Tuesday 31 December 2013

Microbrasserie La Diable, Mont Tremblant, QC

Gord and I had supper at Microbrasserie La Diable this evening ... we had supper there last year and liked it.

They make their own beer on the premises.

Mont Tremblant, QC

Gord and I are spending the next couple of days in Mont Tremblant, QC.  We spent New Years here last year and really enjoyed it so thought we'd come back.

Morgan suspected he was being left behind.

We flew here and it's about an hour's flight.

The plane we arrived on.
The airport is too cute!  Heading into it from the plane.
The front of the airport

It's very well organized.  Once you get off the plane, you check in at a desk and tell them which hotel you are staying in and they tell you which van to get into.  The van also picks you up at your hotel when it's time to head home.  It's a scenic 40 minute drive from the airport to the hotels.

Monday 30 December 2013

Book ~ "Always and Forever Love" (2013) Lynn Crandall

From Goodreads ~ The presence of a ghost in her life doesn't alarm Lacy Aegar - in fact it makes her happy. Two and a half years ago when her dead husband, Nicholas, reappeared in her life as a full-bodied spirit, she questioned her sanity. But with Nicholas's explanation that things about life are not as she's always believed, she settled into a pleasant routine of working with her sister at their private investigation business and enjoying home life with her now eight-year-old son - with Nicholas never very far away.

Lacey's complacency and sense of stability is sent topsy-turvy when she runs into Jackson Carter, the son of powerful and influential business tycoon William Carter. Typical of the Carter reputation, Jackson's slick, new private investigating business is siphoning off clients from the Aegar sisters' business, creating financial difficulty. It's a recurring nightmare for Lacey, who has already seen damage done by the Carter family, and when she encounters Jackson, she wants nothing to do with him.

But things are not what they seem when it comes to Jackson Carter, either. Unbeknownst to Lacey and her sister, Jackson is fighting a battle to preserve his business, too, and his integrity. For him, it's a fight for his soul, and he enlists Lacey's help because of her unique investigative skills and open heart. When she uncovers a mole in his business, she also discovers that one of his clients' drug trials has been given the green light to go to the next phase based on falsified data. As they work together to save both their businesses, Jackson and Lacey not only face death, they come to grips with their feelings about love and life. With Nicholas's help, Lacey comes to understand that love is always and forever, but in choosing Jackson, she chooses a full life, a life worth living.

Lacey and her sister, Sterling are private detectives. Jackson Carter has a rival firm which doesn't make Lacy happy.  Plus Jackson's father, William, is a ruthless businessman who will do anything to succeed which makes her like him less.  When no one takes him seriously, Jackson's nephew, Jason, hires Lacey when his dog, Snickers, disappears.

With her keen powers of observation, Lacey finds Snickers, which impresses Jackson ... so much so that he wants to hire her to find out who is sabotaging his business.

Lacey's husband, Nick, was a cop and had died in the line of duty.  For the last couple of years, he has been visiting her ... yes, visiting her.  Believing this is enough, she focuses on her work and her son.  But when she meets Jackson, this all changes and she fights the attraction she has for him knowing that if she makes a life with Jackson, she will lose Nick forever.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I thought it was okay.  It's a fast read ... everything happens pretty quickly.  It was an interesting to have the mystery but also have the supernatural aspect.

    Sunday 29 December 2013

    Book ~ "Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community" (2014) Saul Austerlitz

    From Goodreads ~ A carefully curated tour through TV comedy series, this mixtape of fondly remembered shows surveys the genealogy of the form, the larger trends in its history, the best of what the genre has accomplished, and the most standard of its works. From I Love Lucy, The Phil Silvers Show, and M*A*S*H to Taxi, The Larry Sanders Show, and 30 Rock, this guide presents the sitcom as a capsule version of the 20th-century arts - realism giving way to modernism and then to postmodernism, all between the hours of 8 and 10pm on weeknights. Each chapter springs from an individual representative entity, including The Simpsons’ “22 Short Films About Springfield,” The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s “Chuckles Bites the Dust,” Seinfeld’s “The Pitch,” and Freaks and Geeks’ “Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers,” where Martin Starr’s nerdy Bill takes comfort in - what else - the pleasures of laughing at TV.

