Five Things Friday 09/20/13.


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Happy Friday! I have to admit, I missed this post last week – it’s one of my favourites to write! I mean, there’s food, there’s the random thoughts swirling in my head, and then there’s whatever else is catching my attention at that point in time. How could I not love writing that?

So, on with it then…Friday lists!

5 Things I’ve Eaten Lately:

1. A cereal-topped green smoothie.

Green smoothie

Even though we’re only a few days away from the official start of Fall, for some reason I am all about green smoothies right now – I’m pretty sure I’ve had at least one for a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner this week.

2. Seafood stirfry with udon noodles.


Shrimp, calamari rings and chopped crab meat with onion, red bell pepper strips and baby bok choy stirfried in a simple sauce. I think udon noodles have to be my favourite base for stirfries- there’s something about the super-thick texture that I just love.

3. A banana protein pancake with the rest of the banana slices and Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter.

Protein Pancake

This may just be the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time. Amazing.

4. A lunch snack plate of Katy’s Kettle Corn Popchips, baby carrots, hummus, a cheese string, and Greek yogurt with coconut almonds and cereal.

Snack Plate

For whatever reason, I’ve been craving snacky food like mad this week. So, a lunch plate of snacks pretty much solves that problem. So good.

5. Brinner – pan-fried pork belly with whole wheat pancakes (topped with a bit of butter and with real maple syrup for dipping) and grapes.



I’ve never cooked or even eaten pork belly before – although really, it’s just bacon before they smoke it. It actually turned out really good; it reminded me more of peameal bacon than the regular stuff. And really, you just can’t go wrong with brinner. 

5 Things Happening this Week:

1. So this was last week, but one day in the middle of the afternoon we happened to see this out on our balcony:


That was a couple of days before I left for HLS, and Eric told me that he was hanging around afterwards. Kind of hoping he’s disappeared by now, because Atti is definitely NOT a fan. Eric seemed to think it was pretty funny though:
Eric and the Raccoon Oh goodness.

2. I seriously love living next to Springbank park. They’ve got a huge fenced-in dog park for Atti (where we took him a few weeks ago and he befriended a ten-month-old Bull Mastiff/Great Dane mix…I swear, that pug is convinced that he’s about 5 times bigger than he actually is) and I’ve gone on a couple runs and bike rides around it.

Bike Ride

I have to say, it’s really nice to just go for a bike ride for the sake of going for a bike ride, as opposed to trying to get somewhere. It made for a nice morning, for sure!

3. In addition to understand the blogger Whole Foods and Chipotle obsessions, I’m starting to understand the Lululemon thing. While I don’t agree with their business practices, I will admit that their clothing is seriously comfortable. I borrowed a sweater from Amanda for our Whole Foods trip and it kind of has me feeling like I need to go out and buy one of my own…

Sweater Stealing

Although, that would mean that I would have to pay outrageous Lulu prices. But umm…I have a birthday coming up in a month. (Friends? Boyfriend? Parents? Hint hint?).

4. Atti got stung by a bee when Eric and I went to take him for a walk Wednesday night – literally feet from our apartment door. All the crab apples on the trees surrounding the property are starting to fall, so I’ve been seeing a lot of bees lately. He suddenly started yelping and limping, and then I saw a bee flying away – he managed to step on it. It swelled up and he seemed a little traumatized, but he survived.

Sleepy pug

Nothing that a nap can’t fix.

5. I joined a gym again! There was one that I’ve been planning on joining, and I finally got around to doing so. They’re known for their fitness classes, and I’m actually right in the middle between their two London locations – so I basically get double the options (I can go to both without extra cost). It’s definitely an expense (especially after having free access to the school gym last school year), but it’s a really nice gym so I’m willing to pay for it. I’m looking forward to trying some new things!

5 things I brought back from Minneapolis:

1. Almonds. So.many.almonds.

Blue Diamond Almonds

As one of the HLS sponsors, Blue Diamond had a big table with a TON of almond packets to give away…and we were told to take as many as we liked. So, of course I took advantage – plus we had some in our swag. The only ones I’ve gotten to so far are the coconut and the strawberry, but both of those were fabulous. People keep telling me how good the caramel macchiato ones are, so I think I need to get on that.

