Valentine’s Day Messages

I Heart U Cursor

I Heart U CursorSo my man created this demo of his coding skills for Valentine’s Day: interfacemaster.ca/love -> check it out! Click and drag anywhere on the screen (or tap and drag if you’re on a mobile device) and play! It’s so much fun. If you want to send a custom message to your love for Valentine’s Day, click the heart in the top right corner, enter your custom message, and share the link that’s provided! Super simple. Have fun!

where did everyone go?

Well, no one’s posted here in a while. My parents have retired and moved to Kemptville, ON, where they own a beautiful property on which they are both working vigorously to turn into a welcoming home. In fact, they’ve put in a lot of work on it in the past couple of years and it’s really come a long way from a vast, empty house on ex-farmland. It’s now a very warm, welcoming home in which they hold many parties, and they’re loving it. I wish they’d post more about all the projects they’ve taken on… the renovations are fun to look at… *poke poke, mum and dad!!*

In any case, I’ve opened up a new blog over at Knitravel. The word is a combination of “knitting” and “travel”, and “ravel” – for what yarn does 😛 I’ve since begun other crafts now, but I suppose the main focus will still be knitting and travel. And also, I’m not really traveling at the moment, though I suppose short weekend trips to Kemptville sort of count as travels, so I do post about that as well. I also post about stuff going on in Toronto, although really, that’s not all that interesting – you get the best updates on my Facebook page with the photos, I think.

I’m also still posting, about my client work and school studies in interactive multimedia, at the envy creative blog. So head over there if you wanna see what I’ve been up to in my career.

Anyway, hope you’ll still follow us. Cheers!

A photo a day

Well, I’ve already blogged about this over at the new envy creative blog, but I’m excited enough about it that I figured I’d post it here too. I’m not going to be duplicating posts very often, if at all, but I do want to point to other things I’m doing online from here at the very least.

In any case, I’ve decided to start posting a photo a day. I’ve already posted the first photo. If you want to see it, you’ll have to click over, or check out the post at the new envy creative blog. BTW, I relaunched the site recently – it’s not completely ready to begin promoting yet, but a link or two here and there won’t hurt.

a musing (are you bemused?)

Who cares what you have to say? comes the voice from within every time I begin to write. You’re nobody important. Why bother, when there’s already a million people clamouring for attention, with both far more, and far less, important things to say? and so I pepper my blogging platform with half-written entries, this voice quelling my initial excitement at the thought of publishing something – anything – that might garner me an audience, folding the desire back into itself, slowly stemming the passion to put my fingers to the keys and tell people what I’ve been up to with my own observations, in my own voice. Why would anyone bother to read that stuff anyway?

This is probably why I turned to design. So I can still create works to be seen, published, even more – interacted with, without having to come up against possible failure at my greater passion for writing (have no doubt, I do love design). Without having to hear words of discourging criticism of my limited, mostly squandered, once-potential for talent that just never blossomed and probably never will.

This way, I can slowly turtle on, writing in bursts, when my need to express myself genuinely becomes too great and I can no longer hold in my voice, when I can finally take my vocal croak and turn it into eloquent hieroglyphs perhaps destined to be digitally burned eternally into the minds of humankind as the Internet Archive and biotechnology evolve, morph together into some new species that will overcome all environmental disaster, oxygen depletion and animal extinction.

Well, it’s nice to have a less scary dream amidst all the constant prophecies of our self-induced, imminent doom, anyway.

In Flight

Caught between two layers of cloud: one, a cushiony, fluffy bed on which to catch us if we fall. The other, a greyish-white ceiling of the most liquid dream I’ve ever seen. A pale strip of blue sits between these two layers, parallel to us. It’s the most desirable room in an insane asylum – white walls with a glimpse of freedom millions of miles away – one could ever inhabit.

Super free day!

Today is super-free day! At work, we Had “haircuts and hot dogs” day in celebration of getting placed as one of the 2010 Best Workplaces in Canada.

And Starbucks was giving away free coffee to anyone who brought in a mug. I gotta say though, it was really watery compared to usual…

Still a good day. Being beautifully sunny as well, I rode in on my bike, saving a couple of tokens too! What a great day!

Spice Safar

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing for a freelance position to help further the Spice Safar brand. As a result, I was allowed to experience Spice Safar as a customer as well.

I entered the King West location in the morning, and approached the front desk. I explained to the attendant (I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes and call him a Barista) that I was here to meet the founder and CEO, Wilhelm Liebenberg. I was told he was in a meeting, and asked if I would like a coffee. Not hungry enough for a milk-based drink, and certain I didn’t wanted a full dose of drip coffee (I’ve been trying to cut back on the caffeine), I made a snap decision and asked for an espresso. This turned out to be the perfect choice… the attendant told me to go sit down and he’d bring it to me.

As I waited, I pulled out my iPod Touch and scanned for wireless connections. I saw one for Spice Safar, and when the attendant came over, I asked him for the password. I logged on, and happily checked my email (I love this wi-fi being provided for free to customers in many places downtown – right on, Toronto).

