the waves on a Sunday morning?

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Below are some pics to share with you. I don’t have a whole lot to say about them, other than it was a lovely, peaceful morning with my peeps.

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I love the colour of the beach rocks. Patrick makes me smile too.

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little adjustments part 2

You might have seen this post I did over the summer about some of the adjustments to living back in St. John’s after being away for so long.  Well, this is the second installment with some other quirky thoughts that have occurred to me since that post. I figured I would share.  Comment below to let me know what you think!clean-hunter-wellies

1. Any day that doesn’t have RDF (Rain, Drizzle & Fog)  is a beautiful day. I have totally adopted this attitude and I love it.  Just getting out in the fresh air, even when the sun is not shining, is fabulous.  I know I should be able to love the RDF too, but I’m not there yet.  Baby steps.  I may need some moral support come February/March.  I’ll let you know. Maybe buying a colourful pair of rain boots will help me? What colour would you pick?

2. Brace yourself for this one – it is superficial important. The hour and a half time difference is fooling up my television watching. TV and radio shows start on the 1/2 hour.  That makes any prime time tv shows late starting.  If a show normally starts at 9:00 ET, that’s 10:30 NT. For you night owls, that’s not a biggie I’m sure, but for me who can’t stay awake, it is a challenge.  I tried to watch Nashville last night (which didn’t start until 11:30) only to fall asleep 10 minutes in.  I woke up to the last 30 seconds of the show (which was a little surprising – did you see it??).  I should have just waited to watch it on the PVR.  Luckily, this is what my son would call a First World Problem, so I can deal.

3. People are super-aware of the weather and plan things around the forecast. Birthday parties will change, meeting spots are adjusted, all at the last minute. Much is dependent on the weather and people are used to rolling with it. I keep forgetting to check.  A friend said to me, “You ARE from here, you know this!”  Yah, I know it in my head, but keep I forgetting. Come to think of it, maybe this is just a me thing. Either way, I need to pay more attention.

4. Driving in Newfoundland is NOT like driving in Ottawa.  If the weather is bad, you have to stay off certain roads.  I have been in denial about this for a while but I just have to accept it. This is not a “mind over matter thing”. The wind has been so bad at times that I have felt like the van is going to be pulled off the road if I loose concentration for a second. The fog has been so thick I had to get my son to help me read the road signs. For real – I am not exaggerating.  Have I mentioned the moose?  I actually haven’t seen a moose since I have been back, but the reminders to Mind the Moose have kept me vigilant and cautious for sure.  Lastly (for now) some of the roads are dark and not very visible.  The Harbour Arterial is totally off limits for me at night because you just can’t see the road well enough (in my opinion).  Some of the entrances and exits off the Outer Ring Road you would never find on your own in the dark without prior warning. Oh my – winter is not even here yet.  Wish me luck.

5. There is nothing better than my nieces running towards me yelling “Mah-layne is here! YEAH!”  I mean really – is there anything better than that? Plus they are a never ending source of entertainment.   Click here for some entertainment. I have heard this song a LOT, but somehow it never gets old. I wonder how my sister feels lol.

6. The porch is INSIDE your house.  In Ottawa, and maybe everywhere else, if someone is talking about their porch, they are talking about the space outside their front door.  Here, a porch is the space inside your front door, as you first come in your house. My honey asked our son to move a box to the porch, and he put it outside on the front step.  That totally made me laugh since he just did what he was told.  Where is your porch, inside or outside?

7. I love this town. One of my facebook status a couple weeks ago was “I feel like Joel Plaskett because I love this town”. And I do.  Regardless of the adjustments, I’m so happy to be here.

hanging on for dear life

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Fall is my absolute favourite season. I love cozy fall sweaters, wearing my fave boots again (delicious!) and the routines of school days and kids activities are all settling into a comforting rhythm. It’s that magical time of the year when the fall colours are at their most exquisite – golden yellows, burnt oranges and rich browns. The remaining leaves on the trees are hanging on for dear life. Knowing that a swift wind or rainfall will all but wipe them out for the season.

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When we lived in Ottawa, fall wasn’t complete without a hike in Gatineau park. The fall colours in Quebec are simply glorious. Although Fall here in St. John’s is not the same at all, there is still beauty all around in a uniquely Newfoundland way. My son and I were reminded of this today when we walked on the Rennie’s River Trail this past weekend.

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The Rennie’s River trail is an easy trail to walk.  It doesn’t get your heart pumping with exertion like the Northead Trail does, but it is a lovely walk and wonderful for walking your dog too.  There are garbage bins all over the place and there is even a station with little baggies for your dog’s business if you have forgotten yours. There were lots of In Memorium stones and benches on the side of the path. I think it is a perfect way to remember someone special to you. Who wouldn’t want to be remembered in such an uplifting environment.

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You can hear the water rushing by as you follow the trail. So peaceful.

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I hope the leaves can hang on for just a little longer.

girl’s night

Last Friday night I invited some girl friends over to see our place and have a visit. I used a Pinterest board to keep track of my plan.  There was only 4 of us, so I didn’t need loads of food, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overdoing things and that I had a good mix.  Since I am a visual person (as most of us are) I LOVE that Pinterest allows me to see my plan at a glance and even link to recipes and notes.  If you want to check out my Girls Night Pinterest board just click here.20131026-114955.jpg

I love these little individual crudités cups – very colourful and fun to eat.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen these.

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Another of my go-to appetizers is these caprese salad bites. The bocconcini is my favourite part – mixed with the basil and grape tomatoes – YUM!

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I used dark chocolate to dip the strawberries. I melted white chocolate to “drizzle” over the dark chocolate, but it plopped more than drizzed lol.  Still delicious but not as pretty as the photo online .

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I found this website and LOVED the signs she used.  She has free downloads – you can click here to find them and download them yourself.  So fun!  Below you can see the prosciutto wrapped aged cheddar.  Now this is one of my absolute faves to have with a glass of wine on the weekend and my family loves them too.  So I made a few extra and left them in the fridge.  The only issue is that I bought mint flavoured toothpicks!!  I didn’t notice Friday night, but Saturday night when we pulled out the extras, I couldn’t figure out at first, why they tasted funny.  Take it from me, mint does NOT work with this lol.  I guess I still have some work to do, to be a Hostess with the Mostess. (btw: the Leek and Goat cheese brule looks much nicer when it has been baked…. I took the photo before I popped it in the oven).

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Did you notice my food signs?  I used the Stampin’ Up! Thankful Tablescape kit and the Chalk Marker to make them. So easy and they added a nice touch to the display! Click here if you would like to order one for yourself.

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My lovely friends brought me some Champagne, Bagels from Georgetown Bakery and these sensational flowers from The Flower Studio.  I’m a lucky lady.

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What is your favourite appetizer to make when you have company over?  Leave a comment in the blog comments to let me know. Christmas is coming and we could all use some ideas!