Friday, October 30, 2015

Simply Me

Another question link-up post! I love these things.

This one is hosted by my blogger friend Liz at Sundays with Sophie. There are 5 questions every month to answer and this month is all about geography. Well really it's about the States but I am adapting it to include Canada because that's where I am! 

Q: I've lived in ___ states (number of states)
A: In Canada, I have only lived in Ontario. But! I was born in Poland and lived there for almost six years. When we moved to Canada, my family settled in Toronto and I have lived in Southern Ontario ever since. I sometimes dream of moving to a multitude of various places but I know it's not realistic. Being close to family is really important for me and I can't imagine not being near them!


Q: My favourite state is _______
A: Hmmm... good question. My favourite province is probably BC because it is so beautiful and different from the rest of Canada. As for a state... I might have to say North Carolina? (Mike is jumping with joy right now I'm sure, big Tar Heels fan!) We drove down for the first time last year and I was really impressed. I fell in love with the Southern hospitality and culture. Not to mention, their weather situation seems pretty perfect.

driving into NC (December 2014)

Q: Why do you live in the state you currently live in?
A: I touched on this before but Ontario is where my parents moved to when we all moved to Canada. They probably chose Ontario because of the job opportunities and they knew some people in Toronto already. And then I met Mike here and it just made sense to stay put.

Admiring the Toronto skyline. Can you see the CN Tower in the background? (April 1994)

Q: Would you move to another state?
A: I don't think so. Like I said, I can't imagine moving away from my family. I think if I was to move anywhere, it would be back to Poland to be with the rest of my family. However, if you told me I had to pick an alternate location around here, I would probably want to move somewhere in the States. And maybe a state that doesn't have below-freezing temperatures in the winter! 

Q: What is your state known for?
A: Ontario is probably the most known for Toronto. And housing the capital. And Niagara Falls and CN Tower. Tim Hortons. And Drake and Justin Bieber (aaaaand The Weeknd, Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Will Arnett, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Eugene Levy, Howie Mandell, Wayne Gretzky, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Michael Cera, Alex Trebeck = all Ontarians)
I often wonder what people think of when they hear about Ontario. Let me know!

seeing Niagara Falls for the first time (April 1995)
taking Mike to see Niagara falls for the first time (May 2010)

I hope everyone has a very happy and safe Halloween! I can't wait to see everyone's costumes! Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Guys Behind The Blog: October

Oops! I missed a couple months of this link-up, but I'm back at it! Or... Mike is back at it.

In case you aren't familiar with Guys behind The Blog, it is a monthly link-up hosted by Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura Jean. It spotlights the amazing men in our lives by asking them a few light-hearted questions. I always love hearing from the guys!

This month we're talking about fall and Halloween. Let's dive in.

Q: We’re headed into fall, which means cooler temps for most of us…are you a warm weather or cold weather kind of guy?
A: I'm definitely a warm weather guy. My cousin and I both like to say, "You know those days where they have to tell the old people to stay inside because it's too hot? That's how hot it should be all the time." I hate the cold. I hate how uncomfortable it is to be outside, I hate the time it takes to just make it comfortable to go outside, I hate how when you go to the mall in the winter you're warm enough to travel there, but once you get there it is insanely uncomfortable in your jacket. I hate snow, I hate shovelling snow, I hate walking in snow when it becomes gross slush. I just hate it all. I love t-shirts, shorts, and nice sneakers. The winter lets me wear none of that. Oh, and I can't play baseball in the winter. 
If I had to choose my favourite month of weather, it's probably August. It's hot enough for me during the day, and at night it's cool enough to get some fresh air and maybe toss on a hoodie.


The Highline in NYC (July 2013)

Q: What's the best Halloween costume you've ever worn?
A: I'm not a very big Halloween guy. I stopped trick or treating when I was in eighth grade, and I never really went to many Halloween themed parties as an adult. I would usually pick an athlete or a wrestler from WWE (or WWF as it was known as then) to dress up as. Today, I always think of costume ideas, but then never really get around to pulling them off. This year if I were to dress up, I probably would have dressed up as Jake from State Farm. 


