Where are we?: Germany
countries Visited: 9
Days on the Road: 111

Sunday, September 18, 2011

come on ontario....show me what you got!

Welcome to Ontario fall and thank you for the wonderful food that comes along with you! Tonight my family and I enjoyed a dinner of these fall favorites in Ontario. probably my favorite meal in months! I tried for the first time an Ambercup Squash. IT WAS AMAZING! cubed and boiled just till tender then fried in butter....yummmm, my mom mad her famous fried potatoes, we had oven roasted cauliflower and beets, parsnips and chicken breasts. Also a yummy strawberry cheese cake to wash it down....did i mention it was my sister in laws birthday :) Cheesecake is her favorite!!

More posts to come very soon! Hope everyone is well! 

Take care ladies and gents! 

Love Kristen! 

oh and HAPPY FALL!

Is that a goat on the roof? Sarah in BC

   Ah, yes Coombs! The place, where picnics are made, quite literally. It’s a tiny little village north of Nanaimo, on your way to Parksville, Tofino, and Uculet, and it does in fact have goats living on the roof.

  In earlier years this place sported Ferris Wheels, train rides, and photo opps with a giant stuffed gorilla in a Volkswagen beetle (older model of course). The beetle is still there, but the gorilla, I think, has given in to the elements. Now what stands is a handful of tacky clothing stores, antique stores, and a hemp store, above an army supply store. Does anyone else find that last one funny?

  What it does have is a giant market! They have sauces and condiments from all over the world, candies, pickles, jams, fresh made breads and other baked goods. They even sell dishes too eat it on, I myself have just bought a set. There is a cafeteria style restaurant, where they sell homemade pizzas, and sausage rolls, and other yummy treats. But for us do-it-yourselfers, the market is the key.

  Twice this year I have stopped there, because it is in fact a great place to get all the fixin’s for your picnic. The first stop is there “deli” counter, which in place of smoked turkey and ham, they have smoked, mapled, candied, peppered, and even jerkied salmon. We usually get a little bit of each; it’s so hard to choose!

  Next we stock up on cheese curds, olives, bread, (the three cheese is this year’s favourite) and an array of soda’s and juices. A mix of veggies, to go with our spicy cheddar and blue cheese dip, and fresh strawberries for dessert, we are now set for whatever adventure we have planned. Even if the adventure is eating our picnic, while watching goats hang out on the roof.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Win three city walk iPhone applications to cities of your choice, courtesy of GPSmyCity.com. Correctly answer all ten questions about Toronto below and e-mail them to quiz@gpsmycity.com for your chance to win. It's that simple. Good luck!"


Toronto Fun Facts Quiz:

1. Within a 160 km radius of Toronto lives _____ of Canada's population.
A. Half
B. One third
C. One quarter

2. On what building can one find a giant neon weather station?
A. Canada Life Building
B. National Trust Tower
C. First Canadian Place

3. How many languages are estimated to be spoken throughout the city?
A. 50+
B. 100+
C. 200+

4. Which one of these movie stars was not born in the city of Toronto?
A. Christopher Plummer
B. Mia Kirshner
C. Jim Carrey

5. The CN Tower held its record of the world's tallest building for 34 years, until the Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower were built. It now remains the tallest free-standing structure in:
A. North America
B. the Americas
C. the Western Hemisphere

6. A serious ____ occurred in 1995. It was the worst day in Toronto history.
A. Subway crash
B. Fire
C. Storm

7. What do Bloor Street, Danforth Avenue and McCowan Road have in common?
A. They are all the same street
B. They run diagonal
C. They all run west-east

8. In 2006, City Hall told which group of people to leave and never come back?
A. Charlie's Angels
B. Guardian Angels
C. Black Angels

9. Which of these cities is not officially part of the Greater Toronto Area, but is still considered by some as "part of Toronto"?
A. Oakville
B. Hamilton
C. Pickering

10. Toronto has had many city-nicknames along the years. How was Toronto never called like?
A. Hogtown
B. the City that Sleeps
C. The Big Smoke

So Make sure you send all your answers to quiz@gpsmycity.com for your chance to win!

