Sunday, January 31, 2010

The weekend

Robert and I met our friend Yumiko last night for a few drinks at her office party.  Good food, a fine wine and great conversation!  I should really get out more.  I always find that I have a really good time.  It sure does beat sitting on the couch every Friday night (although I never complain about hanging out in my pajamas, because pajamas are just awesome).

Photo 29/365:

We've made it through the first month of not spending money on take out/ delivery, but did splurge a little on Saturday for Dim Sum.  We felt it was a fair reward for all our hard work this month.  Okay, we are weak, but it was totally worth it.  We've discussed it and feel that an end of month Dim Sum outing will not hurt our budget. 

I am excited to end each month with Dim Sum because it means I get to savour an amazing array of flavours that I crave on a daily basis.  Cha Liu is my weakness, my addiction.  I have a problem, but at least it's a delicious one.

Photo 30/365:

With this last photo, I've officially completed my first month of taking one photo every day.  11 more months to go.  I honestly thought I would bale out on this project, but it's proving to be doable.  Challenging, but doable.

Photo 31/365:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter grass

Went for a walk during my break at work today.  It was -21 C with the wind so decided a walk outside was not the best idea.  I decided to go to Metro Hall to walk through the concourse and found these tall grasses at Roy Thompson Hall.  Quite difficult to get a picture of with the high winds, I managed to get a somewhat still shot when the winds died down for only a moment. 

Although the grass was a lovely blonde, I felt a blue filter gave a better feeling for the chilly mood of the day.

Photo 28/365:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meat Perfection

Poultry                                    180 F

Rare Beef:                               140 F

Med Beef:                                160 F

Well Done Beef:                      170 F    (blasphemy)

Lamb & Pork:                         170 F

Photo 27/365:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

26th day

Day 26, I've almost completed a month.  Now if only I could stick to exercise like this,

Photo 26/365:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Leaping Bunnies

A gift from my friend, Yumiko.  I love this little fan but never really find much use for it other than to admire it's beauty now and then.  The bunnies on it are adorable and pretty red little flowers adorn the paper portion. 

Photo 25/365:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The leg swats are the biggest clue...

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

tea ball

Nothing quite like a hot cup of herbal tea.

Photo 24/365:

mein Mann

I'm really enjoying this!  I might have to invest in a tablet as I'm finding the mouse a little difficult to maneuver around with.  I've got a couple of Future Shop gift cards, so they may just cover the cost.  Super fun!

Hey Hermano!

I spent my Saturday night looking up how to make stencils and came across this Stencil Tutorial.  Not having a picture of Dick Cheney, I looked through my photo library and came across a photo of my brother that would work perfectly.  I followed along with the tutorial and was pleasantly surprised with my results.  It took a couple of hours, but I would definitely try this again with other photos.  It makes for a fun art project!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

he leaves the negativity behind him

Robert giving me his "good side", as he puts it.  Personally I think all sides of him are wonderful.

Photo 23/365:

That's what friends are for . . .

Are they not the bestest friends to have? 

Friday, January 22, 2010

knifey spoony?

Lately I've put no effort into my photos.  Most photos start off with me going, "Oh shit, I have to take a photo" as I'm getting ready for bed.  I keep telling myself that not every photo has to be super fantastic, but I still look at these and sigh...

Photo 22/365:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tater Thyme

Sauteed Red Potatoes with Thyme.  Delish!

Photo 21/365:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chocolate covered Sea Salt? Yes please!

Around the holidays I came across Lindt's newest delectable, Sea Salt. Sweet and Salty is a popular combination now. I notice S&S granola bars, popcorn, nuts, party mix and even pumpkin seeds.

Lindt is some of the finest chocolate and it was only a matter of time before they jumped on the bandwagon. Having it only as a "once in awhile" treat, it's pure, heavenly, melt in your mouth perfection!

Photo 20/365:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Guide to Sleep

The past several months I've found that I can't fall asleep without listening to chatter, particularly the Ricky Gervais podcast series.  I have a fondness for the likes of Mr. Karl Pilkington, aka "Round Shaven Chimp with a Head Like a Fucking Orange".  Ricky dubs him many colourful derogatory terms and he is "the best idiot in the world".