    The author has chosen one episode from the following sitcoms, starting with the 1950s through to today, and focused on what made this particular episode stand out, providing a detailed analysis (there's obviously been a lot of time and research involved).
    1. I Love Lucy
    2. The Honeymooners
    3. The Phil Silvers Show
    4. Leave it to Beaver
    5. The Dick Van Dyke Show
    6. Gilligan's Island
    7. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
    8. All in the Family
    9. M*A*S*H
    10. Taxi
    11. Cheers
    12. The Cosby Show
    13. Roseanne
    14. The Simpsons
    15. Seinfeld
    16. The Larry Sanders Show
    17. Friends
    18. Sex in the City
    19. Freaks and Geeks
    20. Curb Your Enthusiasm
    21. Arrested Development
    22. The Office
    23. 30 Rock
    24. Community

    Over the years, I've watched most of these shows so it was interesting to read how they have broken ground for future sitcoms.  Also, the provides info on the shows ... like the two Beckys on Roseanne, the relationship of Diane and Sam on Cheers, racial representation on All in the Family, The Jeffersons and The Cosby Show, etc.

    If you're a fan of any or all of these sitcoms, I think you'll enjoy this book.  As a head's up, at times the language is for mature readers.

    Classic Beef Stew

    A couple weeks ago I read and reviewed The 163 Best Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson.

    Gord likes to cook and took a look through it.  He decided to make the Classic Beef Stew for supper this evening (that's it on the cover).  I like stew ... he's not a fan.  Needless to say, I didn't say no!

    I've basically copied and pasted the recipe and procedures from his blog.

    This recipe is for a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker. The ingredients needed are:
    • 2 tbsp (30ml) extra virgin olive oil 
    • 2 lbs (1kg) stewing beef cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
    • 2 onions, finely chopped
    • 4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
    • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
    • 2 cloves minced garlic
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme or 1 tbsp (15 ml)  fresh thyme
    • 1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cracked black peppercorns
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry red wine (or beef stock)
    • 1 cup ( 250 ml) beef stock
    • 1 tbsp beef demi-glaze

    Friday 27 December 2013

    Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill, Toronto, ON

    Gord and I saw Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues this afternoon.  We liked the first one and went in with low expections on this one.  Though there were some funny parts, I gave it 5/10 and Gord gave it 4/10.

    After the movie, we stopped in at the Shark Club (Yonge Street/Dundas Street E), which is in the same complex.  It opened in the fall and and we hadn't been so we thought we'd check it out.

    Thursday 26 December 2013

    Happy Boxing Day

    Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers.

    Today, Boxing Day is the statutory holiday. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and some other Commonwealth nations.

    In Canada, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in the U.S. It is a time where shops have sales, often with dramatic price reductions.  Many retailers open very early and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. It is not uncommon for long lines to form early in the morning, hours before the opening of shops holding the big sales, especially at big-box consumer electronics retailers.

    Wednesday 25 December 2013

    Book ~ "The Complete A**hole Dad: Random Musings of an Inappropriate Parent" (2014) Dan Indante

    From Goodreads ~ Dan Indante is a bitter, vindictive attorney most famous for writing the seminal relationship book The Complete A**hole's Guide To Handling Chicks, quite possibly the most offensive work in the history of American literature. 

    Now, still lacking any sense of maturity but beholden to two kids and a wife, 40-plus-year-old, fat, balding, unrepentant Dan pretends to be a model parent during PTA meetings and Little League games while secretly writing hateful screeds (like this book) which rage against the banality of modern parenting. Dan lives and works in Beverly Hills until the creditors from his various real estate projects catch up to him.

    Dan is a husband, a dad of two kids and has two Golden Retrievers.  These are his ... er .... um ... words of wisdom from what he has learned about being a dad.