Good Luck to all my readers :)


Good Food and Good Wine...Life is Good!- Sarah In BC

  While driving through the interior of B.C., you should never miss the opportunity to stop in the Thompson Okanagan, or The Okanagan. It was settled by fur traders in 1812, and in the 1860’s, farmers started planting the orchards and vineyards for which it is now known. Here you get the best of everything, lakes and beaches, and mountains in every sky line. From camping, to boating, to skiing and snowboarding, there is defiantly something for everyone.
  But on to the important part, food and wine! Our first stop on our journey was Davidson’s orchards. More of a tourist destination than farm, it has tree orchards, grapes, a petting zoo, and of course a country store with fresh baked goods, homemade soaps and lotions, and locally made jewellery and gifts. Entertaining enough, a short walk through an orchard is a great way to start your morning.
  Next to the wineries! We really had no back ground knowledge of the some 120 different places we could stop, so we drove around and randomly picked one. I really have nothing to compare with, but I can say I was very impressed with our choice. Ex Nihilo, in Latin meaning “Out of nothing” was inspired by a love of wine and art, and evidence of this is everywhere, from their beautiful tasting room to the bottles they design. Unfortunately their wines are only available through the winery itself, not through the LBCO or liquor stores. My favourite by far was their pinot noir ice wine, 150 dollars a bottle.
  Time for lunch, my favourite part. By suggestion of our very knowledgeable wine guide, we drove out to Sparkling Hill resort in Vernon, the northern part of the Okanagan. The calling card to this hotel is the 3.5 million Swarovski crystals they have “sparkling” up the joint. Chandeliers, glass doors, statues, this stuff is everywhere! They have 2 dining rooms, Peakfine, for fine dining in the evening, and Barrique & Java, for slightly more casual afternoon dining. Monte Cristo sandwich, and quinoa salad, tuna melt on Panini and roasted red pepper soup, and of course some wine, made 2 very happy ladies that afternoon. So happy in fact we indulged in some dessert, raspberry cream tarts, and rhubarb crisp with orange sorbet. Clearly you can see why the Okanagan has adopted the phrase “Life is Good!”  

Have a Great Long weekend ladies and gents! 
Love Sarah

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Day in the Clouds - Sarah in BC

A Day In The Clouds

We set out from Toronto on June 11th, with a goal of getting to Vancouver on the 16th.  After 3 days of driving hard, little sleep, and very little pee brakes (totally my fault, I’m a driving maniac) We had over shot our goal, and deserved a tourism break!

 April (who was fit enough to run a 10k keep in mind) insisted on Lake Louise. I am game for anything, so away we went. After parking, we walked up to a hotel which would easily put any Montreal hotel to shame, then off to Lake Louise. It is a color that takes my breath away, a color that screams clean..fresh..and COLD. It gets it’s Aqua color from the clay, and the organisms that thrive on the clay.

  So as adventurous people that we are, we decide to do a hike. We decide on the 3.4km hike, which promises great views, and tea and biscuits at the end. Sounds lovely right?

  Well I don’t know about you, but I think the fact that the 3.4 km, was up a mountain should have been mentioned. You could argue that it should have been implied..but I will not listen! It should have been vocalized!

  In any case, huffing and puffing and many water breaks later, at 2.4km up, another stunning lake, run off from glaciers. We stop, we take photos, we breathe, we decide if we should continue. At this point, my “fit” friend, says lets go back down. Oddly enough it is me, who wants to go on. Hmmm??!!

  The last km is snow covered (in June), muddy slippery and 10 times worse than the km’s before. We manage up with no avail (besides me getting stuck in knee deep snow...story for another day) to the tea house.

  Run on solar energy, and a handful of just out of high school students, you can pick from over 35 different teas. We picked Roibos bourbon vanilla, so good I have been searching for it in markets ever since, and..biscuits, with honey. You have to wait a long time for your order, and it gets annoying, but.... and this but is good enough for another paragraph...

  There I was, sweaty from the hike, cold from the mountain air, and sitting in a cabin on top of a mountain, drinking tea, and eating biscuits with honey..eventually. And this is where it happens...Wow, I’m on a fucking(wait can I swear in this thing?) , mountain, drinking tea and..well you got the biscuit thing.

Definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life, and I hope everyone gets the chance to do it. Oh, but I didn’t mention the 3.4km DOWN. Another day!

Love Sarah

Fresh on Bloor st.

This veggie restaurant is not new but it sure is a hot spot! With its veggie food and vegan options, people from every food-walk of life. omnivores, herbivores and even a couple of carnivores.