2. Nut butters.

  Nut Butters

I had to tell myself to stop at three, because there were at least 2-3 more in our random Whole Foods/Target wanderings that I wanted to get. I know that Amanda always talks about Maisie Jane’s almond butter, so I was curious to try it. It’s really good! Usually the just-almond varieties of nut butters tend to feel a little plastic-y in texture, but none of that with Maisie Jane’s. And it came in crunchy, which just makes me happy. Plus two varieties of Justin’s, because that just had to happen. The Chocolate Hazelnut will not be lasting long…

3.  Biotrust Protein Cookie in Iced Oatmeal Raisin.

Protein Cookie

This was actually in the Kona Kase in our swag bag from HLS. I brought it to school with me as an afternoon snack, and I was actually pretty happy with it. Very cinnamon-y, which I obviously approve of.

4. Cinnamon Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

Oatmeal Squares

I’ve never seen this flavour in Canada, so me being a typical HLB in the sense that I will happily dump cinnamon onto everything I eat immediately snatched this up. This is one of the reasons people claim that cereal is addictive – it is insanely good. Oh and p.s.: for someone who claims not to be the biggest cereal obsessee, I brought home 5 boxes from HLS. Guess I know what I’ll be eating a lot of…

5. Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee bar.

Alter Eco

I grabbed this on our Whole Foods trip, and it might have ended up being one of my smartest purchases on the trip…it is insane how good that chocolate is – and of course, it’s a huge plus that it’s organic and fair trade. I’ve seen it around health food stores before, so I’ll definitely be picking it up again soon.

and that’s all I got for you today – I hope your weekend is fabulous!

<— Do you like snack-style lunches?

<— What’s your favourite grain/starch for a stirfry? We usually do brown rice, udon, or brown rice noodles.

<— Are you a lululemon fan?

<— Have you experimented with any new products or ingredients in the kitchen lately? How’d it turn out?


  1. OMG those almonds look heavenly- I NEED to get my hands on caramel macchiato flavored almonds…just wow! The same can be said about that stir fry- shrimp with udon is pretty ideal. I also equally love brown rice with my Asian stir fries, especially with an egg scrambled in! In addition to my September workshop at Studio Fifteen, I’m doing another one in October. As a result, I’ve been testing loads of different recipes and let’s just say, my love for cooking has suddenly been recharged full-on :)! Happy Friday, my friend!
    • I tried them today, and for someone who isn’t a coffee fan, they’re actually really good! And I wish I could take your workshops, I bet they’re fantastic!
  2. dude that raccoon ahhh! hilarious but oh so creepy. can’t be a good thing when it is that close. I am so glad you got your american foodie fix, there are so many more I bet you wanted to stock up on as well. congrats for joining a gym!
    • Haha I’m glad we haven’t seen him around lately – I have too many memories of my parents cat’s ability to open screen doors And thanks lady! You may have inspired me to try some body pump-esque classes
  3. 5 comment Friday:
    1. Love the Yogurty’s spoon
    2. Raccoons are terrifying
    3. YES to Lululemon shopping trip
    4. Yeah about that joining a gym thing… hasn’t happened for me.
    5. Sooo many HLS goodies!!
    Have a great weekend!
    • Haha I love your comment format, I think I may have to make that a requirement of commenting on Five Things Friday And I seriously have like 6 Yogurty’s spoons. So childlike, but so perfect for oatmeal and yogurt bowls Have a great one Amy!
  4. Omg that “edited” picture of us at Whole Foods… girl, you crack me up. But yessss to Lulu! I know the prices are outrageous, but I’ve had that sweater for something like 2 years and it’s still amazing. Seriously, their clothes last forever if you take care of them… AND they look/feel fabulous

    And you may have noticed that I’m a -huge- fan of snacking. Erm. More often than not, I’ll opt out of regular meals and have tonnes of snacks instead. What can I say? I’m peckish and I like to eat… like.. constantly