Mike dressed as Ken Griffey Jr and friend as Mark McGwire (October 2012)

Q: What's your favourite Halloween candy?
A: We take my little brother-in-law trick or treating every year, and the kid is just the most generous 10 year old you could ever meet. He will empty his bag onto our coffee table and then find the Reese Peanut Butter cups and say "Here, Mike! These are your favourite. You can have them all." Isn't that just the nicest thing? He knows me so well.

Q: What are your favourite parts of fall (ex: football, the weather, Thanksgiving, etc)?
A: Most people would say that the changing colours is their favourite part of fall. While I'd agree that falling leaves and changing colours make for nice landscapes, I can't really enjoy it knowing what's looming in about a month. I miss my nice vibrant green trees and we're about 6 long months away from seeing them again. Anyhow, I do love everything pumpkin, but I feel like the craze has kind of gotten out of hand. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin pie blizzards from Dairy Queen, but seriously, I don't really need pumpkin spice M&M's (and they're not even really that good!) I also love that UNC football is in full swing and basketball is just around the corner. And baseball playoffs! So yes, my favourite thing about the fall is definitely the sports.


University of Notre Dame, UNC vs. ND football (October 2014)

Q: How do you feel about pumpkin spice lattes? (As a joke question hahaha)
A: I guess I sort of touched on this in the previous question, but I am a fan of pumpkin spice lattes. Although, I've only been bold enough to try them at Starbucks. I don't know why, but I feel like I'd just be comparing everything else to Starbucks and I'm not sure how they could reach that standard. 



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time Capsule

I may have mentioned that we are doing a very small renovation in our house. Actually it's right outside our house. Our front steps were a mess and we needed to have them fixed. They are almost done so I will blog about that at a different time but today I wanted to talk about how I left a small treasure for someone to find under these stairs.

We don't plan on living here forever and I was very eager to leave a couple things to be found by a future resident of this house. But what does one leave from 2015?  I wanted it to be a perfect representation of today and of us.
I included:
- a newspaper
- a few photos of us
- a letter
- an Ikea catalogue
- a USB of photos of the house
- a UNC sticker (Mike insisted!)

In our letter we talked a little bit about us, politics, popular TV and music, and sports. We also requested that who ever finds our time capsule will add their own items and hide it again for someone else to find. Let's keep this going!

Because our time capsule will technically live outside, albeit well covered by a staircase, I made sure to put our items in a plastic container and then inside an air-tight ziploc bag. Hopefully everything will survive without too much wear!
We hope that who ever finds this time capsule will look us up and maybe even try to get in contact with us. Provided that we are still around. What a crazy thought that the finders might not even be alive yet.

Have you ever hid something in your home for something else to find? Do you think I should have added anything else?

Monday, October 26, 2015

21 Day Fix

Happy Monday everyone! Our weekend was calm, relaxing, and not worthy of its own blog post. After a series of a few hectic weekends, it was so nice to slow down and sleep in.

Let's address the title, shall we? I started a diet. The horrid D word. I have tried losing weight several times with no success. And I think my main problem is that I never gave it a solid effort. I like the 21 day fix because it focuses on healthy eating and working out. It's for 21 straight days after which you take a bit of a break and then start over.

Why now? Well we are thinking about starting a family in the next year or two and weight loss and pregnancy don't exactly go hand in hand. And I have heard that it only gets harder once you have little ones running around. So now it is. I owe it to myself and my (future) family. Every time I work out and struggle, I make sure to remember that I have to do this now because it will never be easier than right now.

The eating part of the 21 Day Fix is based on portion control and healthy choices. They give you different coloured containers that represent different food groups. And based on which calorie range you fall into, they tell you how many of each container you should be eating. For example, I have to eat 4 green containers everyday. The green containers are to be filled with vegetables. I'm really enjoying writing down what I consume because it really helps me stay accountable. Before this, my diet was awful. I would basically eat whatever I wanted. Sugary coffees every morning, carby dinners, bad desserts every night, no vegetables. Bad bad bad. I'm finding that my plan is keeping me really full and satisfied. I'm not hungry, I'm not hangry, and I'm not really craving junk.
The workouts. An exerciser, I am not. Like, I didn't do anything. Unless you count scrolling through Instagram exercise for my thumbs. There are 10 or so different workouts that you cycle through and they are about half an hour long. That doesn't sound long but they really work you! Basically, I have been sore since I started. But that's also because I am incredibly out of shape. I feel so great and accomplished when I finish my workout for the day. And sweaty.
So I'm on day 7 and really enjoying it so far. I feel good and energized. I'm putting this out there on the internet because hopefully it will help me stay on track. I will get through this. I will be successful! 

