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Untitled?

I know, I know. Blog hiatuses have become more repetitious than a gregorian chant…. yes, I do know that was a weird reference…. no, I don’t know why it came to mind. Rather than lengthy excuses let’s (attempt) to reduce the overall rambling of this post and get down to the meat so to speak. As I edge closer and closer to the end of my student years I’m starting to feel that quintessential ‘quarter life crisis,’ – now don’t worry this isn’t going to be some self indulgent ‘isn’t life so hard’ type of post, however in my stress over the unknown I’ve started to crave more simplicity.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while (and if anyone has kept up with the constant hiatus I salute you!), this isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve been decluttering certain aspects of my life since April of 2012; on a side note is it weird that I remember that moment in time so clearly? I can’t remember what I wore last week or what I ate two nights ago but somehow that moment this moment remains etched in my mind. What was that moment exactly? Well, to be honest its more of a feeling. The feeling of being overwhelmed by possessions – in my case this was makeup. If you type in the search term makeup collection onto youtube, you might feel like you’re watching a mini episode of hoarders instead. Mind you my collection wasn’t nearly that bad, honestly it was probably 1/10th the size of the average youtube video. Nonetheless I was overwhelmed and needed to take control back in an aspect of my life that I embarrassingly had let fly off the rails. Fast forward 2 years later and I find myself craving that same simplicity in all aspects of my life.

Now I don’t mean to turn this into an essay or thesis, but this is the direction I want this blog take. What that direction is exactly is something I haven’t quite figured out, more so this is just one girl’s minimalism journey. I’m not about to turn into an extreme minimalist and live out of a suitcase or par all my possessions down to 100 items but there is something soothing about less – less stuff, less tightly packed, more empty space.

 

Less stuff, less stress.

Dinner at The Works

I’d heard about The Works for months now, a gourmet burger and fries joint with enough options to make your head spin! Finally went last weekend for a friends birthday and let me just say I can’t wait to go back! For a list of locations click here!

Here are some pictures of my meal, along with two of my companions who were sitting on either side of me. (Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of everyone’s meal!) We all chose a burger with a different side, and let me just say everything was devoured! The birthday girl ordered a poutine (which was huge!) and I was told it was equally delicious!

Whats nice about the works is the sheer amount of options. Ordering a burger is a subsequent series of steps, beginning with your choice of burger (veggie burger, grilled portabello, gourmet ground beef, chicken breast, turkey burger and if you’re feeling adventurous there is also an Elk burger!). Next is 2 FULL COLUMNS of burger options, broken down into categories for those who want a crowd favourite, the adventure seekers who want a strange combination, burgers with a lot of sauce, a spicy burger, a carnivorous burger, some specific vegetarian options (there are numerous options throughout each category…excluding the carnivorous one of course!) and lastly a world tour category with tastes such as jamaican jerk and teriyaki.

All the drinks we were served came in measuring cups!

I’ve heard their milkshakes were all to die for! So you better believe our entire  table ordered a round! I ordered a mocha- chocolate cherry milkshake (this is the kids size) to round out my ‘Not so Thin Lizzy‘ veggie burger on a whole wheat bun.

The ‘Not so Thin Lizzy‘ burger consists of crushed chipotle peppers, smokey bbq sauce & gouda cheese. I ordered a side of Spicy Die-cut chips. Let my just say that my mouth was on fire! The burger combination was listed under the spicy column, and spicy it sure was! That in combination with the spicy chips had me reaching for my water. Nonetheless the burger was delicious, and one that I would recommend. However a different side would probably be wise. My milkshake was also quite good. The color was almost that of a strawberry milkshake and although it was very sweet I liked the bit of a coffee aftertaste. I think this particular combination (yes you can mix milkshake flavours!) would have been better with just coffee instead of a mocha.

My friend J got the meal pictured above. Her milkshake was a special called the 2001 Shake Odyssey which consisted of caramel, peanut butter and oreo cookie crumbs. While her burger choice was a ‘First Date‘ veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with fresh cut fries. The ‘First Date‘ burger consists of  wild mushrooms, diced tomatoes, fresh garlic & brie cheese. J was actually the only one of us (pictured trio) that didn’t have any leftovers! C and I both brought back our sides…which were devoured later that night.

