Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Cropped”.  I cropped this picture of a horse that I took last spring.  Here’s lookin’ at you!  :)

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Not to be “Betty Boaster” but I earned A LOT of activity points today.  I walked to work, walked at lunchtime, walked to yoga, did a sweaty power yoga class, then walked home from yoga.

And I also found a new (to me), free photo editing site,   Photocat.com.  There are all kinds of backgrounds for collages, so I tried this one today for my menu photos.  Breakfast was a smoothie made with almond milk, banana and frozen strawberries, I had green juice and strawberries during the morning, lunch was leftover ratatouille and a piece of soda bread (forgot to photograph the soda bread, whoops), some watermelon and when I got home tonight, I scrambled some eggs and had them with toasted Little Big Bread.

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And now, please come on my walks with me…..

It was raining on my way to work this morning, so it started out being “Wet Wednesday”….

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…by lunchtime, the rain had stopped but the wind was blowing…so it was then “Windy Wednesday”….

This scarf was blowing in the wind….

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…I’d like some grown up sized boots like this….

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Action and signage in a dog park….

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I LOVE this old character building….

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After work, the wind was still blowing, it was chilly, but it was then “winter is gone tomorrow” Wednesday.  (It’s a stretch, I know…)

There were TONS of geese around….I’m thinking the goslings will be around soon.

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..the pigeons are nesting….

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..and robins were just giving me the stink eye.

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There was quite a bit of activity around the paddling club….

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Pretty clouds and boat with no paddles…

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Not sure who/why hung this in a tree by a green space…..wonder if the tree was ‘wreath bombed’….

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I really like the graphic on this banner…

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..and I thought this little sign in one of the plots in our community garden was cute too…

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Speaking of our garden, I walked by our little plot tonight on my way home from yoga.  DRUMROLL……TA DA!!!!!   The garlic we planted a couple of months ago has sprung!!!!

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I KNOW!!!!!  I’M SO EXCITED!!!  YES…THAT IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND I’M YELLING!  (HA!)  Dennis and I are the proud farmers/parents of 10 bouncing baby garlic plants!

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Maybe I should throw us a shower!!!  SO KIDDING!   But not kidding that I’m excited.  I’m already planning what will be planted next!  We will have to wait until it gets a bit warmer, but I see harvests in our future!

What else is exciting?  The fact that spring is officially arriving tomorrow.  This has been a nasty winter for so many of you…it is time for flowers, blossoms and green for us all!!!  Good Riddance Winter….see you later in the year!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “5 years ago”.  I went back to photos from 2009, and found this one of Dennis and I.  We were in Powell River, B.C. and used a self timer for the shot.  It’s a beautiful part of our province, hopefully we can get back there again sometime soon.

18 march 18 5 years ago

My morning started out with a coffee (thank you Barista Dennis) and a piece of Irish soda bread with butter and light swiss cheese.

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During the morning, I had some green juice and mango.

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Lunch was tuna salad with carrots, celery, tuna, olives and an apple.

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Later on, I had a little piece of dark chocolate with orange.

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After work, I met my friend Caroline for sushi.  We split an order of tuna sashimi, and I had a spicy tuna roll and an energy roll.

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Caroline and I had planned on going for a walk, but it was dark and a bit rainy, so we just drank tea and chatted instead.

I did have a walk at lunchtime though.  Here are a few pics.

Yay for spring colour.  These magnolia blooms are going to be HUGE.

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It wasn’t too sunny, and there were spits of rain, but the fresh air was nice….

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…this fence and chain have seen better days….

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…this license plate caught my eye…

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…and the rest of this post?  It’s for the birds….

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Oh groan!!!  That was bad…. :)  Have a wonderful Wednesday all!!!!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Today’s Weather”.  During my brief lunchtime walk, it was cloudy, windy, a little chilly but with intermittent patches of sun/blue sky.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!  And Happy Anniversary to my good friends Marion and Carlo!  Today’s Mascot is the “Duck of the Irish”, who brings the luck of the Irish to all who find him!  So silly…

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My menu today had quite a bit of green in it as well.  Breakfast was 2 pieces of toasted Little Big Bread with light cream cheese and 1/4 avocado, during the morning I had some green juice, blackberries and melon, lunch was a kale salad with nutritional yeast and light feta as well as a piece of leftover quesadilla from last night, before yoga I had a hard boiled egg….

