Tag Archives: friends

When Nature Attacks

17 May

For all that I go hiking and for walks and dragon boat I wouldn’t call myself an outdoorsy person. I can handle being outside for various activities as long as nature keeps its distance.

Well, a couple weeks ago I was out walking with a friend around Burnaby Lake and nature attacked! It was brutal, and tragic, and involved the end of a life, and I hope it never happens again.

A small black flying insect suicide bombed in to my eye. My eye! And I don’t mean it came near, I blinked in time, and it bounced off my eye lid, or that it hit just under or over my eye, no no no. I mean it flew right in to my eye ball, made contact, and died. Now granted, it might have died when I rubbed my eye because a bug just flew in to it, but whether it died from the impact or my reflexive action is irrelevant. The end result was a dead bug…in my eye! Ugh.

So. Not. Hygienic.

The plus side to that day, and the walk I did the week later with the same friend at that same lake, is the other wildlife, you know, the ones that aren’t deciding to suicide bomb in to my eyes.

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So sure, the only wildlife I took pictures of were the Canadian Geese but c’mon, did you really want pictures of the slugs on the trails? No, I didn’t think so. And who can resist little floofy baby geese? They are so adorable, especially the ones that are all chilling on the grass in a row. Let’s all just admire the adorable while we can, because soon they will be grown and mean, it is their destiny after all. πŸ˜‰

Cherry Chocolate Trifle

13 May

I experimented on some friends a week or so ago and made them Cherry Chocolate Trifle. It was a spur of the moment thing, mostly I came up with it because I needed to do something with a bunch of left over chocolate cake.

The cake was also a bit of an experiment…what can I say, I was in an experimenting kind of mood, shrug.

So the trifle!

I’ve never made a trifle without alcohol in it but the only alcohol I have ever used in a chocolate trifle is either Baileys or Kaluha and since I don’t like either of those, nor have them on hand, these trifles ended up being non-alcoholic.

I ripped the left over chocolate cake in to small-ish pieces then mixed in cherry pie filling. This is normally where the alcohol would be added, instead I just used all the cherry pie filling, which full disclosure, I was lazy and bought a can of pie filling instead of making some. Hey, don’t judge! We’ve probably all been there at some point!

Once the pie filling and cake are well and truly mixed I put equal amounts in to these clear plastic cups I had on hand. I bought them from the dollar store for a different layered dessert I was going to try and commandeered them for this instead. You could put the entire cake & pie combo in to a large serving dish, preferably one with clear sides so the layers can be viewed, but I wanted these to be easy for my friends to take home, hence the individual cups.

The next layer is chocolate pudding – fairly self-explanatory.

The final layer is whipped cream, which yes I whipped myself, I didn’t buy the stuff in the can or use cool whip. Not that I am dissing cool whip, I love the stuff! I know that not everybody does though so I went with whipping cream instead, seemed easier, even though I swear eons pass while you are beating the stupid stuff and turning it in to, ya know, whipped cream.

I was going to finely chop some chocolate and sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream, more for the visual than taste, but I was running late (thanks to how long it takes to whip the cream!) so it didn’t get done. Ah well, not everything can be perfect every time!

I forgot to take any pictures of the final product so my amazing friend kindly sent me a couple that she took. It is hard to see the different layers, but trust me, they are there! The feedback from all who ate it was two thumbs up, so I’m labeling it a keeper!

I would say don’t make your A-Level chocolate cake when doing this trifle, after all, the cake gets mixed with so many other things it stops being the main part of the dessert and becomes one of many parts. One of many yummy parts. Mmm! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in case it didn’t work out I made my A-Level chocolate cake for the same night…and not to be all braggy or anything but it turned out amazing, as it always does. For such a delish cake it sure has an easy recipe…which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much lol I however didn’t have anything summery to decorate it with so the red and green sprinkles got pulled out and well, made it look a bit Christmas-y. Ah well, who says you can’t channel some Christmas vibes in May? Not me! After all, there are only 226 days until Christmas (as of May 13th)…not that I’m counting or anything. πŸ˜‰