But more importantly, the attendant had brought a rectangular, white plate arranged with a small espresso mug on a little saucer, a beautifully shaped spoon, a long, thing bag of raw sugar, a shot glass filled with sparkling water and – my favourite, of course – a little bowl with the most perfect portion of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen – about 8 small bites on the spoon.

I was in heaven. The espresso had a light, frothy head, felt creamy to the tongue and tasted nutty and chocolaty with just a hint of coffee flavour. I wanted to savour it, so I took small sips and ate some of the chocolate cake in between. When I was done, the sparkling water was the perfect accompaniment to clear my mouth and throat of any stickiness. I find I always want water after espresso – Spice Safar certainly gets the whole experience right.

My partaking was complimentary, but Wilhelm mentioned the price being the same as what you pay at Starbucks. If that’s true, I think I’ll start going to Spice Safar more often!

Look out for their flagship store, launching in the next couple of months at King & Spadina.

Group buying power

One of the cooler things about living in Toronto is all of the deals you can get on a daily basis. I recently got into TeamBuy and WagJag, both websites which offer a deal on a daily basis (some last longer than one day), typically a meal, service or other entertainment in the range of 30-60% off the regular price. TeamBuy is where I got my gym membership from – 6 months for $150, which is an amazing deal.

I just stumbled across another one, too. It’s similar, but works slightly differently – you get coupons emailed to you daily. I’ve just signed up, and I’m looking forward to the deals they feature. Check it out at Groupon.

Salad of the Gods

I’ve done a lot of research over the past few years on eating healthy, choosing the right foods, and eating a well-balanced, varied diet. I’ve tried exercising, cleansing, whole food diets and vegetarianism, and have found that a combination of the main principles of all of them are really the best approach to living a healthy life. I still eat meat, though less of it, and focus more on the good fat types of meat – mainly seafood. Of course, what I’ve discovered to be the healthiest approach is really tailored toward my own body – I note my mental and physical energy whenever I eat, and know what foods to eat more of and what to avoid.

The salad I’m posting today is the best recipe to come out of all this obsession, and it is my own. I call it the Salad of the Gods because it pleases me in every way: tongue, belly, and brain. I always feel energetic after eating it, it tastes delicious, and it helps me stay sharp.

Equipment needed:

Clean coffee grinder, or a coffee grinder that you reserve for seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ of a large cucumber, sliced, slices halved OR ¼ green pepper, diced
  • ¼ medium-sized ripe avocado, sliced in chunks
  • 1/3rd package of Sea Quest King Crab flavoured Alaska Pollock, diced into cubes
  • 2-3 cloves raw, fresh garlic (depending on your palette, you may wish to use more for a stronger flavour, or eliminate this altogether; 2-3 cloves gives a medium bite)
  • 1 tablespoon hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 dessertspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 dessertspoon oregano flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon your favourite DHA oil blend
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Place the baby spinach in a large bowl. Throw on the sliced cucumber or diced green pepper, chunked avocado and cubed King Crab. Place the bowl in the fridge while you prepare the sauce to keep it fresh.

Place the hemp seeds, flax seeds and nutritional yeast into the coffee grinder, and grind until powdery. Scrape out the result from the grinder into a measuring cup (I find this is easiest for mixing, and then pouring when done). In the measuring cup, pour in the parsley and oregano flakes. Pour in the oils, and then the balsamic vinegar. Use a garlic press to press the fresh cloves into the mixture, and then stir it all together until it’s well-mixed.

Get your bowl back out of the fridge. Pour the mixture over the bowl. You can either mix it now, or just begin eating – I find the sauce will spread fairly well over the salad as you eat it, if you’re careful.

Recommendation:

I highly recommend a large glass of the strained juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon in cold water  to accompany this salad. It complements the flavour mighty well, and helps curb the scent of the garlic when you’re done. It’s also highly alkalizing, so if you find the balsamic vinegar a tad acidic, this will counteract that.

No more PFL

Well, my foray into pillow fighting was short-lived. After my second fight, I realised I’m a lover, not a fighter. I think, also, I just really enjoy trying things out the first time. Which is all good… one more certificate to post on my wall.

In other news, I bought myself a bike this summer. I did this to save money on TTC tickets, which I was using far too much considering the beautiful weather.

Since obtaining my lovely used mountain bike, I’ve become incredibly fit. It’s sort of amazing – I’m able to go bike riding for at least 20 minutes every day, and then still have enough energy to go to the gym and do my full weight lifting routine. My diet has also become far more healthy than it ever was – no more pizza on a weekly basis either!

Riding my bike down the street is so much fun… I’m very good at being alert and making sure not to get hit. (*knocks on wood*) I find biking on the road gives me a freedom I’ve missed since selling my car all those years ago when I first moved downtown… I can go as fast as I want, I have the wind on my face, it’s just… refreshing.

And it’s given me another perspective of the road. I’ve now been a pedestrian, a rollerbladeian (!), a biker and a driver. And of course, having had the experience from all sides, I’m now a much better, more attentive and more courteous driver – because I know what it’s like.

For anyone living downtown and looking to save a few bucks, I highly recommend getting a bike. Forget cars! I have a vision of the future in which cars not longer exist on the streets… I’m a convert.