So far from their menu I have tasted the awesome  Soho Falafel starter that is probably more of a meal not a starter if ordered for one person. It was 6 tasty pieces of falafel accompanied by quinoa and bean tabbouleh, flax hummus and toasted pita bread. This tasty dish was also served with 3 wonderful dipping sauces, a creamy tahini, Spicy zhug and sweet amba! All three sauces were tasty in their own right, the spicy zhug was (as warned by our server) very spicy, the creamy tahini was a nice cooling touch to the meal but my favorite by far was the sweet amba. Sweet heat, perfect balance.

Veggie burritos are not always the best but Fresh knows how to do them right. The Sam Houston Burrito was better then any taco beef burrito I have ever had. Stuffed with slow cooked soy and sweet potato taco filling, sauteed peppers and onions, avocado chipotle sauce, lettuce and alfalfa sprouts. It was a perfect lunch, a little bit on the big side but I was not complaining, their biodegradable take out system made me happy to take it home and have it for lunch the next day!

Along side their wonderful food menu they are also known in the city as the leader of Smoothies, Power drinks, fresh fruit juices and more. I tried the "tropic thunder", a blend of spirulina, almond butter, pear and banana....YUMMMMMM

On top of the wonderful setting, awesome food and tasty drinks the service was quick, friendly and educational. I found both times, at two different locations that I have had a wonderful server who goes that tiny extra little bit to make your experience that much better!

So thank you Fresh for being in existence and please do your self a favor and check it out!
All in all, if you are in the city and have a chance, check out Fresh...its amazing!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

" Good things grow in Ontario"

Our most bountiful time is upon us ladies and gents. July, August, September and October are Ontario's best months for seasonal fruits and veggies.

I work at one of Toronto's largest farmers markets every Saturday and today I was inspired. What caught my eye as I walked into work at 4 am was all the baskets of peaches, tomatoes, potatoes, concord grapes....yummm just yumm....all at their peaks and just begging to be eaten with love and most of all appreciation.   It is so wonderful that we live in a city that can pretty much get what it wants when ever it wants to, and I think that makes us loose appreciation for the food itself and most of all the hard working farmers that make it happen for us! 

My Challenge to you for the next few months while we are in our bounty, buy as local as possible, help your city, help your farmers, but most of all, help yourself! your body will appreciate all the local fruits and veggies more then you know!

If you need some help know what is in season and when you can check out this website, Food Land Ontario, other wise you can websearch your own state or province and find out whats best for you and when! 

Enjoy you Omnivores and herbivores and...Appreciate!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Todays Adventure

A Birthday cake for a 3 Year old :)

Not sure if you all remember but last year I did a Elmo Birthday cake for a little munchkin Robyns 2nd Birthday. This year I was granted the opportunity to do another birthday cake for her 3rd. Its a much simpler cake, just going with color themes.

Its crazy what a year of practice can do, I remember feeling so stressed about last years cake, and this year, I actually got a full nights sleep being more confident in my talent :) 

Last years Elmo Cake

Happy Third Birthday Robyn!!!!!!!!


Love Kristen

PS keep posted for some guest blog posts from Sarah

Friday, August 19, 2011

Joining Forces

Ladies and Gents we have a new contributor to Happiness is a Choice. My very wonderful friend Sarah is living in BC and is going to join the now team of two to share stories of food, travel and wonderment. Please welcome her with love, encouragement and excitement for the food blogs to come...I am sure they will be nothing less then Spectacular!!!

Love Kristen and Sarah



Yesterday I had possibly the best Yoga class of my life. I have been doing this class for about 8 weeks, and yesterday it clicked. I was focused, ready and mentally calm. I was finally able to not let my mind wander, focus on the sound of the crystal bowls humming, and clear my mind of clutter. Out of all the classes and meditations I have done before this has never happened. It was AMAZING! Its a free class at Dufferin Grove Park, Every thursday between 6-7....COME if you can....its wonderful!

Kristen XOXOX

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Monday night as i was strolling home, somewhere between getting serenaded by a drunk older Portuguese man and my apartment I stumbled upon this, a positive defecation of city property! I am not sure if you can see it, it was rather dark when I snapped the picture, but the first one says "i just called to say I love you" and the second one "peace and unity". It was wonderful to see/think about before i drifted off to sleep!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Participate dont Anticipate

Right now I have so many daily count downs going on in my head, 233 days till i board a flight to portugal and spend 6 months in Europe, 4 more shifts at my current job, 5 more days until I can get into the kitchen at my new job and start working, and a day and a half till my favorite yoga class (and getting to see my bestest friend). I am sure there are more since I tend to live my life by lists and countdowns and progress reports. I think what I need is to live more in the moment and stop anticipating.  Appreciating what I am so lucky enough to be experiencing right now at this very moment, and think about tomorrow tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday :)

I love you


Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcomed back with a smile!