Many of Karl's ideas are primitive and childlike, but what I respect about him most is his abilitiy to take the insults in stride.  Lord knows I certainly couldn't handle someone like Ricky.  Ricky is a man who can dish it out, but can't take (at least not from Karl).  I do enjoy his comedic style, though and his awkwardly infectious laugh.

And of course there is Stephen Merchant who is probably my most favourite of the three.  He is one of the greatest story tellers I've ever heard.  If you haven't heard his story of his trip to Rio de Janeiro, look for it (Season 2 Episode 2).  I've heard it over 50 times and it still makes me laugh out bed :)

Photo 19/365:

Monday, January 18, 2010


Opened my freezer to pull out a jar of homemade soup stock. This jar had shattered which means I probably filled it a little too much. Liquids expand when they freeze, so I've learned my lesson. Luckily I had two other jars. Yummy soup!

Photo 18/365:

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Robert made cookies today!  We had a roll of homemade frozen chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer.  He defrosted it and worked in some peanut butter chips to add a different flavour.  The dough he originally made had milk chocolate chips.  I prefer the semi-sweet as it balances out the sweetness of the cookie.  The added peanut butter chips were good, but too sweet for my taste.

Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe by Martha Stewart

Photo 17/365:

Final view

Day of departure.  Woke up at 6 am to have breakfast and head to the airport for our flight from Miami to Toronto.  This was the view we had that morning.  The downtown Miami skyline is stunning at sunrise and I love the purple lights on the bridge.  Lovely last scene from the ship before we headed home.

Photo 16/365:

One thing I have learned is that I'm not a fan of Cruise ships.  I'm more partial to Resorts when it comes to travelling in the Caribbean.  Two of our destinations (Grand Cayman and Cococay, Bahamas) were cancelled due to poor weather conditions, so there are no guarantees with Cruises.  The only cruise I might consider is an Alaskan.  I'm sure I could get some fantastic photos in that part of the world.

Key West and the Cheeseburger

Photo 15/365:  We visited beautiful Key West, Florida on Friday.  Our first full day of hot sun (and our last as our flight for Toronto from Miami was the next day).  Key West was such a wonderful little tourist town.  Home of Ernest Hemingway and the best damn burger.  We stopped into a restaurant called Cheeseburger and I had the Guacamole burger.  It was the size of my face and the side of onion rings were like thick bangles!!  I would definitely visit again.

In the arms of sleep

Photo 14/365:  Today was another cold, rainy, windy day.  I was tired and spent much of the day curled up in bed napping and watching reruns of movies and sitcoms.  Joy...

Hooray for Vitamin D!

First day of sun!!!  5 days into our vacation and the sun finally comes out.  I was very much excited and threw on my bathing suit to soak up some much needed rays.
Photo 13/365:

Below was the sunset for that evening. This was the most colourful sunset my mother and I had ever seen. Gorgeous!


Photo 12/365:  Monday we were docked for a second day in Cozumel, but decided to stay on the ship.  The weather was really chilly and winds were high.  My mom and I decided to wander around the ship and check our more of the view when we came across this 4 inch long moth resting on the stairs to the uppermost deck.  I took some pics and videos before we settled it down in a place where no one could step on it.


Photo 11/365: Monday we docked in Cozumel, Mexico for two nights.  Our first stop to Grand Cayman was cancelled due to impending weather conditions.  We spent two days in Cozumel.  It was chilly, but at least the sun came out for the afternoon, followed by more rain and storms.

Seven Days at Sea

Photos 10/365:  Woke up on the Sunday to heavy storm clouds.  It was still cold and rainy; not the best start to a cruise.

The photo below is a result of 3 exposures layered to create an amazing photo effect called High Dynamic Range (HDR).

Frozen Iguanas

Photo 9/365: My favourite highlight from Miami's Saturday morning news was a warning to locals to watch out for falling Iguana's.  Today was chilly with a high of 8 degrees Celsius.  The cooler weather had caused the Iguana's to go into hibernation and dropping from wherever they had been resting...mostly in trees.  Locals were being bombarded with the critters which I later found out are a bit of a nuisance in Florida.

