Canadian Thanksgiving: Really Simple Pumpkin Cheesecake


So first an aside: I am sitting here watching the new show on fox, Gracepoint.  It is a pretty good show if you’re into crime dramas, but my main motivation for watching is that seeing my city on the screen fills me with even more hometown pride (I know you didn’t think it was possible I could love Victoria even more but rest assured there are no limits on my affections).  But then right this very second the whole experience just got even better (and my homesickness got a touch worse) because the filming location for the house of the main characters is three doors down from our house in Victoria. Meaning I just glimpsed the corner our yard on television. I mean that makes us practically famous right?

Okay, I will stop my over-exuberant nostalgia and get down to business.  Pumpkin Cheesecake. Apparently, everyone loves pumpkin everything this fall.  So this recipe from our Canadian Thanksgiving Feast is right on trend.  This was one of the non-vegan, non-paleo and full gluten dishes.  Because really dessert should just be decadent. It also happens to be super simple and more or less fool proof, while appearing complex and labor intensive.  Enjoy!

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Get Out of Town: Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary in Victoria

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It was our fifth wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, and we managed to wrangle a trip back to the island at the same time.  This meant Jay and I were able to steal a room at the Fairmont Empress, which was actually directly across the hall from where we spent our wedding night (swoon).  We love the Fairmont brand, and after working there for 8 years and now with Jay having a jet setting career we have managed to stay at over 22 of their properties.  So that being said the Empress is very near and dear to our hearts.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to celebrate our 5th anniversary. Continue reading “Get Out of Town: Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary in Victoria”

Victoria { as seen through my iPhone }

So we took along our fancy camera with all the intentions in the world of capturing our trip home with it.  However, we got too caught up savoring the people and events of being home that the only remnants of our visit are pixelated iPhone snapped photos.  I would be more bummed if it wasn’t a testament to just how wonderfully full and heart filling our time at home was.

We were honored to celebrate the most exceptional bride and groom.  The wedding wound up being perfectly wonderful evening of catching up with old friends, and on top of that making some pretty spectacular new ones (Y’all come visit now!). As for the bride and groom, these two are a truly remarkable couple.  They have been together since early high school and are seriously going to kill it as husband and wife. We love them.  So much so that after the wedding night I lost my voice for the remainder of our trip because I talked, laughed and cheered way, way too much.

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10 Reasons to Visit Vancouver Island

10 Reasons to Visit Vancouver Island

It has become a running joke that since moving to New York I have become incredibly patriotic and pro-west coast island living.  Friends have even gone so far as to dare me to go a length of time without harkening back to the beauty and sheer awesomeness of where I grew up (I always fail).  Jay has chastised me for routinely google searching images for “Vancouver Island Scenery” and showing them off in every NYC bar, dining establishment and house party ever.  He goads me that New Yorkers love New York so I best be careful with my belligerent bragging of the awesomeness of my island home. Well New Yorkers can have their New York, this article chronicles the essence of why I love island life.

Home is Where the Heart is

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I am sitting here on my mom’s couch (American Translation: Sofa), not even having left the west coast yet, already going through a bout of recurring homesickness.  I will miss the people and I will miss the beauty.  However, during our time here I have come to realize just how spectacular and uniquely special it is that Jay and I get to call two very dynamic, wonderful cities home.  I am in love with New York for all the bustle and activity it offers that Victoria doesn’t, while I cherish Victoria for all the charm, relaxed island pace and warmth that New York misses.

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Read It: A Times Colonist Article about my Dear Friend Christina


You read a lot in graduate school and a lot of it is fascinating.  However, I think I may have just read my favourite article ever in my hometown newspaper.  Here it is today’s Times Colonist Article about You&Her

I have been blessed to know and come to call a dear, dear friend a young woman named Christina Norman, who has a heart for the greater world.  I have danced at her wedding, snuggled her new born babies and been fortunate enough to enjoy a few cups of good coffee with her as she has unfurled her visions and dreams.  Today is the day she has been aspiring to for a very, very long time now -she, alongside her wonderful husband and beautiful children, will be launching her new line you&her.  I don’t think I can begin to encapsulate with simple words the depth and overwhelming magnitude of excitement I am feeling as I watch the fruit of her passion unfold today.  She is just one, breathtakingly remarkable mother of 3 who is trying to do her very large, very awesome part in supporting the women in Africa who are in need.  So if you happen to be in Victoria this evening go to their launch at the Parkside Hotel.  Tickets are $50 and you will be supporting something much, much larger than yourself.  If you are like me and are a little further away than you would like to be on a night as grad and tonight then read about her story in our local newspaper, and send all the love you can muster their way.  Equally as importantly, if you are able to partner with them financially, please do so, you will be supporting this young family who is stepping out in faith to better our global community.

Christina I am so proud of you.  Keep it up.

Home, sweet, home

Well needless to say the past few weeks have been chaotic but so unbelievably amazing it has made all the madness worth it.  Since the last post we have bought a house, moved into the house, reno’d the garage, got tenants, had my 25th birthday, visited my grandparents, had weekend visitors and managed to sneak in a quick 8 day getaway to Florida.

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2% Jazz Coffee

20130206-153739.jpgWell I am one of the very few who doesn’t like coffee – not the smell, not the taste. Give me tea, give me matcha but you can keep your coffee to yourself. However since I have started teaching I have realized the major non-taste related benefits of a cup of coffee and its uncanny ability to help your survive a gaggle of 6 year olds on a Friday before a long weekend. So my hunt began for palatable coffee, and after Starbucks left me wanting my quest quickly ended at 2% Jazz where their locally roasted coffee not only makes the streets outside the Hudson building smell like overdone chocolate chip cookies (yum) but it tastes amazing. So here you have it, the latte that reformed my distaste for caffeine and firmly placed me within the inner circle of adulthood.