I haven't written in about 3 months....just love me, and understand that sometimes life grabs you by your ankles and spins you around a few time. Throws your priority list out the window and makes you rethink your entire life.

But now I am back, and in full force, with a new look on life and a softer heart.

Last week I went to the most amazing Yoga class I have ever been to in my life. It was out doors, at Dufferin Grove Park here in Toronto, AND it was free. I think the reason I completely enjoyed myself was because the class was spiritual as well as physical. I have been finding it hard to connect with a teacher/class here in Toronto because I find most of them just focus on the physical side. My person belief is that one needs both. Spirituality to be strong of heart and mind, and physicality to be strong of arms and legs. I missed being reminded to smile while i was gliding from down ward dog to plank position. The class was put on by a studio called Kula, I strongly suggest you come check out the in the park class, Thursday from 6-7 at Dufferin Grove Park (right across from dufferin mall) just look for the flags and the wonderful people.

I bet you are wondering what does that cute little monkey have to do with this post, well nothing, I just figured that if I didn't make you smile at least once in this post, She would do the trick! Happy Monday Everyone!!! Enjoy your day!

I love you


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Healing Thursday

Calendula, better known as Marigold

In Italy this flower is called Fiore d'ogni mese or in English flower of the month. It is called this because it blooms so regularly there. In the past, looking at the flowers was said to strengthen eye sight, and they were used in soothing eye washes. In the 18th century it was also listed as good for, jaundice, toothache, headaches and strengthening the heart.

Plants description: is a low growing annual with hairy, slightly sticky leaves and orange flowers blooming from late spring to early fall. Many members of the botanical family look much like the marigold. It is easy to grow in sunny or part shady areas and can tolerate most soil. once established it will self seed.

Internal use is not reccomended durring pregnancy.

the petals can be used as a natural food colouring if steeped into water.

An infusion of fresh or dried petals can help the body sweat out toxins, as well as soothe the digestive track. If this mixture is allowed to cool, it makes an excellent mouthwash, especially for sore and bleeding gums, because of it's antiseptic properties. Crushing a calendula flower on an insect sting will ease the pain. It is also a potent skin healer, staunching bleeding, cleansing wounds, preventing infection and promoting tissue repair. As an infusion it is also said to help with PMS and irregular menstruation.And they are super pretty to look at :)

Go plant some Marigolds

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rainbows are only for Queers!!!!!

 A ban on rainbows has been in effect since June 3rd. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Rainbows...because the only association they have with the world is gay pride....(sarcasm) but the students have found a creative way to get their message and their rainbows across. check out the link below for the full story! 


Monday, June 6, 2011

Enviro Mondays

Put Your Drinking To Good Use
Make sure to recycle/return all your glass beer and wine bottles to the beer stores. You get money back and are cutting down on the production of new bottles. You can also return cans, and recycle all plastic bottles. Its an easy thing to remember to do once or twice a month AND gets ya a few extra bucks in your pocket...not much (unless you drink lots) but every little bit counts :)

Check out this website for more information. This is the Ontario Bill deposit Law. If you live outside of Ontario, a quick google search of your province/territory/state will give you all the information.


Saturday, June 4, 2011


Omas Spetzle recpie

9 eggs
4.5 c flour
salt and pepper
tiny bit of nutmeg
water till it looks nice and goopy!

whisk it till there is bubbles and let it rest for about 30 min!

cook it in a spetzle maker over boiling salted water and you are good to go!

some of my favorite ways to eat spetzle are with a meat sauce poured over, or fried in a pan with butter, brown sugar and fruit!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Healing Thursday


In India a variety of Basil called "tulsi" or holy basil is grown in gardens to warn off misfortune. It is also sacred to the God Vishnu

Basil essential oil makes a good sinus clearing inhalant \. A standard infusion of fresh leaves helps with indigestion and constipation, with added honey it can help with chest congestion and bronchitis. Fresh leaves can be rubbed on insect bites and stings to help relieve itching. In a bath a few fresh leaves can help invigorate your muscles :)

Its simple to grow in a pot on a windowsill and its yummy too...so why not incorporate some more basil into your life :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

excuses excuses excuses

So in light of recent events that have unfolded in my life I have made the executive decision to delay the month long challenge to July. Not because I cant do it right now, but because of my Opas passing, I had not been staying at my apartment all that much, witch means, i still have so much food here that needs to be gobbled up before I can start fresh. In other words I would rather wait till July then waste the food. So the good news is your still have a month to vote :) check the side bar to your left and pick one of the 4 choices :)

Side note: I know hes going to HATE me when he is older but does my nephew not have the cutest lil toosh ever???