    He starts by describing the birth of his kids, the importance of a binkie (aka pacifier), being alone with the baby for the first time, the difference between boys versus girls, getting the kids to sleep in their own beds, etc.  Then he tells us about the activities he's been sucked into by being a dad such as birthday parties, Girl Scout cookies, karate, Chinese language class, circus class, toys, dancing and camp.  Then comes the dilemma of whether to send his kids to private school or public school.  He is very involved in his kids' lives and coaches their baseball, soccer and basketball teams.  There are also sections on travel and pets, finishing with a chapter on life in general (things that would fit in the other chapters).

    The writing is very sarcastic and exaggerated ... I found it humorous.  I am child-free and I appreciated the musings.  The language is for a mature reader.

    I'd recommend this book if you are looking for a funny book on parenting and don't get offended easily.

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Toronto, ON

    Ripley's Aquarium of Canada opened in October and Gord and I have wanted to check it out.

    But we've been hearing about crazy long line-ups, etc. so decided we'd wait and go today when we figured most people would be home celebrating Christmas with their families.

    It's downtown, next door to the CN Tower

    Admittance is $30/adult.  We drove and underground parking across the street was $20 for 2.5 hours ($22 max after that).

    We got there about 11:30am and it was fairly crowded already.  This is looking down at the children's play area with a small restaurant attached.

    Snowy Christmas Day

    It's snowing ... big huge flakes.

    Apparently it's not supposed to last ... should be interesting to see if it accumulates.

    Merry Christmas!

    Morgan and Crumpet

    Tuesday 24 December 2013

    De-icing after the ice storm

    I had a chiro appointment today at 11:30am.

    My dilemma was whether to walk 10 minutes or drive two minutes to the clinic.

    If I walked, I'd have to bundle up because it was cold (-10C/14F ... -18C/-0.4F with the windchill).

    If I drove, I'd have to scrape our car, which hadn't been used since the ice storm on the weekend.

    I figured the car would have to be done eventually and I had time so I de-iced the car.

    I turned everything on high and waited ... there was over an inch of ice on the windshield and back window.  It took over 30 minutes of heat and me scraping to get the windows clear (good thing we had lots of gas!).

    The windshield
    The trunk

    I'm not complaining.  Yes, we have a car that needed to be de-iced.  But there are still about 200,000 Torontonians who have it worse ... they haven't had electricity since Saturday because of the ice storm and there is no end in sight for them :(

    Monday 23 December 2013

    Cherriest cherries dishcloth

    I finished knitting a dishcloth tonight.

    I used cotton yarn.

    B = K1, P1, K1

    Cast on 41

    Row 1-4- K1, P1 across ending with K1
    Row 5- B, P35, B
    Row 6 and all even rows - B, K35, B
    Row 7- B, P35, B
    Row 9- B, P5, K4, P13, K3, P10, B
    Row 11- B, P3, K8, P9, K7, P8, B
    Row 13- B, P2, K10, P7, K9, P7, B
    Row 15- B, P2, K11, P6, K9, P7, B
    Row 17- B, P2, K11, P6, K9, P7, B
    Row 19- B, P3, K8, P9, K8, P7, B
    Row 21- B, P5, K3, P15, K2, P10, B
    Row 23- B, P6, K2, P14, K2, P11, B
    Row 25- B, P6, K2, P13, K2, P9, K1, P2, B
    Row 27- B, P6, K2, P12, K2, P7, K3, P3, B
    Row 29- B, P6, K2, P11, K2, P6, K5, P3, B
    Row 31- B, P6, K2, P11, K2, P5, K6, P3, B
    Row 33- B, P7, K2, P10, K2, P4, K7, P3, B
    Row 35- B, P8, K2, P9, K2, P3, K8, P3, B
    Row 37- B, P9, K2, P8, K2, P3, K8, P3, B
    Row 39- B, P3, K1, P7, K2, P6, K2, P2, K9, P3, B
    Row 41- B, P3, K6, P4, K2, P4, K2, P2, K8, P4, B
    Row 43- B, P3, K9, P3, K3, P1, K2, P2, K7, P5, B
    Row 45- B, P4, K11, P2, K5, P1, K6, P6, B
    Row 47- B, P5, K13, P2, K3, P1, K2, P9, B
    Row 49- B, P6, K14, P2, K1, P12, B
    Row 51- B, P8, K13, P2, K1, P11, B
    Row 53- B, P12, K5, P18, B
    Row 55- B, P35, B
    Row 57- B, P35, B
    Row 59-61- K1, P1 across ending with K1

    Bind off


    Book ~ "The Smart Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want: How to be Assertive with Wit, Style and Grace" (2014) Mary Hartley

    From Goodreads ~ Do you feel like you’re not heard but you don’t want to have to scream?