Good Times On Mt Seymour

28 Feb

Snowshoeing, I hate typing that word, it feels awkward, but it is a fun activity so alas, I will be doomed to keep typing it. Oh what a hard life I lead *pauses for a dramatic swoon*

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Some friends and I went up to Mt. Seymour to go snowshoeing and had a blast! Hmm…I’ve really gotta learn some new slang…

The day started with dragon boat practice (for two of us), then brunch, then snowshoeing. So ya know, just a slightly active day. πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t sure my suv would be allowed up the mountain, if the roads are bad they make you park at the bottom and take a shuttle up but nobody checked us so up we went…slowly…as in old granny slow…the higher we got the more the snow was swirling around and the more wintry it became. It always amazes me how you can go from city to mountain so quickly here.

Because we were snowshoeing and not skiing or snowboarding we had to park farther away, snowshoe discrimination! πŸ˜‰ It is actually ok because it gave us time to get used to walking on the snowshoes.

Once we were strapped in and on our way it was basically just fun. The whole time. I mean c’mon, get four friends together, strap their feet to snowshoes, set them on a trail, and how could that not be fun?

I did learn that all my survival knowledge is basically theoretical and does not kick in as an automatic response when faced with a potentially dangerous situation…great thing to learn up on a mountain in winter lol

See, we were trekking along this one narrow stretch where you have to go single file and all of a sudden snow is falling on us. And not the snow that had been falling all day, no no, I mean big poofy coming from the side of the mountain snow. There is technically a potential of avalanche and part of my brain kept thinking “keep moving. you have to keep moving. woman move your feet!” but in actuality all the four of us did was turn around, look up at the mountain to see where the snow was coming from, start laughing and wondering what was happening. So yeah, the survival skills of my friends and I are maybe not the absolute highest they could be…but I’m sure somewhere out there someone is worse than us…right?

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All in all it was a great day, as you can see in the above pictures. I wish there could be more like that. πŸ™‚

New Recipe and Frozen Pie

29 Sep

The other night a friend came over to help me move furniture. She was originally going to help me move but since I don’t have to move anymore (long story!) I decided to use her muscles to help me rearrange my living room.

In the way of friends, and moving, and all that, I offered to pay her for her help…in food. I figure you offer pizza and drinks when bribing friends to help you move, the least I could do was offer her dinner and dessert to help me rearrange furniture.

The rearranging was actually a lot easier than anticipated, which was a lovely surprise.

And the food turned out pretty decent, yay!

I got a recipe from a lady I follow on YouTube, it is called One Pot Enchillada Pasta. She got the recipe from someone she follows online (oh the wonders of the internet). The link to the video is here:

And here is the link to the original recipe…

https://www.iheartnaptime.net/enchilada-pasta/

Cause ya know, it is important to give the right people credit.

I won’t go in to the details of how to make the dish since I have just provided you with two links to that info, but here is a brief overview of my cooking adventure with this recipe.

The hardest part was finding enchilada sauce. Yup, you heard that right, that sauce was an elusive beast. I just sorta assumed it would be in the Old El Paso aisle at any grocery store so I stopped at Superstore on my way home from work to grab that and a bunch of the other ingredients, only to discover they don’t carry enchilada sauce, in any aisle, by any brand. Uhh, it is sorta one of the main most needed ingredients considering “enchilada” is in the title of the recipe! I had a sneaky suspicion that if Superstore didn’t carry it other stores might not so I then proceeded to call a bunch of other grocery stores (figured calling saved me more time than driving all over the place) and it turns out nobody had the sauce.

Just greeeeeat.

There goes that cooking plan. *rolls eyes*

Later that night at home I googled the sauce and discovered that Save-On-Foods carries it and they have the whole order online and pick-up the order whenever it is convenient for me deal so that is exactly what I did. I placed the order, timed my pick-up for after work the next day, problem solved!

The actual meal is easy to make, mostly because it is dumping a bunch of stuff in a pot lol Just brown the meat (ground beef or turkey, whatever you prefer), add the other stuff, stir, cook for a while, add a couple last minute things, stir, cover and simmer for a while, add some cheese and cover until the cheese has melted, serve.

Easy peasy.