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…and after yoga we “traveled” again.  In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I made beef stew with Guinness in the crock pot, and I’d made some little soda bread mini loaves yesterday.

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…and we also had another serving of the avocado chocolate “mousse” that I made yesterday.

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Duck of the Irish had quite the walk with me at lunchtime today, as well as on my walk to yoga.  (I’m so silly!)

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I came across a hidden hunter, waiting for it’s prey….

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…maybe next time, fluffy warrior!  :)

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He also kissed the Blarney Stone.

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Ah, ha, ha…..

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Enough of the green silliness, the next two shots were “maybes” for Today’s Weather.

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These birds were REALLY being blown around….

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Speaking of birds, I saw one of the herons from a distance.

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Someone has installed little bud vases to a couple of benches on the seawall.  Cute!

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By the time I walked to yoga after work, many of the clouds had cleared.  I walked by the first magnolia blooms of the year.  So pretty!

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…I watched some dragon boat teams practicing.

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..and was photobombed by a seagull when I was taking pictures….

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…the robins were singing….

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…cats were flipping….

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It sure seems spring has arrived.  YAY!

After yoga, Dennis and I zipped downtown to see a temporary art work that is here until the weekend.  It is connected to the TED conference, which is on at the moment, looks like a huge net over part of the city, but is interactive, and illuminated by observers cell phones.  VERY clever….we left before darkness really fell, so only caught the beginning of the evening’s action.

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And finally, down at the convention centre, there is a giant world in the lobby.  I wonder how many of us “held the world in our hands” today.  :)

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Anyone else make Irish Soda bread today?  May the luck (and duck) of the Irish be with us ALL!!!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Beautifully Ordinary”.  I took this macro shot of a napa cabbage that I cut for a recipe.  A very ordinary ingredient, beautiful pattern.

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Not too many photos to share today….and I didn’t set up my global recipe page, but will soon, and will be posting some recipes in the next couple of days.  It’s been a “cooking, laundry, housework” kind of Sunday.  That said, I DID go and and have a lovely visit with Helen.   Look at the GORGEOUS spring flowers in her yard.  There were a ton of birds flying around too, but they were too quick to photograph.

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Leaf skeleton…

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Before that though, Dennis and I had a nice Sunday brunch of scrambled egg, bacon, Little Big Toast (with jam) and some melon.

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Lunch was leftover thai patties from last night.

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Later in the afternoon we had a glass of wine and some pretzel goldfish crackers…

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…and dinner tonight was quesadillas (made with the last of Friday’s rotisserie chicken, light cheese, flat out wraps, salsa, sour cream and cilantro)

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We also had vegan chocolate mousse.  This is a recipe via my friend Laura: in a food processor puree one avocado, 1/4 cup each cocoa, agave and almond milk, and a pinch of vanilla extract.  I put it in tiny dessert cups, and worked it out to 4 points per serving.

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Finally, we saw some breaks in the clouds as the sun was setting tonight.

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Hopefully that means it’ll be sunny for the next few days.  I hope everyone’s weeks are also sunny!  Bring on the Vitamin D!  And the official arrival of spring!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Evening”.  I used an archive picture, because THIS evening is grey, wet, and NOT photogenic at all!

15 march 15 evening

I’ve had a “navel gazing” kind of day.  And while I did, Neva gazed up at me.  Geez, she is CUTE!!  :)

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Indulge me while I share.  I don’t think it is any secret that I’m having a bit of a mid life crisis.  (good grief, I just got a tattoo, if that isn’t a sign of a mid-life crisis, I’m not sure what is) Maybe it is my age, maybe hormones, maybe knowing three people in their forties who died last summer, maybe all of the above, but for whatever reason, I’m feeling very unsettled.  I’m trying to make sense of life, and figure out how my life can have meaning.  If I died suddenly, what would my legacy be?  Where is my place in the world?  I’m not sure I’m living the life I’m “meant to live”, so what do I have to do to figure out what life I AM meant to live.

And I’m torn, because I know, in the big scheme of life, I am an incredibly lucky woman.  I am healthy, I have a brain and a sense of humour, a great husband who loves me, amazing friends and family, a nice home, a job, a gorgeous and hilarious cat, interests (but do I have a passion?), and I live in a vibrant, diverse city that, though ridiculously expensive, provides activities and exposure to cultures that aren’t found everywhere.

