How a chocolate chip muffin changed my life

Alternate title: Can a chocolate chip muffin save your life? (short answer: yes)

Real title: How a craving for a Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffin led me to be in the right place at the right time.

I’ll explain. But first, this is the muffin I was craving:

Can’t blame me, right?

It’s no secret that 2014 has been a craptacular year for me, and also seems like it was for a lot of other people too. So I’ve been a little desperate to have some good news to end the year. Cutting it a little close, but I got it.

One morning a few weeks ago, at the end of November, I was sitting at my desk at work being frustrated about something or other, having a bit of a hard time being back in the office after being home sick/working at home the week before, and trying not to give in to a craving for a chocolate chip muffin. Finally I just said screw it, sugar and wheat be damned, I’m getting the damn muffin.

To make a long story short: I ran into a colleague I used to work, I let him cut the Tim’s line in front of me, we started chatting, I mentioned it might be time for a change in the new year, and he said he’d just posted a position that I might be a good fit for. I got back to my desk (with my muffin and peppermint tea), looked up his job, and messaged him that it looked interesting and I would apply for it. I applied, had three interviews, and got the job, in less than three weeks. It’s a great opportunity for me, it’s something new and something more along the lines of what I want to do, and I’m so excited to be starting that in the new year.

So is the moral of the story to never ignore a craving? That could be dangerous, because I have a lot of cravings. But if I’d squashed this one and stayed at my desk, I wouldn’t have run into my new boss in line, and I might have passed by his job posting. It was truly a case of being in the right place at the right time, and proving that having a good work ethic and working hard pays off in the end, because people want to hire you.

At any rate, thank god for the good news, or else I would have had to write off this whole year entirely. I’m very grateful for my good luck. Very grateful.


November 2014 in pictures

Christmas is just around the corner, and almost at the end of the year. This year has just flown by. I can’t say I’m upset about that though, because it’s been a pretty crappy year for me. If it’s going to be a bad year, at least it went quickly. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that things are looking up, but emphasis on “cautious” there. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll have some good news…

In the meantime, this was November:

doggie in jail? // Remembrance Day // eating cupcakes for the United Way // Saturday morning grocery shopping // sunrise // sunset // ice cream in winter // a manicure and my book of the month // quizzical doggie


I love fall

I’ve been stuck inside for the past 5 days with a nasty cold. While I’ve been sitting on my couch drinking strong ginger tea (grate fresh ginger, add hot water, steep, strain, drink) and hot honey and lemon (squeeze a lemon, add honey and hot water, drink), it suddenly turned into winter.

What is this white stuff? I was enjoying fall and I want it back. Mostly because I haven’t had time to write my “I love fall” post. But it looks like fall temperatures will come back next week, so maybe it’s not over yet.

And it could always be worse, it could be Buffalo today.

I love fall for the colours.

The last two pictures are at Queen’s Park, here in Toronto. I love fall for the cool temperatures, comfortable for walking around the city in.

I also love the coats (fall weight, not winter weight) and the scarves, even if I am incompetent at tying them and can only do the European loop.

Soia & Kyo trench coat // cashmere pashmina from Nepal (gift from Will)


Highlights of NYC and Boston, only a month late

More proof I’m a bad blogger: I’m finally getting around to posting pictures of my trip to Boston and NYC, which happened a month ago.

I think I was overwhelmed by all the photos I took and trying to weed out the bad/redundant ones.

Here is the first batch, with minimal commentary, just the highlights (but of course, probably too many pictures).

The rotisserie duck at Momofuku:

We ate until we were sick, but it was so good. I highly recommend it.

SoHo in the rain on a Saturday:

This little puppy in a raincoat at J.Crew in SoHo:


Puppy post

My nephew dog, 4-month-old Quimby the mini labradoodle:

I have so many photos of him from my trip to Boston and NYC that I felt he deserved his own post.

Mini labradoodles are a bit small for my liking (I like big dogs), but he’s pretty damn cute. (Also the fact he doesn’t shed helps, that’s pretty awesome.)

He’s a really good car passenger. And he looks like he has a bad perm. (The two facts are unrelated.)

He loves my sister and brother-in-law, and eventually he loved me too (he’s a little slow to warm up).

He’s a little shy around other dogs, but he met this Westie at Brooklyn Flea and played nice with him.

This little boxer puppy was so excited to meet Quimby, he bopped him on the head.