I opted to not put the cheese on top and let it melt, mostly because the recipe called for a lot of cheese and sour cream and pasta, and is just in general a not-healthy recipe and I thought the least I could do was have us add our own cheese to our own bowls so we can decide how smothered our food was. It probably didn’t make much of a difference calorie wise at that point but hey, a girl can try!

Oh, and you can top your serving with a whole variety of things, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, sour cream, really, whatever you want. So I prepped some stuff for use as toppings and had it ready to go.

My bowl ended up looking like this…

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Yes, I know my ratio of sour cream to everything else is out of whack but whatever, I like sour cream and very rarely eat it, shrug. You can’t really see the actual dish I made, only the toppings, but it is under there!

It turned out tasty. Spicy, thanks to the green chilies and possibly the enchilada sauce (I’m not sure just how spicy that sauce is since I didn’t taste test it separately before adding it to the pot), but not so spicy it is hard to eat. I used regular penne pasta for mine, and I added in one cup vs the 2 cups of ziti noodles the original recipe called for. I gotta say, one cup of penne was plenty! I don’t see why you’d need more than that. I think other than the change in cheese and the change of noodles I stuck to the recipe.

I’m happy with how it turned out, it made a huge amount of food, I had left overs for daaaaays! Despite that, I probably won’t make it again, unless I am making it to take somewhere, because it is so unhealthy, but as a one off it was enjoyable.

Dessert was also served that night, in the form of a frozen pie I actually bought from the friend that was helping me. She was fundraising and selling frozen baked items and one of the things I bought from her was a peach pie. I never got around to baking it and her coming over seemed the perfect excuse.

All I had to do was pop it in the oven for an hour, it then said to let it cool for two hours, which we felt was extreme so we cut in to it sooner than that lol Whoever said patience was a virtue wasn’t waiting for a pie to cool!

The crust was nice and flaky, the peaches were delish, the glaze or sauce or whatever you want to call it that the peaches were in was interesting. Not bad, just not what I was expecting. I think they added the juice or flavouring of another fruit in there, which is odd, is it not? Maybe that’s just me…

peach pie

I was able to send left overs home with my friend and take a good chunk of the pie over to a different friend’s place a day or so later, the pie sure did make the rounds lol

All in all, it was a good pie, I could have made better (yes, I know that sounds smug but don’t hate a baker, that’s not nice πŸ˜‰ ) but it was nice to have the convenience of just popping a ready made pie in to the oven and not have to do all the work of actually making it. Which I guess is why ready made foods are such a massive industry lol

So yeah, there we have it, two yummy dishes, made and enjoyed by all. πŸ™‚

All About Adele

5 Nov

I realized my obsession with the spider infestation, pest control visit, and subsequent clean-up from “spray day” got me derailed from my writing about my Washington DC trip. The horrors!

October 10th was the Adele concert. Adele! wOOt! wOOt!

Truth be told, prior to the concert I wasn’t a huuuuuge Adele fan. I mean, she has a gorgeous voice, obviously, but I didn’t go out of my way to listen to her music. Most of the songs I know are from an older album. Since the concert? Let’s just say that has changed and I think she is awesome! πŸ˜€

She was funny, and chatty, and entertaining (not only with her songs but with her conversations with the crowd), and while sure, she is mega-rich and nothing like me, she makes you feel like you could totally sit down with her to have a cup of tea and end up friends. Weird huh?

According to Adele, she gets huge stage fright so she uses her chats between songs to calm her down and she babbles because “they” never let her out so she uses the two hour concerts to finally get to talk to someone lol

Did you know, for this tour, she wore the same dress to every concert? She wanted one perfect dress that she felt good in and that looked nice that she could wear to each show and well, being that she is Adele, she got what she wanted. She also chose to wear flats so she could be comfortable. We discovered this when she pulled two people up on stage and she commented on the ladies heels, there was this lovely little chat about shoes and she points to hers and said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “I always choose flats” in this funny sing-songy voice. Love it!

I actually found video on YouTube of that encounter, and other parts of her concert, if you want to watch here it is, the encounter with the two people starts at about 3:37 but I say watch it all because Adele is hilarious!

