Monday, July 21, 2014

Gander, Newfoundland: frozen in mid-century time

Gander Airport 6I recently had the chance to travel to Newfoundland for work.  I stayed in Gander, which is a small town in north-eastern Newfoundland.  Gander became a popular travel hub around the 1960s as a refuelling port for transatlantic flights, which earned it the nickname "the crossroads of the world".  However, as airplane technology became more efficient, it became less useful as a refuelling point, and these days, though the international/secure area of the airport is still in use, it is much less frequent than it was back in the mid-century.  As such, the international area of the Gander Airport is like a time capsule, frozen in mid-century goodness.

My coworkers and I were able to take a private tour of the international area and I was in heaven.  Everything is beautiful and clean and pristine.  The security guard who showed us around has been an employee for many years, and he had all the inside information.  He even took us into the ladies washroom, and showed us where Queen Elizabeth sat, applying her makeup.  (Yup.  There was a section with chairs, a long mirror and a ledge for make-up applying!)

  Gander Airport 5 
  Gander Airport 2 
  Gander Airport 1


Albatross Hotel
You can also see the mid-century influences in various buildings around town - which is a little slice of heaven for someone who loves the 1950s & 60s as much as I do!   The Albatross Hotel (left) is located on the Trans-Canada Highway and looks super cool from the outside, architecturally.  (I didn't actually walk inside, but from reading reviews on tripadvisor, unfortunately I don't think the mid-century theme continues inside - if I owned a place that looked like this, I would totally play up the furniture and art on the inside to make it all seamless!)


Hotel Gander Over at the Hotel Gander, my coworkers and I had some dinner (or supper, as Newfoundlanders like to call it!) in the hotel restaurant before we took in a little comedy show.  I was super in love with this aviation-themed, mid-century style artwork on the walls.  Wish I could've taken these home with me!

Overall, I found Gander to be a quaint little town, but with not too many entertainment, shopping, or food/patio options.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the locals do for fun.  But they are all SUPER friendly.  And the mid-century feel to this town was amazing!



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Friday, June 13, 2014

Lazy Girl's Tortellini Salad

I recently started a new job, and I've found that they like to do potluck food days for various occasions. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries... if there's a reason, there's a food day. So when a surprise potluck was planned for my boss's boss's boss (catch that?), I knew I had to make something with a little more pizzazz than my standard desserts.

So I went to some web friends, who pointed me in the direction of a tortellini salad. It seemed simple enough for even me to make, given that I rarely cook. I thought I'd share my easy, lazy's girls version of Tortellini Salad.

Ingredients:
- One bag of Cheese Tortellini
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Baby Spinach
- One jar of Roasted Red Peppers
- Other veggies as you see fit

For my tortellini, I went with a full bag of Barilla's Cheese and Spinach Tortellini. I simply followed the directions on the bag to cook the pasta. Once they were done, I strained out the water and let them sit to cool down.

While the pasta was cooking, I sliced the red peppers into thinner slices, so it could easily be tossed with the rest of the salad. I placed them into the container I'd be taking with me to work and refrigerated it while I waited for the pasta to cool.

After about 30 minutes, I checked to make sure the pasta had cooled down, then put the pasta into the container with the red peppers. I chopped up some baby spinach and added that on top, then poured some balsamic vinaigrette over it all. With a large spoon, I mixed it all up to get it nice and covered with dressing.

You'll want to let it cool for a few hours. Be sure to mix it up again when serving to ensure you get the peppers and spinach, since they may settle. Then enjoy!

Voila! I got compliments from my co-workers on it and I look forward to the next occasion to make this easy dish again.



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Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

It seems that my favourite way to try out new products these days is when I receive them through an Influenster voxbox - and I am definitely not complaining about that!  My latest product that I received were these imPRESS press-on manicure by Broadway Nails.  I can honestly say I have never used false nails before, and I was a bit skeptical, but they turned out to be pretty great!

The most difficult part in the entire process (which really wasn't all that difficult!) was selecting the sizes that best fit my nails.  After laying them all out in a row, I proceeded to use the alcohol swab to clean my nails, and then applied each one, starting from the pinky nail and leaving the thumbs for last.

The fit was pretty good for my fingers, except for in a few places where the edge didn't quite meet the cuticle.  They were a little too long for me, since I'm used to having relatively short nails - but I was able to use a nail clipper and file on them to cut them down to a length that worked well for me!

I've had them on for 5 days now and they've stood up to dish washings, hair washings, photoshoots and days in the sun!  My nails do grow pretty fast though, so I don't think I'll keep them on to much longer as it's starting to get more noticeable that the nails aren't quite perfect.

Ultimately, I would recommend them for a quick fix - if you need a manicure in a hurry for a special event, these would be great.  They took less than 5 minutes to apply, and I got lots of compliments on them!