    • Can you tell I’m putting my new photoshop skills to work? And I’m basically blaming hanging out with you last weekend on my new found snacking habit – since HLS I have been all about the snacking! :-p
  5. I know, lululemon is such a love/hate thing. I’d rather support a smaller scale company, but damnit, their bras and running shorts are so comfortable that nothing compares.
    I LOVE THAT RACOON! We don’t have them around here ( at least I don’t think we do). Although, sometimes when I see tourists getting excited over deer, I want to yell WHAT THE F IS WRONG WITH YOU?! *blows my mind*

    Yep, love snack lunches – especially now that we’re harvesting all of our garden veg.
    Court and I skip the noodles/rice in stir fry, but we add bean sprouts and those weird enoki mushrooms at the end so they become the ‘noodles’.

    • I always hear awesome things about their sports bras too – I mat have to look into that. And while I’d be fine to see a deer (we get plenty around here) I can pretty much guarantee that I would lose my shit if I came to Alberta and saw a mountain goat. Or a bear.
  6. Oh my gosh, that racoon is frightening haha. Haha, have to laugh what Jo said above. I see so many tourists get excited over deer and it’s like they are everywhere here! Soon you will be sick of them, and not love them. Apparently we are overpopulated in deer here in Victoria, so that’s actually not fun.
    I’m jealous of all the great pick ups you got in Minneapolis! Looks so tasty.
    And I love Snacky Lunches, lately that’s been all I’ve been in to. Probably because I’m still not feeling the best though.
    • Haha we have a TON around here as well – my brother was actually in a pretty bad accident when he hit a deer about 8-9 years ago. And aww, I hope you feel better soon love!
  7. I don’t agree with the lululemon business practices either but man oh man do they make some high quality (and cute) clothing. I just can’t seem to justify spending that much money on one thing so I own one shirt and a headband and a water bottle. I wish I could buy all the things!
    • Haha that’s why I want gift cards – I can’t convince myself to spend my own money on something that expensive, even though now I realize how good quality it is!
  8. I own the lululemon scuba hoodie and think it is totally worth the price. It’s super thick and cozy so after I workout I’m able to wear that out to my car in the minnesota winter and not freeze, but also still be comfortable! Slowly other groups are “stealing” the lululemon style, my friend had a long sleeve on the other day that I swore was lulu, but it turned out to be target! Also, I was obsessed with raccoons when I was little. Now I understand that they can be creepy but I still think they are adorable!
  9. Oh no…poor Atti! Bee stings hurt like heck! Geez, that raccoon really gets so close to your apartment and he/she is huge too. All those almond flavors sound amazing. I definitely need to pick some up!
  10. Yay for nut butters and oatmeal squares! I like five things for Friday posts too. Always fun
  11. aww poor atti!! that face is too cute. and that seafood stir fry looks delicious! i love udon noodles, i also like those glass or birdsnest noodles- i’ve been getting those a lot lately. and i’ve also been eating a lot of snack style lunches lately. love those!
  12. I had no idea Lululemon shunned plus-sized woman from their line of clothing. Definitely a disappointment. I’ve been eyeing up so many things from their site, but I cannot afford workout apparel which costs like 80$ a piece. I’m such a snacker at heart because you get to mix and match sweet/salty. You can have a little bit of everything your heart desires. Poor Atticus… Bee stings and a raccoon hanging around his territory. He needs a spa day!
  13. poor little Atti! I’m terrified of bees! My nephew got stung twice the other day and was a total champ about it…I would have hyperventilated!

    Obsessed with Justin’s Vanilla AB! Can’t wait to stock up on my next trip to the states! Question, did you bring a carry-on to HLS? I want to bring back a couple jars of this stuff but am worried it will get confiscated at security!