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During her chat with those two she discovered they are best friends, the one person had recently moved to Texas so she flew back for the concert, Adele thought they were so cute, and she apparently picked them because they looked sooooooooo excited, that she arranged for them both to go to her concert in Dallas. Who does that?

Other things she did was have her person Liam go find the two people in the stadium with the worst seats and bring them to the front row seats she had kept open. She also did that thing where she asked the crowd who was there for an anniversary, lots of people put up hands. Who was there for a birthday? Lots of people put up hands. Who was there because they were forced to be there? Two people pointed fingers at one guy! lol They were on the floor so everyone could see them. Adele thought it was hilarious, said there was at least one at every concert! She also walked around the perimeter of a smaller stage that was set up in the floor area and struck a ridiculous pose that basically had her butt in the air and her face closer to the level of the people in the crowd so people could take selfies and get a good shot of Adele in the picture. Like, for real, she went around each side of that stage and stopped multiple times along each side so everyone in that area could snap a selfie. She did all kinds of sweet things for various fans that she didn’t have to but I guess just felt like doing…or if I want to be cynical it is part of how she builds her image and brand but let’s not be cynical today ok? πŸ˜‰

I took a horrible quality video of her performing the song Rolling In The Deep, it was her encore song. It is a tad blurry at the beginning but gets better and towards the end I stop pointing at the stage to get images of the papers falling from the ceiling (don’t worry, I go back to the stage eventually)…sorry! But hey, I never claimed to be a videographer and I was busy enjoying the concert, not worrying about balancing my camera lol Turns out the microphone on the camera is pretty good though, so that’s a nice thing to learn! πŸ™‚

I never would have thought to go to this concert, mostly because I don’t have that kind of money, and this concert was so far away from where I live. If it wasn’t for the amazingness of my friend Nic I never would have had this experience and I only hope that one day soon I can find a way to repay her. If you ever get a chance to go to an Adele concert jump at it, it was such a great experience! Until then check out YouTube, there are so many videos taken from her concerts so you can see for yourself how funny, and kind, and entertaining she is. Oh and bonus, you’ll also get to hear her sing which as we all know is something she does exceptionally well. πŸ˜€

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It took a ridiculous amount of tries to get a decent pic of us, and look at my sunburn! I look like a freakin tomato!Β 

Hiking Pics

28 Apr

I’ve been hiking a handful of times since the weather got nice and each time there have been some definite kodak moments…some of which I actually pulled my phone out and took pics of. Look at me, remembering to take pictures of things so I can share them with you, go me go! lol πŸ˜‰

Well ok, I remembered to take pictures twice and one of those hikes I’ve already shared the pics of but if my Drop Box will ever finish uploading the newest pics from my phone then I will post some of them here…

Let’s all wait together shall we?

-Insert Jeopardy music here-

Aha! Finally! πŸ™‚

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This was taken from around the halfway point on the staircase. I hate stairs. Stairs are evil. Having said that, when I got to the top I realized they weren’t as bad as I anticipated. Lesson learned! Always try something you think is gonna be hard, it might turn out to not be that bad… πŸ™‚

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A lovely little spot where people go swimming in the summer. Despite how warm we had gotten from our hike it was definitely nowhere near warm enough in the water to dip a toe in. You can’t tell from this pic but to the right the water gets deeper and extends quite a ways up until it meets with a waterfall. There is a ledge where people jump in to the water from that currently has a tribute on it because someone jumped about 3 weeks or so ago and died.

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This is a man made lake that sorta just appears when you’re on a certain trail. It is super calm and relaxing and I could sit on the bench and enjoy the spot for hours. Well, except that just behind you is the trail so you hear people going past. A bench that is a bit off the trail and more secluded would be nice, only, how would people know about it? Oh the dilemmas! lol Apparently there are fish in the lake and people go fishing here, I didn’t see any but maybe they are deeper in the water where it is warmer.

I feel a little bad about the fish, I mean, c’mon, people make a lake and stock it with fish then let people fish there. It is kinda mean. The fish have no way to escape, they didn’t choose to be there and you are almost guaranteeing they get killed…just doesn’t seem right to me. If people want to fish I think they should fish somewhere the fish have a bit better odds of not dying, but that is just my opinion, shrug.