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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Color Me Rad 5K

So yesterday I ran/walked/jogged my first ever 5K. A few months back I got a Groupon to run Color Me Rad, a colorfully fun race that will wreck your shower afterwards.

I was up and out the door at 8AM to get to the race venue. After finding my friends, picking up the final registration packet, missing the Zumba warm up (sad faces) and generally getting our bearings, we headed to the starting line for our wave.


There was a very energetic gentleman on a microphone getting us hyped before we were let loose and even before we started running, there were color bombs being thrown around, showering us with spots of colors. Despite the intense heat, especially running on mostly asphalt, we pushed forward through various color stations.

But it was a lot of fun! We were handed more color bombs at the finish line and started pelting each other with them to make ourselves more colorful. When we were done, we looked a MESS!! I brought towels to sit on in the car for the ride home, and it seems like most others did the same.

All in all, it was a great morning spent with great people having great fun. If you haven't tried this 5K (or any other fun sounding 5K) I highly recommend it!
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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Paleo General Tso-Inspired Chicken

When I found some ground chicken on sale for a great price at the grocery store, I just had to pick up a package... but then I found myself wondering what to make with it.  I could have made fajitas or meatballs, but I wanted something different - and I was really in the mood for broccoli.  Fajitas and broccoli just don't go together in my mind, so I had to come up with something new!

I used ingredients that are staples in my fridge & pantry - and because I was super hungry, I had to come up with something quick.  The little bit of tapioca included in the sauce thickens it up nicely, and it tastes so good.  This recipe serves two, but I must admit - I definitely went back for seconds after finishing my first dish!


Ingredients:

Sauce:
Chicken:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 grams ground chicken (1/2 package)
Side:
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli
Method:

  • Add all ingredients for the sauce to a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.

  • Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a pan. Add the chicken once the oil is hot. Once the chicken is browned, add the sauce to the chicken. Cook a few minutes longer until the sauce thickens.

  • Meanwhile, steam your broccoli using a steamer and a shallow pot of water.  If desired, you can add a little bit of minced garlic to the broccoli for a little bit of extra flavour.

  • To serve, place the broccoli in the bottom of a dish, and spoon the chicken on top, allowing the sauce to drizzle over the broccoli.  

Note: this would also taste great with some jasmine or basmati rice, if you allow rice into your diet!

Servings: 2




The recipe doesn't take long at all to prepare - maybe 30 minutes max from ingredient gathering to final meal, so it makes it perfect for a work night.  I think it would taste great as leftovers too, however, I would probably steam the broccoli fresh the next day - microwaved/reheated broccoli doesn't always have the same flavour.


I'm pretty sure that this recipe will be added to my current rotation of weeknight dinners - how about you? Are you going to give it a shot?  Leave tips in the comments if you try it or customize it for yourself!





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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

Hope all who celebrate are having a happy Easter weekend with family and friends!  Yesterday, I painted an egg with my niece... Here's my attempt at a TARDIS egg... What do you think? 

How do you celebrate Easter? I'm looking forward to a plate of homemade gnocchi tomorrow! Yay!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Album Review: Royal Wood - The Burning Bright

Royal Wood is one of the most brilliant and underrated musicians ever in existence.  He recently released his fifth studio album, The Burning Bright, on MapleMusic records.  This album comes to me at an interesting time in my life.  It appears Royal and I have both shared similar issues - he and wife Sarah Slean announced their split at the beginning of the year.  I was officially divorced on January 10th.  Royal's music has factored in throughout my relationship - "I'm So Glad" (from 2007's A Good Enough Day) was the first song I danced to with my ex-husband on our wedding day.  When I was deciding whether to leave or not, songs like "Not Giving Up" and "Release Me" - particularly the lyric "Cursing every vow we made" - echoed in my head(both songs from from 2012's We Were Born to Glory).


Royal Wood Now, as I turn to a brand new page in my life, there is Royal again, with a beautiful breakup album for me to soak up.  There are so many phrases that resonate so soundly within me.  “Well I once believed in a fairy-tale, now I’m holding a coffin nail,” from Promises.  This phrase from The Light Of Dawn: "The love between us was a lie / You blame me for the tragic end / You claim I was a broken man / You act so blameless yet again."  And, "An angel is a demon if she stands around in hell" from I'm Afraid.

But it's not a sad album.  It's a powerful one.  It's one of realizing where you've been, and where you have to go.  It's a tale of survival - with beautiful melodies running throughout.  The album is a musical journey, exploring all the emotions that go along with leaving the person with whom you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life.  

You can stream the entire album over at CBC Music, or buy via iTunes.


Royal Wood & I

Royal Wood has several dates scheduled throughout Canada (including May 17 in Toronto, which as luck would happen, I am unable to attend... grrr!), and I would highly recommend attending one of his live performances.  He has never failed to fully captivate myself as well as the rest of the audience, every time I've seen him.

Visit RoyalWood.ca for more info.


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