    • Ouch – I’ve gone about 2 years without a bee sting and I’m hoping to keep that stretch going! And I brought a checked bag with me because I knew I’d be getting a lot of stuff – I had the nut butters in the checked bag, because apparently airlines can count nut butters as a liquid. I figured it was better to be safe than risk it getting confiscated!
  14. I NEED that chocolate bar! I know what I’ll be looking for the next time I hit up WF. Also, I’m obsessed with Blue Diamond almonds so I’m envious of that swag…
    I go back and forth with Lululemon. I only own two pieces of clothing from there because it’s just so expensive. But the two things that I own, I love. I think my favorite workout gear is Under Amour.
    Your poor dog! That face…oh my gosh. Hope he’s feeling better!
    • I will definitely be picking up more of the almonds once I run out – I’m seriously so impressed with their flavours! And I don’t think I own anything from Under Armour, but I’ve heard that their stuff is pretty good!
  15. That green smoothie with cereal on top looks so good and I love the idea!! Also the pancake – drooling!
    Poor Atti! I don’t like bees at all and they seem to be extra aggressive this year. Eek.
    I love Justins. I usually order the packages as they are lighter to ship. I also love the Crunchy Almond Butter from Once Again, but it’s waaaay too pricey.
  16. Once you buy one item of Lululemon, you WILL be converted! When I first went to a store in Australia, Rob told me all about it and how awesome it was, but there was no way I was paying that much for workout clothes (outside of North America, there’s a 40-50% mark up – so next time you complain about the price, think of poor me!). I finally bought a top when it was on sale and it started an addiction. Now I basically live in Lulu. I have 6-7 pairs of pants, 3 shorts, four jackets, about 10 shirts, underwear, headbands, scarves, three gym bags…. gah!! Damn you, Lulu!! My only saving grace is that I can somewhat justify the cost seeing as I wear gym clothes all the time.
  17. Once you buy one item of Lululemon, you WILL be converted! When I first went to a store in Australia, Rob told me all about it and how awesome it was, but there was no way I was paying that much for workout clothes (outside of North America, there’s a 40-50% mark up – so next time you complain about the price, think of poor me!). I finally bought a top when it was on sale and it started an addiction. Now I basically live in Lulu. I have 6-7 pairs of pants, 3 shorts, four jackets, about 10 shirts, underwear, headbands, scarves, three gym bags…. gah!! Damn you, Lulu!! My only saving grace is that I can somewhat justify the cost seeing as I wear gym clothes all the time.

    I’ve actually recently started buying some cheaper brands so I can wear them during strongman training and not worry about ruining $140 pants! When we go outside and I do stone carries and tyre flips, I get pretty dirty!

  18. That picture of the raccoon is hysterical. I love that it’s head is cocked to the side like that.

    Brinner was hands down my favorite meal growing up.
    I don’t own one thing that is Lu Lu Lemon but I wouldn’t be opposed to it if I got it as a gift or received a gift card

    Have a great weekend!

  19. all of the five things you’ve eaten lately look amazing except the green smoothie because i’m not a smoothie girl! though i bet the cereal no top added the crunch i’d need. that brinner in particular peaks my interest because i don’t often eat breakfast food but at dinner time i bet it’d hit the spot. reminds me of drunk diner trips in college….oh and i love that you used calamari rings in that stir-fry!
    i would have taken ALL the almond samples too. the blueberry one really intrigues me! that could be good in a salad or yogurt!
    • I definitely need cereal on my smoothies – I need to be able to crunch someting when I eat! And I haven’t tried the blueberry yet, but I tried the strawberry on yogurt and they were really good.
  20. Are you a lululemon fan? YES love their running tanks and shorts…definately worth the $
  21. Poor Atti! That face is just pitiful. I’m glad to hear he survived his bee sting.

    I kind of love Lululemon but it is just so dang expensive! It drives me nuts. They’re hoodies are especially comfy though.

    I’m loving all of the snacky food in this post. I’m definitely a fan, especially if there’s hummus involved.

  22. I started loving snack plate style lunches over the summer. It’s the best way to satisfy multiple cravings!

    I don’t use udon noodles for my stir fries – I always use short grain brown rice, or soba noodles if I’m starving and want to eat dinner ASAP. I might give udon noodles a try next time.

    I hope Atti is doing better!