We boarded the Celebrity Century Cruise ship to set sail for Grand Cayman in the hopes of reaching warmer weather soon.  As you can see by my mother's face below, it was quite cold.

Below is some of the storm we went through on our first night at sea. I loved the way the ghostly mist rolled on the surface and I tried to capture it as best I could.


Photo 8/365:  This is our view from the Hyatt Miami in Florida.  We arrived around 4pm after hours of delays and travelling from Toronto.  The room was gorgeous and I was pleasantly surprised with the view of new condo development (I love architecture).

Below is a picture of our view at night.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And I'm off....

I'm on my way to the airport early tomorrow morning to catch a flight to Miami.  My mother won a cruise through the large financial institution we both work for and we're heading off for 7 days to sail through the Caribbean.  Our first stop will be the Cayman Islands followed by Cozumel and Playa del Carmen in Mexico and lastly Coco Bay, Bahamas.  It's going to be a busy but hopefully a relaxing "business" trip.

I'm still going to take pics everyday for Project 365 and I'll make sure I post them when I get back. 

Goodbye for now!

Mortar & Pestle

Photo 7/365: I didn't have my camera on me today so took a quick shot when I got home from work.  These are a few items that sit on my stove in the kitchen.  The teapot was my mothers that she purchased sometime in the '70's.  The pisces/salmon plate I bought years ago on a visit to Vancouver.  The few jarred ingredients contain sesame seeds and couscous and my trusty mortar & pestle stands by ready to crush/mash anything I please.  I love to cook.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Another addition to my subway sketches.

Photo 6/365:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Photo 5/365:  ...glamour and glitter, fashion and fame...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Flashing men

Random shot on my commute home from work.  I accidently flashed this guy in the eye; I had forgotten to turn of the red sensor.  He gave me a smile signaling everything was okay.  I'm such a dork.

Photo 4/365:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Neverending Scarf

One of my challenges for 2010 is to finish this scarf I've been working on for the past 2 years.  I'm halfway there.

Photo 3/365:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Warm Thoughts

Photo 2/365:   Today was -22 degrees Celsius with the windchill. As much as I love the winter, the subzero temperatures can be a bit much.

I made this little set to remind us of warmer times ahead . . . they're not too far . . . think warm thoughts.

I should probably point out that this is a scale model and not a real bike (19x14 cm).  The back drop is one of my oil paintings.  Some of the commenters on Flickr seem to think that this is life size and my aparment looks this awesome.  I wish it looked this awesome. That would be awesome.

Fish heads, yum!

I made my first fish stock yesterday.  I had a leftover snapper head and carcass that I stored in the freezer from a few weeks ago.  Threw it in a pot of water with some leftover leeks, fennel, smashed garlic cloves, a 1/4 cup of left over New Year's eve champagne and peppercorns and simmered it for 30 minutes.

At the same time I made a large batch of turkey stock (5-6 hours to simmer).  The fish stock kept giving me the willies, though, because the head kept surfacing mouth first.  I'd push it down under the fennel and leeks to hide it but it kept poking back up with it's big read lips first.  Then it would turn to the side and look at me with a solid white eye.  These things don't normally bother me, but it weirded me out a little.  Poor little snapper.

The fish stock is all stored away in the freezer in batches but I have no idea what to use it with.  Any suggestions?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 365 commences

Project 365 commences today. I eagerly grabbed the camera this morning when I got up and started shooting around the apartment, testing out the flash and umbrella and my new Tamron 90mm lens I got for Christmas.

As new and exciting as this is right now, I can see myself struggling from time to time with this challenge. Some days I probably won't want to even look at my camera and those will be the days where my photos are less than great. The point of Project 365 is to take 1 photo every day for a year, but that doesn't mean that every photo has to be a work of art with perfect lighting and balance. I expect to have quite a few lack lustre candids.

I'm going to try my best to post one per day; no guarantees. All 365 photos will appear but I may have to lump some of them together on days as I won't be able to pay as much daily attention here as I'd like to.

Photo 1/365:  Our kitty Nami.  She behaved fairly decently for her photoshoot today.