All in all, lovely hikes. πŸ™‚ Lisa and I go every Sunday after work and we are upping that to also going every Monday after work, so guaranteed two hikes a week, yay! They aren’t crazy intense hikes or anything but they are still nice. I’ll leave the crazy intense hikes for a day off so I have more time and energy to enjoy them and go farther in to the back country…bears here I come! πŸ˜‰

Abbotsford Tulip Festival

27 Apr

The other week a friend and I went to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival. I wouldn’t say it really qualifies for the title “festival” since the only thing there is a really big field full of different types and colours of tulips…don’t festivals usually have rides? And food on a stick?

Despite not having the opportunity to buy some form of food on a stick and twirl around a little bit too fast on a sketchy ride we had a good time. πŸ™‚ It was an almost hour ride from where we were to the tulips and who doesn’t like a good car ride?

It was a lovely hot day so sunscreen was of course my best friend, I maaaay have forgotten to put sunscreen on my scalp and I didn’t want to wear a hat so yeah, sunburned scalp, ugh, but not the worst burn I’ve ever had, not even close! Heck, the burn didn’t even peel so not even ranked in the top 20! πŸ˜›

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A little zen moment amongst the flowers.

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See the bee?

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Almost endless flowers…

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So obviously I’m not a wonder at photography but I think the flowers look pretty despite my lack of skill…

This next picture amuses me, it is an entire row of decapitated tulips…who would do such a thing?

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Poor decapitated flowers…

 

First Time This Year

3 Apr

Get your mind out of the gutter – not thaaaaat kind of “first time”! lol

I’m talking about my first hike of the year…or I guess I could word that as first hike of the season…either is accurate, shrug.

A friend and I went for a walk last Friday before I went to work and decided we enjoyed it so much that we made plans to go for a walk / hike Sunday afternoon when I was off work. I oh so responsibly packed a bag the night before (cause nooooo way would I remember at 5am to pack a bag with hiking appropriate clothes in it) and once I was at work texted her asking if she wanted to come walk the trails near my work or go to the trails near her or if we should go somewhere completely different. I had to be sneaky because we have an unfortunate habit of saying we are going to go for a walk or a hike or to a fitness class or whatever and instead we either (1) cancel completely or (2) go for tea and sit and gab.

Yup, we are enablers of each others laziness.

So I figured if I worded the text to her today as if I assumed we were still going it’d be harder for her to bail.

Turns out I was wrong. lol She wrote back saying she was way behind for the stuff she had to do today because of things happening in her townhouse complex (loooong complicated story that and not really essential to my story, which is of course the important one πŸ˜‰ ) and basically she couldn’t make it.

I, in a non-bitchy way, said no worries but since I’d brought my change of clothes with me I was still gonna go. At this point I still had some energy left so I meant it when I said it.

Well, by the end of my work day I was tired and had almost completely decided to not go for a walk or a hike and instead go home. Before I could though my friend calls, turns out by my saying I was still going to go it got her thinking that she really should find time in her day to do something active and good for her so she once again decided to join me.

I couldn’t very well tell her that I’d decided to bail *rolls eyes*…and that is how we ended up here…

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The shots of the water were all taken from the suspension bridge. If it wasn’t for other people being there I could easily stand on that bridge for hours watching and listening to the water.

As for the hollow trunk picture, I thought it’d be fun but in actually I look like I have no neck lol silly shadows. πŸ˜› And before anyone who is thinking about my eyes freaks out (which really that would only be my mom) I only took my sunglasses off for the picture, otherwise they are always on when I am outside – I am following all my eye care rules, honest! πŸ™‚

A New Year

2 Jan

We are a little over 24 hours in to 2016…how are things going for you so far? Is it everything you were hoping it would be? πŸ˜‰

I know it is hard to tell this early in to the New Year but maybe you have an inkling of how things might go…or at least a hope!

It is kind of funny,Β  I always think of the New Year as a chance to wipe the slate clean, start fresh, ya know? But this year I am still dealing with a bunch of stuff that happened at the tail end of 2015 and it doesn’t feel like a new year has started, that I’m at the beginning of a new chapter in the Book of Me. I feel like I am still cleaning up after 2015.