We selfied in Madison Park, but he was upset that his humans left him with me to go for brunch.

We made up for it with some Big Gay Ice Cream (I couldn’t finish my Salty Pimp).

As sweet as he is, he is sometimes a brat. He doesn’t like to walk when he’s not in a group, so he just lies down on the sidewalk.


But he’s so cute, we’ll forgive him.


October 2014 in pictures

This whole blogging thing, I’ve gotten pretty terrible at it over the past few months. I’m way behind on posting about my October trip, so I’m not going to get to that until next month, and I’m way behind on reading and commenting on all the blogs on my reader. My weekend will be dedicated to catching up. It’s a good thing I only do this for fun, and I don’t try to make any money off of it, because I wouldn’t be doing very well.

Most of the pictures on my Instagram this month were from New York City and Boston, but I want to do them justice by putting them up in their own posts. Lots of puppy pictures coming! (And food. And sometimes puppy with food.)

Will's "I feel so guilty I'm leaving you to go on a long vacation even though you said it was ok" flowers // golden puppy // travelling! // trip reading // sour cherry sorbet // Korean treats Will brought home // inflatable Ursula // inflatable cat the size of a house (the head moves back and forth and it also glows in the dark) // poutine

It’s Halloween tonight and in true Canadian fashion, it’s cold and raining with a chance of snow later. Costumes are always dictated by room for a snowsuit underneath. I’ve been indulging in a bit of Halloween candy (who knew frozen Twix were so good?), and hope all the kiddies out there come home with a good haul, have fun, and stay safe.



I got home from an extended Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in Boston and NYC (the chocolate went down really well, except I’m confused that my sister and brother-in-law don’t binge like I do, they actually eat one or two pieces and then stop, wtf is that?) on Wednesday, blog posts about my exploits upcoming, once I get my act together.

I went back to work on Thursday and Friday, but it still feels like I’m on vacation. Maybe because Will is still in Nepal (he finished his trek up Gokyo Ri and is fine, nowhere near the blizzard and avalanche that happened last week, terrible about what happened to the trekkers there), and I’m having a weekend to myself where I can do what I want. Not that I can’t do what I want when he’s here, but it’s just different.

So today I had pie, hot chocolate, and went for a lovely fall walk.

And took the opportunity to try out the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S5, my new work phone.

I picked up pie at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky at Kensington Market.

The Ontario sour cherry was…fine. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for pie?

I also went to the Distillery District, which I love.

There are locks on the letters, like on the bridges in Paris.

I just happened to end up at Soma Chocolate again. I mean, I’m there already, I can’t not go in, right?

The hot chocolate is their Spicy Mayan with milk, not sweet at all. It’s more like a coffee than a sweet drink.

Today’s outfit:

Soia & Kyo raincoat // American Apparel circle scarf // Gap zip leggings // eric michael Laguna boots

Not a great photo, so here’s Friday’s outfit:

Hugo Guinness for J.Crew Dog Tee // Gap zip leggings // Gap classic ballet flat in rose blush

I can’t resist a hound on a T-shirt.



(from the episode Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk, season 3)

You’d think you’d be able to get pretty good chocolate in Boston (L.A. Burdick isn’t bad, for one), but my sister always requests that I bring chocolate from two local Toronto chocolatemakers when I go visit.

I’m happy to do it, even if I turn into Homer in the Land of Chocolate while I’m shopping for the goodies.

At Stubbe Chocolates, I picked up truffles, salted caramels, chocolate-covered Australian ginger, and an assortment of bars.

My sister and her husband ration themselves and make their stash last. If it were up to me, this would probably be gone in a week. It’s amazing that I had these for a few days in my house without tearing into them and ending up in a chocolate orgy.

I also go to Soma chocolatemaker in the Distillery District.

When I’m there, I’m like a kid in some kind of store. Of course I have to get something for myself. I love the English toffee with almonds, the dried cherries tumbled in dark chocolate, and their latest truffle of the month, calamansi and white chocolate in a dark chocolate shell (omg so good).

Blurry because I was shaking with impatience to get at them.

I have so many goodies to bring to Boston that I had to put everything in a box, and it was heavy!

It’s appropriate for what will be a food-centric weekend. As it should be, it’s Canadian Thanksgiving so I have to be gluttonous regardless of where I am.

Hope everyone has a good one and more food photos to come when I get back!

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