Pray for me.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fall Decor

Are you sick of hearing how much I love fall yet? Ok one more post and then (maybe) I will stop :)

The weather here has officially cooled down and booties, light jackets, and scarves are making regular appearances. Sweater Weather and Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake candles are almost half way gone. Halloween is next week (!). I'm not a huge Halloween person and prefer to decorate more with pumpkins and mums than skeletons and ghosts.

So here's what I conjured up in the way of fall decor in full iPhone camera glory:

 Let me know if there's anything you want sourced. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Canada Votes

Yesterday was Election Day for a federal government in Canada. I am not a huge politics junkie and don't usually pay too much attention but I value my right to vote very much. Any time there is an election, I try to really understand the platforms of the various candidates so that I can make an informed decision.
There are many people in this world that do not have the freedom to choose a leader. My parents used to be two of those people. Poland was a communist country for several decades and it was a very oppressive time. While I am lucky to not remember it, it will always be very fresh in my parents' and grandparents' minds. Political stability is one of the reasons that my parents moved to North America.
So I urge you to do your research and go out to cast your vote whenever there is an election. The previous election's voter turnout was only 61% and less than 55% in the last American election. That seems really low to me. I truly believe that each individual vote makes a difference!
Alright, I will now hop off my little soapbox. Have a great Tuesday! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekending

Another weekend come and gone and boy did it go fast. We were so busy. Actually busy is a huge understatement because spent way more time away from home than in it. Social gathering, after social gathering. I am looking forward to a more relaxing week and to catch up on chores a little bit!

Friday was my good friend's birthday and we had a great time celebrating with her and a bunch of other people. I managed to take 0 photos but I promise it was lots of fun!

Saturday morning we went to the pumpkin patch with Mike's brother and family. It has been really cool here lately but that made the outing that much more season-appropriate. Little ones were running around everywhere and I think my niece had a blast. I loved seeing all the adorable farm animals and of course picking out the perfect pumpkin!

 After a lovely day with my niece and nephew, we went home  (the only time we were home and not sleeping!) to watch the North Carolina football game. I am noticing a trend where the team starts the game out a little rough but then goes on a huge scoring spree and wins by a lot. And they did just that! Mike was extra excited about having a tweet go semi-viral. A while ago, a Wake Forest coach posted an insulting tweet about UNC and the players and the fans and Mike were happy to remind him about it. His phone was blowing up with retweets. Go heels!

Saturday night, we went to an Oktoberfest party. We arrived around 11 because Mike wanted to catch some of the Mets game as well but the party was still in full swing. There were pretzels, bratwursts, schnitzel, and of course all kinds of German beer. And so many people were wearing lederhosen and dirndls! It was definitely lots of fun.

Sunday morning my mom called me to tell me that family is visiting from Nevada and today is pretty much the only day we can see them. So of course we jumped on the opportunity and met up with them for lunch. I haven't seen them for around 20 years so it was very nice to catch up. They are constantly inviting us to come down and stay with them for a bit. It sounded so appealing that now we are thinking of ways to rearrange our future travel plans to accommodate the trip. As of now, we have the next 3 or so years of travel planned already. Is that normal?

Anyway, we rounded off the weekend with a quick visit to our friends who are just a couple weeks away from having their first baby! There was lots of exciting baby talk and possible names being through around. I can't wait to meet their little one!

And with that, it's Monday. I am so exhausted that I am aaalmost wanting to say TGIM. Don't hate me. I need my routine back.
~

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!

Friday, October 16, 2015

100!

Holy moly, we're at 100.
I can't believe I have hit that little publish button 100 times already! To celebrate, I am pouring you a delicious glass of wine or champagne or coffee or whatever you like to consume so that we can CHEERS! Hurray!
And in case you haven't noticed yet, Fortunate House got a little facelift! Bye bye little grey scallops. I thought it was high time to crank it up a notch and change the layout. Pretty, right? I love.