So what am I looking for?  What is missing?  What is my passion?  What do I need to feed my soul?  All very flaky questions, but I’m asking myself these regularly, and digging deep to figure out how the next chapter of my life will give me whatever it is that I’m seeking.

I do know, that I love my blog, I love taking photos (that is probably my passion at the moment), I love yoga and I love connecting with people here at home, and all around the world.  I used to love my kitchen and cooking, but that love has waned of late, so today, I’ve found a way that may help give me a little taste (pun!) of something I’m looking for.

This morning, I pulled out this cookbook that was given to me a while ago. The travel bug has bitten me in a BIG way lately, I’m longing to see other parts of the world, meet new people and experience new things that are out of my comfort zone.   ..

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…circumstances mean I’m not in a place to travel right now, but until that happens, I’m going to rekindle my love of cooking by “cooking the world”.  I may not be on a plane, but I’ll be trying foods from places I know I’ll be one day.  And I’ll do it in a healthy way.  I hope you come with me on my round the world culinary journey…and bear with me while I ride the carousel of mid-life, and ultimately, find peace and meaning in my soul.

That is going forward, today, in the here and now, I had a GREAT power/sweaty yoga session.  Before I left, I had some coffee and Little Big Bread toast with almond butter and banana.

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I was a bit early for yoga, and had a little time before my class to have a rainy walk around Granville Island, and take in the sights and smells of a big public market and marina.  Here are a few of the shots I took:

I love the little boy on the left, he was fascinated by the goose feeding….

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…yarn bomb on a bike rack….

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…boats o’plenty….

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…a sign that had the word “nudies”, which made me smile…

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…a fun banner in a deserted playground..

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…and a box that meant I had to make a spinach salad without my shirt on…

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…birds o’ plenty….

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..and this afternoon, I found my FIRST cherry blossoms of the spring.  Pretty…

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When I got back from yoga and errands, I had lunch of fake crab, celery, hummus and rice crackers, as well as a glass of guava kombucha.

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…I also had some tea with fat free creamer and agave, and Dennis and I split a pack of weight watchers mini ginger cookies.

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Later on, we had some goldfish pretzel crackers and a glass of red wine.

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And tonight, we “traveled” to Thailand, and had Chiang Mai Pork Patties on lettuce with rice noodles, carrots and cilantro….

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Very light, very tasty….อร่อย.  (thank you Google translate for the thai characters meaning “delicious”)  I will start a new blog page with the global recipes in the next few days.    In the meantime, we’re going to relax a little, get an on demand movie and take it easy tonight.   What’s going on in YOUR world today??  How’s your weekend going?

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Care”.  Here is Neva, getting a caring comb from Dennis.

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She is shedding winter fur in a BIG way right now.  Good thing she likes her comb, because she’s getting one daily these days.  Maybe we should buy a spinning wheel to put the fur to artistic use.  I was kidding, but look what I found on google…apparently, people ACTUALLY do….

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Here is the day’s menu collage….breakfast was oatmeal with fat free creamer, banana and blackberries, I had green juice during the morning, lunch was a bento box with carrots, celery, olives, hummus and fake crab, I had a few goldfish pretzel crackers and 1/2 a ginger kombucha when I got home from work, and dinner was rotisserie chicken with cranberry, broccoli and peas.

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I just have a few photos to share from my quick lunchtime walk, then let the weekend begin!  As I’ve posted for the last few days, here are some spring flowers….with rain from the (almost) spring showers….

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….the sun did come out for a while though….

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..and lit up the moss on these trees….

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…this was a “care” photo that I didn’t use, because these kids didn’t seem to have a care in the world…

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…there were a bunch of people out and about (and that is NOT a pretty part of the Vancouver skyline – IMHO)….

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…I walked VERY carefully around the mucky part of the duck pond.  (been there, done that, paid for dry cleaning)

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…it was worth it though, I got this picture of a crow giving me a piece of his mind…

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…and another crow dive bombing the one in front…

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…as well as widgeons having a bad head feather day.  :)

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..and finally, a very cute dog waiting patiently for it’s person.  Awww.