    • I’m pretty sure that’s it – I’m just craving a ton of stuff. And udon noodles are pretty fun, they cook up just as fast as soba noodles but they’re super-thick and chewy.
      And the swelling seems to be completely gone, thankfully!
  23. I Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter!
  24. You, my friend, had me drooling at EVERYTHING in your 5 things you’ve eaten- nothing beats seafood in a stirfry whether it be rice or noodles- and that pancake….YUM! I often do snack plates when theres alot of variety- the best of all worlds

    That brand of chocolate (alter ego) is amazing. Hunt down the coconut crunch one- so good on its own or I crush them up as chocolate pieces in muffins/banana bread!

    PS Stalked your blog for the egg over oats recipe but couldn’t find it…intrigued to try it!
    and PPS- do Atticus a favor and eat the damn racoon!

    Have a great weekend buddy!

    • Haha I’m happy to inspure drooling And I’ll keep an eye out for that Alter Eco! And as for eggs and oats, it’s not so much of a recipe as me making a bowl of oats with some sort of nut butter and jam or fruit on top, and then plopping a sunny-side up egg on top of that. Super simple, but savoury and sweet at it’s finest.
  25. 1. Poor atticus! Gla he’s okay- I’m sure that was super traumatizing for you!
    2. that raccoon is equally hilarious and terrifying!
    3. I’m OBSESSED with those quaker oats cinnamon squares- incredibly addicting!
    4. I’ve never had udon noodles but they look incredible
    5. I don’t own a single lululemon clothing item- so I can’t decide whether or not I like their company!
    • Eric was actually laughing at my freak out a little bit…I’m just a concerned pug mama :-p And I definitely recommend trying udon noodles some time – they’re really thick and chewy, which sounds weird but I promise it’s awesome. And I’m not sure I agree with their values as a company but that hoodie was damn comfortable…
  26. I have been loving smoothie bowls all summer, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be decreasing as fall starts. My parents used to have a serious raccoon problem, I can’t imagine how my dog would have taken it if we had him at the time!
  27. Awww poor pup, getting stung by a bee sucks But you’re right, a nap can fix almost anything! Although raccoons are evil little mongrels, I think they’re actually quite cute upon first appearances haha. They’re little jazz hands, mannerisms… I don’t know adorable. But then they get violent, start picking through your trash and scare the hell out of your pets, not so cute anymore.
    I’ve also been enjoying green smoothies lately! I want to get some in before it gets too cold because then they just make me cold basically the whole day after. I can never warm up! Although very worth it sometimes, they are that tasty Speaking of tasty, heck yes to those almonds and the cereal! Blue Diamond is my FAVORITE almond company (honey roasted but I have yet to try some of those you listed…blueberry?! Must search for.
    I also adore lulu but yeah, those prices kind of cramp my style. Make that hint loud and clear woman.. birthdays are a perfect time to receive such items
    Have a nice weekend Sam!
    • Haha they are kinda cute, as long as they’re not stealing my food (used to happen when we went camping when I was a kid) or bothering my puppy And I don’t think most of those flavours are available around here, so I’m going to be a tad depressed when I run out (which will be fairly quickly because I’m eating them like it’s my job). Hope you have a lovely weekend too love!
  28. i freaking love brinner. and you have to let us know how those almond flavors are!
  29. Omg, that chocolate bar sounds too good to be true! So many amazing flavors in one bar? HOW does it not explode?! Hahaha! Have you tried the maple Justin’s yet? It’s definitely one of my favorites! So jealous of your Maize Jane’s! I always hear Amanda raving about it and have always been curious! Cinnamon oat squares are good, but the brown sugar ones are the best!

    I have never and probably WILL never buy anything from Lulu. I’ve only been in a store once and I swear I almost had a coronary when I flipped over the first price tag! No…thank…YOU! I’ll just continue to buy super cheap workout clothes from TJ Maxx…and you know satisfy my foodie curiosities in the homegoods section on my way out!

    Hope Atti’s feeling better after the sting! Such a sad pup pic! Awww!

    • Winners is basically the Canadian version of TJ Maxx…which is where most of my workout clothes come too! And I know, I felt so bad for the puppy!

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