    Personal development coach Mary Hartley explains the secrets of assertiveness – of how to communicate with other people in ways that are confident, effective – but also considerate. Mary reveals the simple steps you can take to help you relate to other people honestly and openly in every area of your life – at work, with your friends and family and in your love life. You will discover that you can be true to yourself and your needs without hurting or diminishing other people.
    • What assertiveness is and why it matters
    • How to avoid aggression, passivity and manipulation
    • Tips for handling tricky situations including put-downs and dealing with bullies
    • Mastering assertive body language and communication 

    Packed with practical strategies and exercises, this book will show you how to be confident, assured and proactive – with style.

    I like reading "girl power" books and enjoyed this one.

    For the most part, I don't have a problem being assertive.  But as an educator, I spend a lot of time dealing with people so I like reading books on how to handle different situations. 

    According to the author, assertiveness is:
    "... a way of behaving and communicating that is based on acceptance of oneself and of other people.  It demonstrates confidence without being overconfident, and self-control without trying to control others.
    It shows that you respect yourself and you respect other people as well - in fact, you respect others too much to play games with them or to patronise them by assuming they cannot take dissent or disagreement.
    When you behave assertively, you are open and honest without hurting or diminishing others."

    The chapters are:
    • What is a Smart Girl?:  The author tells us what is a "Smart Girl", why we find it hard to be assertive (we want to be liked, you assume negative consequences, etc.) and why we should be assertive
    • The Bulldozer, the Pushover, the Snake - and the Star:  These are different styles of behavior and why people behave this way
    • Getting the right mindset:  Letting go of guilt, taking responsibility for yourself, etc.
    • Step-by-step guide to assertive communication:  There are six steps starting with identifying what you are feeling
    • How to say it - smart body language:  Tone of voice, posture, gestures, etc.
    • Saying "no" without losing your friends or your job
    • Dealing with criticism
    • Tricky situations in your personal and social life:  Answering difficult questions from people you aren't close to (like why aren't you married, when you've lost your job, you've broken up with someone, etc.), dealing with visitors when you don't feel like seeing anyone, saying "no" to a friend, etc.
    • Dealing with difficult people:  How to deal with the bulldozer, the pushover and the snake
    • Praise and compliments:  How to give and receive compliments

    I liked the writing style.  I found it was friendly and conversational.  There were lots of examples and suggested solutions for various situations that you can put to use right away.

    Sunday 22 December 2013

    Book ~ "The Joy of Pubs: Everything You Wanted to Know About Britain's Favourite Drinking Establishment" (2013) Frank Hopkinson

    From Goodreads ~ Following on in the same vain of The Joy of Sheds, The Joy of Pubs is an intoxicating publication detailing everything and anything you want to know about pubs. It celebrates the many facets of the traditional British pub over the years, with chapters on: Pub Characters, Pub Games, Pub Fiddles (how the licensee has shafted his customers over the years), Pub Teams and Pub History from Geoffrey Chaucer to Jeffrey Bernard.

    It features the great pubs of literature – Robert Louis Stevenson’s Admiral Benbow, Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn and Charles Dickens’ The Grapes; the great pubs of film – The Crown Inn at Amersham (Four Weddings and a Funeral), the Crown Inn at Wells (Hot Fuzz); the great pubs of TV – apart from the Rover's Return, Queen Vic and Woolpack.

    It features tales of barring, of dodgy deals of riotous lock-ins and of strange hauntings. The perfect present for anyone who loves their pub or just the idea that they have a pub.

    Gord and I love pubs so I thought this book would be interesting.