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No more waiting patiently for the weekend, it’s here!  Anyone have any big plans?  Anyone want some cat fur for crafts?  (kidding!)  Happy Weekend to all!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Fresh”.  I used this photo of fresh fish being sold off of the fishing boats in Steveston, about 30 minutes south of Vancouver.  Seafood doesn’t get much fresher than that.

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Speaking of seafood, I’m a little crabby!  (HA!)  Why?  I have somehow acquired ANOTHER STINKIN’ COLD!!!  That means in the last 6 weeks, I’ve had two colds and the Noro Virus.  Immune system?  I’m NOT impressed!  I have now reached my quota for sniffles and “otherwise’ for 2014.  That is all.

Oh wait, that ISN’T all!  I’m also crabby because I spent HOURS sitting in meetings today.  HOURS!  I didn’t actually leave our office at any point during the day.  I didn’t have my normal second cup of coffee, I worked late because I was away from my desk for the bulk of the day and I rescheduled a walk I was going to have with my friend Caroline because I felt snotty and tired.

OK…NOW that is all.  I will officially shake off the crabby..

…and we’ll move on to the day’s menu, a few photos that I took on my walks to and from work, then I’m off to drink hot tea and get to bed early.

My breakfast this morning was a weight watchers bagel with light cream cheese and 1/4 avocado.

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I took green juice for the morning (and grossed some of my colleagues out by drinking it in their presence.)

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We took a break for lunch and I ate this ratatouille (frozen state in the photo, reheated at lunchtime) with 2 tbsp light goat cheese and some rice crackers.

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I had some grapes later on.

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I just wanted scrambled eggs and toast for dinner, but added a bunch of vegetables.  It was comfort food at its finest.

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And we finished off the grapefruit granita I made a few days ago.

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On the way to meet Michelle and her famous fingers for our regular pre-work coffee, I saw a very beautiful sunrise….

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…that illuminated and coloured a highrise building downtown.

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…Michelle’s fingers were hard at work when I got to the coffee shop.  I’ll call this picture “Busy Fingers”.

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On the way home, I saw some sad heart balloons stuck in a tree….

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…a came across this statue of Rick Hansen, on blocks in a parking lot I cut through.  I’m stumped as to why it is in this area, I thought this was in one of the stadiums in the city.  However, it was outside of the Spinal Cord Research Centre, so maybe it’s being moved or temporarily housed here.  Dunno…….

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…pretty flowers planted by the city today…

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…a seagull either admiring itself in the reflection, or he’s confused and is looking for Neva in the wrong window….

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…and finally, looks like someone was playing doctor by a park.  Hmm…

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That is MY Thursday.  How was yours?  Anyone else feeling crabby today?  :)

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Partial”.  I went with this photo of a sunflower that I took last fall.  And I partially cropped some away.

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Here is a collage of the day’s partial menu.  Breakfast this morning was two pieces of Little Big Bread with 1 tbsp almond butter and a banana, I took green juice for the morning, lunch was a piece of savory cauliflower cake that I’d frozen, some greens, a tomato, 1/4 avocado and some salsa.  I also had a few grapes.  This afternoon, I had some cucumber slices and unphotographed tea with fat free creamer and agave.

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I made a new recipe for tonight’s dinner.  I actually made it last night, thinking I’d be at sweaty power yoga after work tonight, but sadly, the yoga mats didn’t align (ha!) and I wasn’t able to get there in time.  That said, it was kinda nice not to have to cook when we got home.   This is healthy rotolo with spinach and ricotta.

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I tweaked this recipe from Food.com.  I used jarred tomato sauce though, and nixed the mushrooms in the filling because we didn’t have any.  I sprinkled it with 1 tbsp parmesan before I served it.

THEN…we had the second new recipe I made.  This is pink grapefruit granita, that I found on the Foodnetwork.ca.  I saw some grapefruit juice on clearance the other day and thought I’d give it a go.  I used less sugar than this recipe called for, and added the juice of one lemon.  So yummy!

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I took a nice walk at lunchtime, to get some exercise and to enjoy the sunshine.  Rumour has it, the sun will be gone tomorrow….and stay gone for some days.  Today was cold but springy at the same time.  I truly wish EVERYONE’S spring arrives soon!!!  This has been a brutal winter for so many people….so Mother Nature?  Bring on spring for all!!!  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s spring blooms!  In the meantime, here are some photos from my walk today:

I found quite a few buds….