Red Sox and California Beat Down

A male couple get beat up in Palm Springs California over a parking space. 

The Couple in the picture above ages 24 and 19 got into an argument with the male couple ages 45 and 63 over a parking space.  The male couple told that when the argument got heated and one took a picture of the straight couple, they lost it. Started to yell derogatory slurs and punching them. One of the men lost teeth in the battle.Police have also stated that the event happened in front of their young daughter. The couple has been arrested and charged with battery causing serious bodily injury, child abuse, and violation of civil rights (felony commission of a hate crime). The male in the straight couple was also charged with probation violation.

On a more positive note, a 12 year old boy Sam Maden  has started a petition to get the Red Sox Baseball team to make an "it gets better" video, In honor of his late uncle who was an advocate for teen gay rights. So far the petition has reached 6000 signatures. There has been no Red Sox video but the movement has started and the San Fransisco Giants have been the first sports team to make an "it gets better" Video. WAY TO GO SAM!

All information on this article was gathered from this website

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goed Eten

Goed Eten is a tiny brunch spot just south of Dundas on Ossington (188 Ossington Ave.). I found it by accident a few Sundays ago while strolling with my Mom and we decided to grab a quick bite. There is only about 6 tables, and some stools at a counter, its tiny but worth it. The coffee was wonderful, it was just plain brewed coffee, nothing fancy, but it is the closest thing to good coffee I have had since I was living in Nicaragua and the beans cam roasted from my backyard.

Service was friendly and professional, not super fast, but not slow either. I had Eggs Benny on peameal and an English muffin, with home fries and an apple slaw, and mom had eggs Benny on grilled veggies and an English muffin with he same sides. The also offered the poached eggs on smoked salmon. I say if your going to do something do it well, and they came through, the eggs were poached to perfection, and the apple slaw was killer! A small menu but what they do, they do well, I did not hear one complaint from any of the full 5 tables and 4 bar stools around me !

The only thing I found kind of confusing was that the Name of the restaurant didn't really match the food or the Decor. I was expecting more of a Belgian theme when I saw the name but the only real Belgian thing on the menu was the waffles. and the Decor was not specific, parts looked very french, parts European and parts just diner style.

All in all a wonderful meal. I would say, Try it out!


I think its about time I added some structure to my life...and to my blog. Right now everything is all scattered and up in the air. Its time to bring it back down to earth and have it make a little more sense. So here it goes the new layout for my blog :)

Monday- Go Green Tips
Tuesday- Restaurant Reviews
Wednesday- LGBTQ Awareness
Thursday- Natural Health Tips
Friday-New Recipie
Saturday-Anything goes
Sunday-Monthly Challenge Update

So there it is, my structure, it might change a little but for the most part its here to stay :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sad Endings and New Beginings

Last Sunday my mom and I went to see the Lion King. During intermission she decided to check her phone and had to listen to the most terrible words come out of her mothers mouth via answering machine. My Opa (grandfather) had a massive heart attack and was gone. We bolted out of the theater and automatically stated driving up to Northern Ontario where they live. I spent the past week at their place helping my Oma get through the hard decisions and just taking care of her. I have never seen anyone is this amount of pain, a pain that cant really be healed, 57 years together and now she is alone.

My Opa was one of the most interesting people you could ever meet. Born and raised in Germany. He came to Canada by boat in his twenties with only ten dollars in his pocket. Worked so hard sending money back to Germany for my oma and to eventually bring her here as well. He was such an animal lover having 50 acres of land in northern Ontario that is a hunting free zone. I can remember one time we were sitting outside and he had a mosquito biting his arm, he looked at it and then looked at me and said "well they need to eat too". He was a class "A" auto mechanic, and had a passion for every living thing.

All I can say is dear Opa I miss you! I hope that where ever you are, its amazing, and you can eat all the butter and cakes you want.

Ruhe in frieden Opa! Ich leibe dich!

( the picture above was taken by my sister in law http://greenandfurry.blogspot.com/ Easter 2010, Opa and my Nephew Nathan)