    The chapters are:
    • Introduction
    • Pub games - cards, cribbage, darts, billards and quizzes
    • Pubs on TV - from shows such as Eastenders, The Brown Cow and Coronation Street
    • Pub crimes - including the great train robbery and Jack the Ripper
    • Pub names - why pub names have "angel", "black dog", "bull", "swan", etc. in them
    • Pub records - highest pub, smallest pub, largest pub, oldest pub (Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem which is not to have existed at least as long as 1189!), the most remote (The Old Forge in Scotland which has no roads to it ... it's either a seven-mile passenger ferry or an 18-mile hike), the most common name ("The Red Lion")
    • Pubs in films
    • Pubs in literature
    • Pub crawls
    • Pubs with ghosts
    • Pubs in the news
    • Pub history

    Though about pubs in Britain, I found most of the info interesting.  It made me envious because a lot of the pubs are old ... Toronto's oldest pub (one of my favourite pubs) is the Wheat Sheaf, which started serving drinks in 1849.  There are some old pictures of pubs scattered throughout the book.

    This book made me want to book a trip to Britain just to check out the pubs!

    December ice storm in Toronto

    There was a major ice storm that passed through Toronto last night and continues today.

    More than 250,000 homes in the Toronto area are without power ... and there's no guarantee it will be back on for Christmas.  Flights are delayed or cancelled.  Streetcar service has been suspended due to icy power lines.  The subway line has been affected.

    Here's our street ... it's cold, raining and slippery.   Brrrrr!

    Here are the frozen mini lilac bushes in front of our terrace ...

    When I went outside, I could hear the frozen branches on the trees cracking when the breeze came up.

    Saturday 21 December 2013

    Two hearts are better than one dishcloth

    I made another dishcloth tonight ...

    Cast on 41 stitches.

    Row 1-6- K1, P1 across ending with K1
    Row 7- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P31, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 8 and all even rows - (K1, P1)2X, K33, (P1, K1)2X
    Row 9- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P18, K1, P12, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 11- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P16, K5, P10, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 13- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P14, K9, P8, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 15- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P12, K13, P6, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 17- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P10, K17, P4, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 19- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P9, K19, P3, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 21- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P8, K21, P2, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 23- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P8, K21, P2, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 25- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P8, K21, P2, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 27- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P8, K21, P2, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 29- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P8, K21, P2, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 31- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P9, K9, P1, K9, P3, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 33- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P9, K8, P3, K7, P4, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 35- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P7, K9, P5, K4, P6, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 37- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P5, K12, P14, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 39- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P3, K15, P13, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 41- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P2, K17, P12, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 43- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P2, K17, P12, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 45- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P2, K17, P12, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 47- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P2, K17, P12, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 49- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P2, K8, P1, K8, P12, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 51- K1, (P1, K1)2X, (P3, K6)2X, P13, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 53- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P4, K4, P5, K4, P14, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 55- K1, (P1, K1)2X, P31, (K1, P1)2X, K1
    Row 56-61- K1, P1 across ending with K1

    Bind off.


    Zigzag dishcloth

    It's been a while since I've picked up my knitting needles.

    I got the urge this afternoon so made a zigzag dishcloth ...

    Using cotton yarn and 4mm needles, cast on 30 stitches.

    Row 1: k2, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k7.
    Row 2 and all even rows: knit.
    Row 3: k3, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k6.
    Row 5: k4, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k5.
    Row 7: k5, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k4.
    Row 9: k6, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k3.
    Row 11: k7, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k2.
    Row 13: k8, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k1.
    Row 15: k7, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k2.
    Row 17: k6, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k3.
    Row 19: k5, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k4.
    Row 21: k4, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k5.
    Row 23: k3, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k6.
    Row 25: k2, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k7.
    Row 27: k3, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k6.
    Row 29: k4, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k5.
    Row 31: k5, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k4.
    Row 33: k6, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k3.
    Row 35: k7, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k2.
    Row 37: k8, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k1.
    Row 39: k7, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k2.
    Row 41: k6, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k3.
    Row 43: k5, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k4.
    Row 45: k4, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k5.
    Row 47: k3, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k6.
    Row 49: k2, yo k2tog x3, k9, yo k2tog x3, k7.

    Cast off and sew ends in.


    Even Google was in the knitting spirit today ...