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…the birds were chirping in the trees….

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…ducks were quacking….

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…and nesting….

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…geese were honking and flying (multitaskers! :) )….

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…I love the way the reflections look in the water with these little widgeons….

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…which were being fed through the grates of this walkway.

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I don’t remember EVER seeing so many bird wings and feathers around.  Maybe a little gross, but this was certainly not the worst I saw today.  Or yesterday, or last week….

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..maybe all the crows are the culprits.  Busted!

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I wasn’t the only person with a camera out today.

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I don’t think it’s bad luck for me, because technically this black cat didn’t cross my path…

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..but just to be safe, I’ll plug a picture of Neva the white cat in here, just to counteract the black cat effect.  silly…

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Not sure what this sticker means.  It’s a bit “dark”….

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…not sure what this is all about either.

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I feel for people with seasonal allergies.  This can’t help, and thanks to the woman who unknowingly provided background for my shot…

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Blooms, including the first rhododendron I’ve seen this year (for whatever reason, one plant has bloomed, the rest are WAY behind).

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And finally, so happy to see insects have returned.  I know they are around all winter, but I rarely saw them, so couldn’t take pictures.

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That’s my Wednesday.  Your turn…have you tried any new recipes lately?  Please share!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Something Good”.  I took this today, the fact that the crocus’ are blooming and spring is almost here is very good!

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Today’s menu?  Breakfast was oatmeal with 1 tbsp fat free creamer, 1 tbsp maple syrup, a banana and a few blackberries.

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I took some green juice to work with me to have during the morning….

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Lunch was salad made of of all kinds of bits and pieces in the fridge that needed to be used up.  I also had an apple.

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I had some cucumber slices before I walked home (and yes, I did tote them in a Christmas ziploc)…

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Dinner tonight was a new recipe, Mini Turkey Meatloaves.  The recipe is from last month’s Canadian Living magazine, and can be seen on line here.   Dennis had the potatoes and green beans as the recipe suggested, I had butternut squash instead of the potatoes.

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These little meatloaves are really good, we’ll be making them again.

I was very busy at work today, so had a shortened walk at lunchtime.  I just walked down to the duck pond and back (about half an hour in total) but got a few shots of birds in action, flapping and diving for food, a reflective cloud and a sign of spring.

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That was my unremarkable Tuesday.  I’m off to make dinner for tomorrow now, then get some sleep.  That spring forward hour has thrown me off more than normal.  Question of the day, do you feel a bit “off” when the clocks change?  Or is it just me?  Have a great day all!

Today’s Photo A Day Challenge prompt is “Far Away”.  This picture was taken last time I was on a plane, flying far away from home.

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Here is today’s menu collages, then I’ll share a few shots from the day.  Breakfast this morning was a flat out wrap with a slice of ham, an egg, spinach and salsa.  I took some green juice and honeydew melon for the morning.

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I had lunch with my friend Carli, we went for sushi and I had the lunch special.  Miso soup, tuna tataki salad, tuna sashimi and a spicy tuna roll.  Carli has thrown down a finger challenge with Michelle.  :)

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Before yoga I had an apple and some cucumber, after yoga we had grilled pork with bbq sauce, 1/2 potato with tzatsiki and some napa cabbage slaw.  Afterward, I had a cookie.

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The sun has returned to Vancouver.  The wind has too, but nobody is complaining and people were out in full force.  I took the following two photos on my walk to work this morning.

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This was the view from the sushi restaurant.  The clouds over the North Shore mountainswere really pretty.

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After work, I walked to yoga.  That hour makes such a difference to the light, and it was lovely.  I made a new friend….

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The spring flowers are in full bloom….

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As I mentioned, the wind was really strong.  There was a HUGE flock of crows that were flying and were being blown all over.  It’s amazing they right themselves and don’t crash.  If you are scared of crows, scroll quickly through the next few shots….

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Seagulls were coasting too…

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Speaking of seagulls, I was standing by the marina taking photos, and this seagull flew right up beside me….

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..he wasn’t interested in me at all, he was eying this other seagull down by the water who was feasting on a big crab.    However, there was no sharing and the guy on the walkway could just wait for the other guy to leave.

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Here are a few shots around the bay….

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…and we’ll call it a night.  Hope everyone’s week has started out well.  Are there any signs of spring in your neck of the woods?

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