Lastly, pictured above is C’s order. She chose a peanut butter chocolate, raspberry milkshake, and let me point out that this is a delicious combination,  with a ‘Tiger Dunlop‘ Gourmet Ground Beef burger on a whole wheat bun with Sweet Potato strings. The ‘Tiger Dunlop‘ burger consisted of tomato, fresh red pepper, cucumber, shredded carrot & curry mayo.

If you have a The Works restaurant in your vicinity, or are visiting an area with one in the near future, I would HIGHLY suggest you go. Even if you aren’t up for trying adventurous food combinations there is still a simplistic burger with lettuce and burger with cheddar option (one of our dinner companions had the former, along with a plain vanilla milkshake). My mouth is watering just thinking about the meal!

Nail of the Day

Nail of the Day

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure – Thinking of Blue

Earlier this year I went on the hunt for the perfect indigo shade. I had become recently obsessed with this indigo scarf that I had received as a gift some odd years ago and wanted a nail polish to match. Yes, matching a nail polish to a scarf seems quite strange but I was literally (and am still) obsessed with this shade. This seemed to be the closest I could find, with not quite enough purple this leans a bit more navy than indigo but is still a beautiful shade.

This is my first polish from the complete salon manicure line and I’m not quite sure how many more I will purchase. The formulation was good and when paired with my favourite Revlon Colorstay topcoat, I haven’t had any chipping for about a week. However the brush is flat and quite wide, not a shape that I am used to and took a bit of extra patience. While I prefer a thinner brush, if the right color came along I wouldn’t hesitate my purchase.

Film: The Prestige

Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”

I’ve always been a fan of magic. I still remember going to this one magic show when I was a kid, maybe 5 or 6 at the time. I went with my best friend and her mom, and to say we were excited was an understatement. Now I wasn’t one of those kids who put on magic shows for their friends and family, I was the type of person that loved to watch the illusion and be confounded by my amazement of a trick. Than again maybe that’s one of the reasons why I’m pursuing science, there’s all the wonder and amazement that comes from watching a good illusion but you get the added benefit of knowing it isn’t a trick. The experiments are real, the illusion exists in reality.

The Prestige is a 2006 film, yes magic does play a role in the film however it is primarily about the rivalry between 2 magicians and their quest to become the top illusionist. The Prestige was directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as rival magicians Robert Angier and Alfred Borden respectively. The film also stars Michael Caine as Cutter, a stage engineer.

I re-watched this movie this past weekend on a rainy Friday evening and I was instantly reminded why I’m such a fan of Christopher Nolan’s work. The storytelling is just brilliant, the comparison between Angier the aristocratic magician and Borden the working class magician is superb. As a viewer you are consistently reminded about the differences between the two magicians but it is subtle enough to give depth and not force the film into a ‘rich vs poor’ story. What is interesting is how similar the two magicians are, they both face terrible losses and commit a plethora of back-and-forth crimes against one another in the name of their craft. The lengths these two men  will go through to become the superior magician both astounding and terrifying.

The casting is perfect in this film. Hugh Jackson has showmanship to spare and does a fantastic job playing the role of the theatrical yet torn Angier. The juxtaposition between a man willing to go to such great lengths in the name of his craft and a man who just craves the spotlight is a thought provoking one. I’m sure a psych student would have a field day trying to analyze his actions! Not to be outdone, Christian Bale is spot on as Borden. A man who is willing to give up so much, yet struggles to hold onto what is nearest and dearest. Lastly we can’t forget Michael Caine who rounds out the  casting playing a stage engineer who wants to do what is right and is a scene-stealer to boot.

If you have any interest in magic, the human mind or to what extremes a rivalry can go I would highly suggest watching this film.

Open-faced Flatbread with Dressings

Sometimes the best food combinations come out by accident. Made this meal one night after coming back from night class and just threw some things together. My roommates made fun of me for calling this a lazy meal; but hey what can I say, I guess i’m just not a KD girl. Honestly though, can’t even describe how good this combination is!

Toasted flatbread with ricotta cheese, cucumber, fried egg, honey mustard, ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Added some mint for a garnish

Delicious.

Cold Spring Rolls

Food Geek: Cold Spring Rolls

An easy recipe that can double as an appetizer or a light dinner. These cold spring rolls were made with rice paper sheets, carrot, celery, cucumber, red pepper and thai basil. The key to cold spring rolls is giving them enough flavour and moisture so they don’t taste like a boring salad or raw vegetables. For these I layered the flavours with different sauces to make them more interesting. I used sweet Thai chili sauce, teriyaki sauce and a poppy-seed dressing. A great quick and easy summer treat