    Book ~ "The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off" (2013) Krista Varady and Bill Gottlieb

    From Goodread ~ "The Every-Other-Day Diet is the perfect diet for me."

    That's the satisfied declaration of a dieter who lost 41 pounds on the Every-Other-Day Diet (and kept it off!). You too can expect dramatic results with this revolutionary approach to weight loss that is incredibly simple, easy, and effective. Created by Dr. Krista Varady, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, the Every-Other-Day Diet will change the way you think of dieting forever. Among its many benefits:

    It's science-tested, science-proven. Dr. Varady has conducted many scientific studies on the Every-Other-Day Diet, involving hundreds of people, with consistently positive results published in top medical journals such as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Obesity. Unlike most other diets, the Every-Other-Day Diet is proven to work.

    It's remarkably simple-and effective. On Diet Day, you limit calories. On Feast Day, you eat anything you want and as much as you want. You alternate Diet Day and Feast Day. And you lose weight, steadily and reliably.

    There's no constant deprivation. The Every-Other-Day Diet doesn't involve day after day of dietary deprivation because you can still indulge every-other day.

    It's easy to keep the weight off. With other diets, you lose weight only to regain it, the frustrating fate of most dieters. But The Every-Other-Day Diet includes the Every-Other-Day Success Plan, an approach to weight maintenance proven to work in a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

    This book offers all of the research, strategies, tips, and tools you need to believe in the Every-Other-Day Diet and easily implement it in your life. It also includes more than 80 quick and delicious recipes for Diet Day, as well as a list of tasty prepared foods that make meals as easy as 1-2-3.

    The Every-Other-Day Diet is perfect for anyone who wants to shed pounds and feel great, without hunger and defeat.

    We all know that the way to lose weight is to eat less and more healthily and exercise more.  Yet I'm always interested in reading the different diet books to see what their approach is.

    This one is simple ... you eat 500 calories on "Diet Day" of anything you want and then as much as you want of anything you want the next day ("Feast Day") and keep alternating days (hence the name ... "every other day").  You can have booze but keep in mind that on Diet Day, depending on what you drink, you may not have many calories left for food.

    In theory, it makes sense to me.  You are eating about 25% of your usual calories on Diet Day.  Say on  Feast Day you eat what you usually eat which equals 100% of your usual calories.  So between the two days you are eating 125% of your calories rather than 200%.  Then you do it again the next two days and so on.  Even if you overate on Feast Day to 125%, you are still only eating 150% of your calories rather than 200% between the two days.

    On Diet Day, you can have whatever you want as long as you don't go over your 500 calories.  The author suggests you skip breakfast and have a 400 calorie lunch or supper and a 100 calorie snack (there are lots of recipes and suggestions included in the book).  Drink lots of water and tea/coffee, chew gum and exercise in the morning.

    To back up this theory, she includes her scientific data and true stories of people it's worked for.  There is also a maintenance program along with advice on how/when to exercise and keep your motivation going.

    I think Diet Days would be tough ... I don't do hunger well.  I've had to fast and it wasn't fun.  But as the author reminds us, basically you are sucking it up for a day and you can have whatever you want the next.  You aren't depriving yourself of anything because you know you can always have it "tomorrow".

    What do you think about a diet where you alternate eating 500 calories one day ("Diet Day") and anything you want the next ("Feast Day")?

    Friday 20 December 2013

    Book ~ "Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight Attendant" (2013) Danielle Hugh

    From Goodreads ~ If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a jet-setting hostie, or international flight attendant, then spending a little time in Danielle's life is a captivating journey. 

    You might be surprised and shocked to discover many of the truths behind the lifestyle as well as the incidences and behaviour of passengers at 30,000 feet.  Danielle writes candidly, humorously and from the heart about life, love and her exploits around the world. From the slums of Mumbai to the glitz of New York there are as many highs and lows as take-offs and landings. Prepare for a turbulent ride of emotions and adventure, so place your seat upright, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for take-off. 

    Danielle Hugh's passion for flying dazzles in this frank and amusing account of jet-setting around the globe. With almost 20 years in a unique working world, her juicy tales are often as shocking as they are colourful.

    I fly a bit and thought this book sounded interesting to give me the behind-the-scenes scoop on what it's like to be a flight attendant.

