My favourite things

    • The meal planning website Plan to Eat. Last January, after years of attempting to meal plan by hand and failing miserably, I finally remembered I live in the 21st century. At the time we signed up for the Six O’Clock Scramble and it is not an exaggeration to say IT CHANGED MY ENTIRE LIFE. It worked wonderfully for us for many months but the recipes, while mostly delicious and reasonably healthy, didn’t match the way we want to eat in the long term. We want to eat more beans, less dairy, a wider variety of ethnic foods, and have the flexibility to use any recipe, not just the ones in their database. Enter Plan to Eat. It doesn’t make meal plans for you but it makes it ridiculously easy to make your own, dare I say even FUN? At least as close to fun as meal planning can get. It is basically just a very smart, clean interface for organizing all the recipes you collect from anywhere (their Save Recipe browser button automatically imports any recipe you find online, others you can enter in yourself very easily), which you then drag and drop into your calendar and then compile a shopping list. They have a 30 day free trial, after which it costs $39 a year. Try it – I dare you not to like it. (Clearly this post is not sponsored – who in their right mind would sponsor someone who blogs bi-annually?) 

    • Stop Podcasting Yourself. I have been a fan of podcasts for as long as I’ve had an iPod, which is some number of years that I’ll certainly underestimate because that’s what happens when you get old. I can’t read on the bus without feeling like I need to hurl, so podcasts are my company and my stranger-chat deterrent. I have my classics that I’ll always love – The Savage Lovecast, This American Life, Planet Money, and The Bugle – but recently a new podcast entered the mix and quickly rose to near top status: Stop Podcasting Yourself. It’s just a couple of Vancouver comedians, usually with another comedian guest, shooting the shit. It’s like being the fly on the wall of a conversation among professionally funny people. Actually it is exactly that. They are my age so have lived through the same cultural experience – the same music, same TV shows, the same infiltration of the internet into every facet of our lives. Warning: listening may cause embarrassing episodes of audible snickering at inopportune moments on the bus, in elevators, in waiting rooms etc.
    • Meeting bloggy friends. I exclusive read the blogs of smart, witty people so the rare time that I actually get to meet one in person is truly exciting, as it was last Saturday when I got to meet Jenny of Adventures Along the Way for a drink! She made me simultaneously curse the fact that teleportation hasn’t been invented and thank my lucky stars that the internet has. I also have her to thank for the push I needed to finally post something. ANYTHING.

  • The book The Poisonwood BibleI’ve read it before but have wanted to read it again basically as soon as I put it down. I have carried vivid images from the book with me for years. This weekend I finally picked it up again and am so happy I did. It is beautifully written and eye opening in the most unexpected ways. I’m appreciating it even more the second time around.

  • My new purse. I am not a purse collector – I am a purse committer: I pick one and use it for YEARS. My old purse was starting to show serious evidence of that so I splurged on a new one. It’s a lovely deep green leather (the picture doesn’t quite do it justice),  just the right size, and has both a shoulder strap and an over-the-body strap, which is undeniably brilliant.

Posted on November 14, 2012, in Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I completely understand on the meal planning… we would like to eat in basically the way that you describe, except I don’t know a term, maybe pseudovegetarian (cause we do eat dairy and eggs, and exceptionally meat every now and then). You probably already know 101 cookbooks, but just in case I am sending you the link they are full of yummy vegetarian recipes and you can sort them by ingredient.
    My current favorite recipe is greek courgette balls, truly delicious and super easy to make:

    Meeting bloggy people is great, you are lucky to be close to Jenny… which make me think maybe it is time to organize something. It really is a great thing how you are able to connect and relate with “random” people and share so so much, and it is lots of fun.

    I like your purse…. I also wear them until they break down.

    And I agree with Jenny… I love to read you :) but know that whenever you write we’ll be here.

    • I actually haven’t ventured that far into internet recipe searching and am not familiar with 101 cookbooks – thanks for the links!

      And unfortunately Jenny doesn’t live in my vicinity but was just visiting Vancouver. I am basically in a desert when it comes to other bloggers. Boo.

  2. These are good favourite things! I like your new purse.

    Why less dairy? I guess I ask because low fat dairy is one of those things I am told consistently is OK and I could live without meat, I couldn’t live without skim milk or low fat cheese and no fat yoghurt. Especially as a woman, which we keep being told is important.

    • I’m not entirely anti-dairy, don’t get me wrong, I LOVES me my cheese. I have however read over and over again how milk isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be health-wise. For example, it is packed full of hormones that are designed to grow a baby cow. That being said, I haven’t cut dairy out completely and I doubt I ever will, I would just like to rely on it a bit less.

  3. I love the Poisonwood Bible! And your new purse!

    I am intrigued by this meal planning site. And by the podcast! Thanks for the recs. :)

  4. Your new bag is AWESOME. And I am so horrifically late at commenting (sorry!) that I am going to add YOUR NEW IPHONE to the list!

    Also, one of these days you are going to convince me to try listening to podcasts. :)

  5. Hi Nina!

    Obviously, I have super behind in blog reading. :) I think the trip to Vancouver threw me off and I still haven’t caught up in the various areas of my life. Well that and the fact that it’s a busy time of year. because of the holidays.

    It was really fun to hang out, and it was great to have the chance to meet in person. Of course, if you make it over to Québec someday, let me know!

    I also want to second (third?) 101 Cookbooks. And I really like your new purse. I have been searching for a purse to commit to and just don’t even know where to look for a well made bag (that doesn’t cost a month’s rent).

    Any tips? I love cross-body straps, but one that could do both is a great idea…. Yours looks like a fabulous choice.


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