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Archive for March, 2012

SO the second tea-realted item that I got, in addition to the tea fishers, is this tea diver.  So cute!  You put the loose leaf tea inside of the diver, and it acts as an infuser.  Genius!

#58:

Tea diver

Tea diver

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So in my new tea frenzy, I got these tea fishers…which are really just tea bag holders.  I’ve never really had an issue with losing the string into my tea, but thought these were cool.

#57:

Tea Fishing

Tea Fishing

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I’m a big Angry Birds fan.  So when the Dude sent me a link with the release date of the new Angry Birds in Space, I knew I had to have it.

#56:

Angry Birds in Spaaaaaaace!

Angry Birds in Spaaaaaaace!

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Rolling out more of the DIY for the wedding.  Picked up some vases from a friend over the weekend.  Let the cutting and pasting begin!

#55:

Vases

Vases

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So I had my first experience with curling on Sunday.  I have to say, it’s harder than it looks.  Not because of the whole walking/trotting/sweeping on ice thing, but when it’s your turn to throw the rock, it requires you to be flexible.  Man, was I feeling it yesterday…and today.

So this whole thing came about when my cousin told me that they curl a couple times a year.  Sounded interesting.  Back in February, I told her that we’d like to try it out the next time they went, and so there we were.

I’ll admit, the first time I tried to launch myself off the launching block, I ate ice.  And the second time.  I got a bit of practice by myself and started to be able to do it.  That instructor was a miracle worker.

Since the Dude and I were the only first-timers, we were able to get a few sets (what’s the time in curling?!) in.  All in all, a very enjoyable day.

#54:

Curling Arena

Curling Arena

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The Toronto Maples Leaf home turf used to be Maple Leaf Gardens.  (Hockey!)  Heck, the team mascot is called Carlton the Bear, because Maple Leaf Gardens is on Carlton St.  :sigh:  The Leafs have since moved to the Air Canada Center, and part of the Gardens is now converted to a chain grocery store.  Let’s hope that they at least keep this sign.

#53:

Maple Leaf Gardens

Maple Leaf Gardens

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The Kingsway decorative lights.

#52:

Lights!

Lights!

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What’s this?!  Shots on a Thursday night?!?!

No, just tea samples at David’s Tea.  The tea of the day is ‘Gold Rush’.  Not bad as an iced tea sweetened with agave.

#51:

Shots...of Tea

Shots...of Tea

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Rode my bike to check in on McLovin again.  It has been a foggy few days, and made some of the shore line and its buildings look like MysteryTown.

#50:

Fog in the Distance

Fog in the Distance

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Finally caught up with a friend that I haven’t been able to sit down with in a long time.  We decided to go to Green Mango for dinner.

#49:

Pho!

Pho!

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Whenever my friend Mia* goes on vacation, she’ll ask one or two of us to check in on her cat, McLovin.  This little guy is really needy, but super cuddly at the same time.  He’s so cute!

*Not her real name

#48:

McLovin

McLovin

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Spent a nice Sunday painting the second layer on the ceiling and then out for dim sum in Chinatown with some friends.

I couldn’t help but take a photo of this happy fortune cat.  He made me happy just by looking at him.

#47:

Fortune Cat!

Fortune Cat!

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It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and while we were out walking we encountered plenty of fresh cut flowers for sale.

#46:

Tulips

Fresh Tulips

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Ended a really long week with dinner with friends and an introduction to backgammon.

#45:

Backgammon

Backgammon

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This is how I wish I could spend my day.  Lazing about with not a care in the world…

#44:

Card shop cat

Card shop cat

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It’s amazing to me that these days, houses seem to have very little storage room.  The size of the closets in our extra bedrooms are laughable, and our linen closet is barely big enough to hold linens.  Our walk-in closet in the master bedroom was a reasonable size, but somewhat oddly shaped.  And it only had one rack.  One rack!  How was I….ahem, I mean how were we, supposed to fit all our stuff in there?! Cut to the before pictures:

Before shot 1

Before shot 1

Before shot 2

Before shot 2

See all of that untapped space above and below?  Wasted!  And to top it all off, the door didn’t fully open, leaving a gap behind it because the shelf above the rack jutted out a bit to far.  Argh! Thankfully, my Dad had remedied this sort of issue in my last closet at home, so I knew that we could do something to fix the problem.  I outlined what my Dad had done to make more space to the Dude, and using his engineering powers and general love of precision, mocked up a 3D layout of a potential solution.  Not bad, Dude, not bad at all:

Closet blueprint

Closet blueprint

Such attention to detail!  He even put hangers in there! Now I know that there are people out there that think Ikea furniture is flimsy and cheap, and that may be true to some extent, but I’ve always thought that there were some good pieces to be found.  And really, depending on what your budget is, it can be a real saver.  In this case for us, Ikea’s Stolmen line allowed us to mix and match pieces to our specific specifications. We got all the pieces that we needed to put everything together in one shot, to eliminate unnecessary trips:

The pieces

The pieces

After clearing out the closet, the first thing was to take out the existing fixtures and fill in the holes and sand down the walls.

Empty closet

Empty closet

The odd thing about the closet (other than the shape) was the it was the only place in the entire house that still had a speckled (or popcorn) ceiling.  Personally, I did not have an issue with this.  But the Dude was quite riled up about this.  So he took matters into his own hands and smoothed down the ceiling.  And before you go thinking that it must have taken forever, there’s actually a trick to it.  Instead of using sand paper and sanding it down, what you can do is spray a tiny bit of water onto the ceiling, and then essentially “shave” it smooth.

Smoothing out the popcorn

Smoothing out the popcorn

After everything was sanded out, it was time to take measurements and tape out the places to drill.

The Marking Begins

The Marking Begins

And after all the filling and sanding and sanding and taping and painting…

Our new hampers

Our new hampers

Double rows!

Double rows!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I am super pleased about the result.  No more having to store stuff  in bags and boxes, and we are able to use pretty much all of the available space in there.  Huzzah!

Edit:  Just wanted to add the different products in case you’re thinking of renos too!

Closet system: Ikea Stolmen
Laundry hampers: Steele Canvas
Pendant light: Muuto
Light bulb: Plumen
Paint: Benjamin Moore Elmira White

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Guys, I have a confession to make.

I am considering signing up for the Toronto Half Marathon this fall.

O_O

Those of you who have read about my intro to running here, know why this is a semi-big deal.  I’ve given it a lot of thought since last fall, especially after I ran 14K for one of my long runs in late summer.  I feel like I need a bucket list, and this is one of things that needs to be on it, you know?

I did my first run this past Wednesday since I re-injured my ankle in November, and although it didn’t feel easy, it wasn’t a complete failure, and I managed 4K.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

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More St. Patty’s theme cakes.

#44:

Mmm...cake...

Mmm...cake...

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Looks like St. Patrick’s Day is coming.

#42:

A cookie cake!

A cookie cake!

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Every March, a group of people at my work set flowers.  It used to be daffodils, and for the last couple of years, it has been tulips.  There’s always an option of cut or potted flowers, and I always for the potted.  Since I tend to kill about 50% of whatever plants I bring into the house, and tulip bulbs can be re-grown, I figure this would be the best way to go.  And just so you don’t go thinking that my work randomly allows its employees to sell anything, this event is in support of the Lung Association.

Last year, I brought 3 pots.  I did the same this year.  Perhaps I can set up a flower bed next year, and re-plant all of my tulip bulbs…

#41 – In bloom:

A sign of spring

A sign of spring

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