It kinda sucks…

Not the happiest New Years post is it? sigh

It isn’t that every thing is bad or anything, I’m just in a bit of a down spot I guess. It’ll get better, promise!

I wish I had been able to post the past couple of weeks, due to technical difficulties I wasn’t able to easily get online or write anything so I thought I’d do a catch up post Dec 31st but that didn’t happen…obviously lol

I went home for Christmas, got to hang with the family and friends, got to enjoy the snow and remind my weather wimpy body what true winter weather is like lol I had a great visit! Which is one of the reasons I wish I’d been able to post while away, it is always so much more fun to write about things the same day they happened!

I took a bunch of pictures, though not as many as normal, they are currently uploading to DropBox as I type…I don’t think they will be uploaded in time for this post, seems I took over 100 pics! Eek! But I’ll do a post another day showing you some of what I got up to. πŸ™‚

Mostly my trip consisted of taking advantage of the measly 5% sales tax Alberta has (lucky bastards! lol) and hanging with people. In fact, a happy benefit to my being where there was only 5% sales tax aaaaaand great Christmas sales is that I am writing this post on a brand new oh so lovely laptop! wOOt! Which I’m hoping means I will no longer be having tech problems that keep me from posting. *crossing fingers*

The laptop came loaded with Windows 10, which is going to take me a bit of getting used to lol I’ve spent the last little bit installing Office and anti-virus and logging in to various websites so this laptop can remember my log-in deets for all the various sites I visit. I didn’t get the old laptop backed up and then have it all dumped on this one so I am starting fresh, which is oddly unsettling lol

2016 may not be starting off quite as I envisioned but I’m sure it will be great! Awesome things will happen…some sucky things will happen…but then other even more awesome things will happen to balance the scales and by the end of 2016 I’m sure I will have forgotten how I felt on the first day of this year. πŸ™‚

2016

 

Christmas Market Season

25 Nov

Woohoo! Christmas Market season is upon us, and I love it!

Last weekend I went to an indoor Christmas Market in Abbotsford with a friend and had a lovely time. I meant to take more pictures than I did but oh well, least I managed to take some! lol πŸ˜›

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Now obviously I bought a bunch of stuff, I mean c’mon, what else is a Christmas Market for? But I can’t say what I bought since all but one item is a present for people and those people read this blog. Can’t be giving away Christmas secrets now! lol You’ll just have to trust me that the booths held a lot of interesting items and there were plenty of great things to spend your hard earned dollars on. πŸ™‚

The Christmas Markets I have been to in the past have always been outside, in the cold, in the dark, and while they are lots of fun and have plenty of atmosphere there is something to be said for wandering around indoors and not worrying about your freezing cold feet or drinking endless cups of apple cider all in an attempt to keep your hands warm lol I did kinda miss the cider though… πŸ˜‰

This market was better than Costco when it came to food samples, which I was not expecting! I mean seriously, pretty much every booth that was selling food had food samples and oh man did my friend and I eat our fill! I didn’t eat dinner that evening because I was still stuffed when I got home lol I had some salmon, some chicken and rice with a homemade sauce on it, mango chocolate that tasted only of mango so I’d never have guessed it was chocolate, various flavours of balsamic vinegars (and of course the bread I dipped in them), lychee flavoured honey, as well as a cinnamon flavoured honey (the cinnamon one was better, imo), ummm…oh! There was this disgusting gluten free, sugar free, vegan pumpkin pie and a gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian “buttercream icing” (that had no butter, no milk/cream and no sugar). Both those were at a booth being run by a lady promoting her gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian cookbook. Sorry but I like sugar, and gluten, and animal products. Besides, instead of sugar she was using stevia and there was a weird, lingering, artificial taste, ick. And why in the world would she call her icing Buttercream Icing when it is not? It was a lime and coconut icing that was not even close to being similar to a buttercream icing…that sucker needs a new name lol

There was more food I am just blanking on it right now. Since I thought this market would be like the ones I have gone to before I had imagined myself wandering the booths and at some point buying a meal but nibbling my way through samples was way more fun, even though it became almost impossible to track in any way how many calories I ate, but oh well, guess what happens at a Christmas Market stays at a Christmas Market! teehee

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