    Is it as glamourous as it seems to be?

    Danielle is an international flight attendant (aka "hostie") who gets to travel to places like Singapore, Japan and Hawaii (it doesn't say where she is based out of but it doesn't sound like it's North America).  She knows where all the best shopping is, where the best bars are and where the best restaurants are.  But in addition to ensuring passengers get their meals and drinks, she also had to clean the bathroom when a passenger gets sick, clean up a passenger when they get sick, put up with drunk and demanding passengers, etc.

    I liked this book.  The stories were interesting and at times funny.  It was good to get an insight on the relationships that exist between the crew but also their friends and families. I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  The editing could have been tighter.

    I look forward to reading More Confessions of a Hostie: The Second Sector.

    I'm on vacation!

    As of right now, I am on vacation until January 6!

    With the two weekends, the three statutory holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day), the three days the company I work give us off (Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and January 2) and the four vacation days I'm using, I'm off for 16 days!


    Toronto Rock lacrosse 2014 season's tickets

    Two years ago, Gord and I went to a couple Toronto Rock lacrosse games and enjoyed them.

    We talked about getting season's tickets last year but I didn't want to commit because I travel a fair bit for my job ... I figure there was no sense buying the tickets if I was going to miss some games.  Well, we ended up going to all the games after all, buying tickets for each game.

    A couple months ago we bought tickets for the 2014 season ... and they arrived today.

    Not only did we get the tickets for all the games but they also sent us each a picture frame.  Also included are two extra tickets for the first game on January 3, along with four vouches for future games that we can give to friends along with a discount card if we want to buy merchandise.

    I'm looking forward to a fun season and hopefully they'll win the play-offs this year!

    Wednesday 18 December 2013

    Jack Astor's Bar & Grill, Toronto, ON (Front Street)

    I met some friends for supper tonight at Jack Astor's at University/Front Street.

    Deb, Franca, Liz, Rona and I used to work together back in the mid 1990s and have been friends since.

    Alas, on the way to the restaurant, Franca slipped and hurt herself.  The last we heard, she was heading home and possibly the hospital.  I hope she's okay.

    And here we were ... Liz, Rona, me and Deb with our server, Chuba, who took good care of us.

    I ordered wings with hot sauce, as did Deb. They were okay ... when they arrived, they were cold :(

    It was fun to hang with the Chicks and catch up!

    Tuesday 17 December 2013

    Book ~ "OMG That's Paleo?" (2013) Juli Bauer

    From Goodreads ~ OMG That's Paleo? features 30 new recipes never seen before on author Juli Bauer's blog, as well as a selection of her best blog recipes.

    Sections include poultry, beef, pork, fish/seafood, slow cooker, sweet and savory breakfasts, baked goods, 5-ingredient meals, side dishes, snacks and desserts; and each recipe features a color photo.

    Juli also writes about the paleo diet in general and why it works for her, suggestions for keeping a kitchen well stocked, and recommended resources for further reading. And just like her blog, you can expect plenty of funny stories and awkward moments.

    This is the second paleo recipe book I've come across in the last week or so.  Paleo is eating a diet that is similar to that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, eating food that is as close to its nature state as possible.

    The author begins by telling us what paleo and why she eats this way.  It is written in a very conversational manner.

    There are 100 recipes with great pictures.  I am a fairly fussy eater and the recipes sound and look delicious!  Here's an example for Brazilian Curry Chicken ...

    1.5-2 lbs chicken (whatever suits your fancy)
    ¾ cup coconut milk
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tablespoon ground ginger
    4-6 tablespoons curry powder
    2 bell peppers (yellow and red), chopped into 1 cubes
    1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 cup chicken broth

    1. Grab your slow cooker
    2. Add in the coconut milk, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, curry powder, salt and pepper and whisk together.
    3. Add in peppers and onions.
    4. Next, add in chicken and pour broth over the chicken.
    5. Mix all ingredients together to completely cover the chicken in the curry mixture.
    6. Cover and cook at low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
    7. Then eat it in a cute Tupperware bowl. Or on a plate.  Whatever suits your fancy.