Deconstructed, baby :)

No offense to the Earl but I *hate* sandwiches.  I know that is a weird thing to say but there is something about eating a sandwich that just turns my stomach.  Occasionally I make an exception, when the bread is just perfect, or the ingredients call out my name.  But for the most part the whole idea is just offensive to my stomach.  Here’s the catch.  I love all the components that go into a sandwich.  I like cheese, I like ham or roast beef or turkey, or even better salami.  I enjoy the extras like sliced pickles or cucumbers that add a little crunch.  The way I get around this is I make deconstructed sandwiches for lunch.  This is a pretty fantastic idea because it is way less work than actually making a sandwich, and easier for snacking throughout the day.  Usually a lot less messy to eat as well…nothing falls out, you don’t have to fit everything in your mouth in one bite, if there is no bread left, no problem.  I bring things like a hard-boiled egg/a few slices of salami/a square of pate, a couple of slices of cheddar cheese/a triangle of brie, some olives or pickles, and maybe some crackers (my beloved pita bites if the kids haven’t finished them already).  This is probably my favourite lunch in the world.  And also a good way to make things a little different for the kids when packing their next lunch.

Sing-along

IMG_20141126_212612I’m no lyrical gangsta. Seriously.  I used to be.  I used to know every word to every song I loved and then somewhere along the way it all went to pieces.  I think I just got distracted and a bit deaf.    I love to sing along.  I pick up most words pretty quickly so that I can at least mumble/hum through it until I get it right.  I am in the car alone a lot so most of the time there is no audience for my inaccurate sing-alongs.  A lot of the time I ride with my girl, who if not singing along with me, will often mid-song, look at me and just sadly shake her head.  She corrects me occasionally, but I think she also enjoys my crazy adlibs and leaves me to my own devices for her own entertainment.  Two of my latest lyrical mishaps are as follows:

Jealous – Nick Jonas

He says: I turn my chin music up, and I’m puffing my chest, I’m getting red in the face, you can call me obsessed.

I sing: I turn my cheap music up, and I’m puffing my chest, I’m getting ready to face you, can call me obsessed.

I think my version is better.  What the heck is chin music anyway?  Seriously? If you know, please leave me an answer in the comments.

Break Free – Ariana Grande

She says: This is the part where I say I don’t want ya, I’m stronger than I’ve been before. This is the part where I break free, cause I can’t resist it no more.

I sing:  This is the part where I say I don’t wanna, I’m stronger than I’ve been before.  This is the part where I play it sweet, cause I can’t resist him no more.

Obviously, I would have been in better shape for getting the lyrics right if I had known the name of the song.  Insert red-faced emoji here.  Also, Ariana, while having a very beautiful voice, is not much of an enunciator. 😉

All of this to say, if you hear me singing along, and it sounds like I am singing a different song, I probably am, and I’m okay with it.  So if you aren’t, just move along or put your earbuds in.

Brunching @Next

I am not a lover of all things Brunch, but when done right, I am quite the fan. NEXT, a fantastic restaurant located in Stittsville, does brunch right. Since our last visit, they have changed their menu and are now only offering The Board, which is the yummiest idea ever. The Board is essentially a tasting extravaganza of all the good parts of brunch (pancakes, eggs, bacon) and a few of Next’s amazing dinner menu items (General Blackie’s chicken, mussels, steak). They also throw in a couple of desserts for good measure.

Brunch Menu @ NEXT

Brunch Menu @ NEXT

I like sharing with my husband because he lets me hog the things I love best, and doesn’t even complain. I can tell you right now, the pancakes and dark chocolate mousse do not get shared equally. You may want to negotiate a similar deal before your visit.

I love the idea of tasting all of the different options, even though sometimes it is weird to follow up a bite of banana pancake, with some kimchi. It is like a buffet, where you get to sample everything, all small portions, prepared perfectly and brought right to your table. My highlights are the aforementioned banana pancakes and dark chocolate mousse. They are both so good! The mussels and steak are also really yummy. One of my favourite items on the dinner menu is General Blackie’s chicken so I am always delighted to see it on the brunch board too. My husband loves the steak tartare and we *may* have a tug of war over the last strip of bacon. All of this to say, if you are looking for a really good and different brunch – you need to get out and try NEXT.

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The Board in action

Getting our Zumba on

My 15 year old daughter just got a gym membership at the same gym my husband and I belong to. We took a look at the group exercise classes and picked a few that we thought might be fun to try out together. The first one that jumped out at us was Zumba. For those of you that haven’t tried it yet, Zumba is a latin dance inspired workout. Or as I like to call it, the perfect way to embarrass your teenage daugther.

This morning we tried out our first class. We had a bit of a debate about what to wear, and decided on lululemon t-shirts and she wore leggings and I wore shorts. We got to the gym and had to ask where the class was held and someone even walked us right there so we had no opportunities for backing out or running away. A body pump class was just finishing and they had so many things to put away that we both decided to skip that one. Seemed like a lot of work.

We told our Zumba instructor that we were new to the class and had no clue. She was super nice, gorgeous, ebullient, and welcoming. We were off to a good start.

I have three things going for me, where Zumba is concerned:
– I have great cardio from all the running
– I love latin music
– I am very enthusiastic.

Things I do NOT have going for me that it turns out are quite critical to the Zumba experience:
– Any latin dance experience
– rhythm
– the ability to move my legs in one direction, swivel my hips, and shake my arms around, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

We laughed so much during the class. Whenever I met my girl’s eyes, we dissolved into giggles at my lack of coordination. Everytime I felt like I mastered a step, we moved to a new step. Usually while I was still doing the first step with large amounts of enthusiasm. Our instructor was lovely and kept seeing us be a disaster and then saying “Okay, let’s break this one down” and explaining it slowly.

Overall, we survived the class, definitely enjoyed the music and atmosphere. We’ll definitely go back and try to get better at this. We think the best plan of attack is to watch a couple of youtube videos on basic Zumba steps before next Saturday. And let’s be honest, whenever no one was looking and I couldn’t figure out the steps, I just jumped around and shimmied and hoped for the best!