This has been a week of gratitude and I couldn't be more thankful for the support I have witnessed through this little blog of mine. It has really become an outlet that I cherish so much. Sitting down a few times a week to put my thoughts on paper... I mean on the screen has been so gratifying. I especially appreciate the many other bloggers that I have connected with (holla Liz, Shay, Candace, Whitney, Biana, Elizabeth, Ashley and many more!) The blogging community is more supportive, positive, and encouraging that I could have ever imagined.

Thank you for following along my journey and reading my words. Here's to the next 100!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thankful


I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my pets, Lenny, Boomer and Neptune.
I am thankful for pumpkin pie.
I am thankful for blanket scarves.
I am thankful for my brother.
I am thankful for iPhones.
I am thankful for Skype.
I am thankful for my job.
I am thankful for peonies.
I am thankful for sunsets.
I am thankful for my niece and nephew.
I am thankful for my friends.
I am thankful for medium double doubles.
I am thankful for birch trees.
I am thankful for my mom.
I am thankful for Sunday mornings.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful for airplanes.
I am thankful for Dancing With The Stars.
I am thankful for blogging.
I am thankful for my grandparents.
I am thankful for roadtrips.
I am thankful for mascara.
I am thankful for autocorrect.
I am thankful for Octobers.

...and many many more.
PS - Tomorrow is a special day! Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Weekending: Thanksgiving

This was a long weekend here for Canada because Monday was Thanksgiving! I was curious why we don't celebrate on the same day as our neighbours to the South and found that it's mainly because it gets colder earlier here so we must celebrate the fall harvest sooner. Here's a good quick explanation.
Anyway, the weekend was filled with family, food, and stretchy pants. I may need to think about one of those juice cleanses I keep hearing about because there was a LOT of eating.

I started the weekend off with a hair appointment to touch up my highlights. Perfect timing! I love love love those first few days when my colour is the freshest. It's all about that toner for me.
The first huge dinner was hosted by Mike's parents. My mother-in-law's cooking is always amazing and her tablespread would definitely get a thumbs up from Martha.
That blazer thingy is my current favourite item of clothing. It has a handkerchief hem and is super flattering. It's from Target by xhilaration and I had to have it the second I saw it. Of course I can't find the link, but if you see it, get it!!

After dinner, we had a little family play-doh session hosted by my 2.5 year old niece. I got in the holiday spirit and made these:
I loved spending time with my niece and brand new nephew (his first holiday!) It's so true when people say that kids make the holidays more fun. I just love seeing them grow and experience new things.

On Sunday, my mom and brother arrived bright and early. And the cooking started right away. I was very eager to get my hands really dirty this year and really make most of the food. My mom was mainly supervising and directing the show. We started with making tranditional Polish apple pie, aka szarlotka. It differs quite a bit from the apple pie that is known in North America and while both are delicious, I prefer the Polish one because it's what I grew up with. We used my grandmother's recipe and it turned out amazing, like always. But this was the first time I made it pretty much on my own! So we had to skype my grandmother during the process to prove that her first grandchild isn't useless haha!



Next came the turkey. Again, I had never really tackled this on my own so I made sure to be as involved as possible with the preparation. I tried my best to limit my mom's help to verbal instructions!


The Polish soccer game was on during all of this so the boys were glued to the TV and my mom and I cheered on from the kitchen. It was a very exciting game and we won!! This means that Poland is officially in Euro2016!!!! (don't worry, lots of football and playoff baseball was watched as well!)
Everything turned out amazing and we were stuffed afterwards. For my American blogger friends, the menu is pretty much all the same. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, corn, and pumpkin and apple pie.
On Monday, everyone was still wearing their comfy pants and we went to go throw a football around. In my case, it was more like chasing a football around because those things are way harder to catch than it looks. And then topped it off with a nice long walk. It was so nice to be outside with beautiful warm weather.



Ok that's it. So many photos. I may do a separate post on the apple pie and how we made our turkey.

Hope all my fellow Canadians had a very wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is today in Canadaland and I just wanted to check in to wish all my Canadian friends a very happy Thanksgiving! This year I am extra grateful for my amazing family, my friends, my health, this little space of mine, and many many more things. 


I am off to spend time with my nearest and dearest and I will see you tomorrow!