Sunday, April 13, 2014

slightly too early for throwback thursdays, but this past post caught my eye:

"But, to the 10 people I know oh-so-well, I am so grateful that God placed these people in my life.  Each person is so unique in his or her own way and their friendship is something I will value and cherish for the rest of my life.  Friday night dinners and adventures, concerts, arguing over who can eat the last brownie, watching countless youtube interviews, speaking in strange dialects and accents, talking about our goals and future over coffee, and yes, even studying, have been consistent activities since year 1. And while my life may seem boring to some, these little moments have fixated my heart."

life after school hasn't been easy. to be honest, its been kind of rough. the road i always thought i'd take is no longer one i strongly desire. basically, i am the definition of a post grad arts major who has no idea what they want to do, but has passionate interests in things/topics that are relatively useless or difficult to pursue. finding purpose and satisfaction in a career i desire has been tough. acknowledging my career shouldn't be my identity is even harder.

10 Things That Happen After You Graduate College

i don't exactly know what path i want to take, but its important to remind my analytical brain that life doesn't go from point A to point B through steps 1, 2, and 3. it's important to have a goal and a viable plan, but its also critical to recognize the importance of being flexible.

(still working on this).

Friday, September 13, 2013

And then this happened. 

Last week, after buying a multitude more bananas than we could possibly consume, our little fruits began to (understandably) over-ripen. But when life gives you over-ripe bananas, people, you just make banana bread.

I took out one of my favorite-est books ever, Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, and traced my finger along the index until I came to "banana." After it lead me to page 232 and I saw the picture there waiting, I knew what was going to happen. Black-And-White Banana Loaf. That's what was going to happen.

Dorie's recipe was extremely simple and, because of the marbling factor, downright fun! Basically, one splits up the banana batter into two bowls and adds chocolate to one section while keeping the other as is. Then, we dollop interchanging spoonfuls of each batter into our pans, finishing by running a knife in a zig-zag pattern through the batter. About an hour and a half later (yep, it bakes for quite a bit of time, and yep, it was extremely hard to let it finish baking), we open our oven and behold a gorgeous, successfully marbled loaf. Pour yourself some strong, dark roast coffee or piping hot perfumed tea, and enjoy. Let me just say, I had the breakfast of a queen the following three mornings.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Some Farmers' Market Love

I, personally, am refusing to accept that summer is coming to a close. In fact, I do believe that the weather agrees with me. Right now, in my new little city, it is 26 degrees Celcius. As much as I enjoy me some butter-soft leather boots and chunky knitted scarves, I am not quite ready to give up the warm weather. And so I will keep my 26 degrees Celcius, merci beaucoup. 

In order to profit fully from this early fall warmth, I visited my local farmers' market last Saturday. In fact, I managed to get myself involved in the lovely affair and am now a bonafide volunteer. I even have an official t-shirt to prove it.

Anyways, I woke up around the wee hour of 6a.m. on Saturday and made my way to Charles Clark Square (NOW can you guess where I am?!). The city was calm and quiet as I walked along our beautiful river (another location hint!). Seriously, I am becoming more and more convinced that I am absolutely a morning person. It was utterly delightful to walk along the streets that fine morning.

At the market, after I had met the market manager and was shown around a bit, I commenced my volunteering duties. I helped unload crates of stunningly colorful fruits and helped organize herbs and vegetables at different stalls. I absolutely enjoyed organizing different pamphlets of seasonal produce and handing them out to people. There was even a little booklet of recipes that showcased local ingredients! Amazing!

In between my unloading lettuce bushels, I was able to capture some lovely little pics. It was truly a fantastic way to spend my Saturday morning and get to know some people in my new town. Here's a glimpse!

Have a lovely Thursday evening, mes amis!
xo Coco

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good Morning!

So, as I explained in my last post, I just moved to a new city. A Canadian one. In fact, I live very close to the southern most point of Canada. Where am I?

Whilst you ponder that, I will leave you pictures of my fresh lil' breakfast. Because, well, breakfast is one of the best times of the day!

                                                              "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed
                                                                    For his compassions never fail.
                                                                They are new every morning;
                                                                    great is your faithfulness."

                                                                                          Lamentations 3:22-23

God bless, friends!
xox Coco

Where in the World is... Coco?

    Hello my friends! E.J. and I have had a seriously CRAZY summer. The first minor (as in MAJOR) event that passed for the both of us, would be our university graduation (!?!!? WHAT!?!??!) It was quite emotional and an odd experience to be honest.
     E.J and I decided to meet on campus that fateful morning of May the 30th, 2013. Once we finally figured out how to properly put on our grad robes, (took longer than it should have hahaha) we took some pictures and walked towards the horde of graduates waiting to line up. Wow, to see all of our classmates dressed and ready to leave the shelter and colorfulness of campus and fly out into the real world...all in different directions! What an intense and bittersweet sight. Moreover, it was such a surreal experience to be walking with E.J. across the same campus where we had met 4 years earlier. Only this time, we weren't wearing our bright, torn, Frosh t-shirts, but rather shiny caps and gowns. Once we got to the building and separated into our faculties, we smiled big smiles at eachother and hugged. We were actually graduating!! As the bagpipes started to play and we processed down the sun-soaked lower field of McGill University, I smiled. What a way to finish our time here. I am so glad E.J. and I got to watch each other walk across the stage together and receive our diplomas. Four years of studying and not studying and giggles and adventures and general hilarity in la belle province was now drawing to a close. But what a time it was!

    As if that weren't emotional enough, I then had to go and get myself married. YAH. It was one of the best days of my life. Seriously, I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I'm not sure what to write about my wedding day, except that looking around me and seeing my family, friends, and other loved ones that I cherish surrounding me on this sweet day, was one of the most special things I have ever experienced.

E.J. and Michelle (another one of my lovely lady bests) came down to my house the week before the wedding to a.) Make sure I did not turn into Bridezilla b.) to make me cookies and other assorted baked goods (thereby killing the Bride Diet) and c.) to support, care and pray for me before my big day! They were truly a blessing to me and have always been!

But now. WHERE AM I? 

Right now, I am sitting at my little, newly installed desk in front of a floor-to-ceiling window. Sunlight is pouring in, lighting up our little (fake) wood floor. We've just moved this week and the apartment is still not completely set up. But we're getting there! I've already explored this new city and its environs a bit, and I am happy to report, I'm excited. It is definitely not New York or Montreal or Toronto. BUT. God has brought Lester and I here for a reason and I do intend to find out what that reason is, whilst  laughing and munching and enjoying life with people around me. In fact, I already have! So, grad caps and wedding excitement and honeymoon escapades and moving- craziness tucked safely away in my little heart,  I begin a new chapter. 

       I may be so kind as to tell you where I am next time! hehe. Bonne semaine à tous!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

an ode to the colour, orange

i am not a colour person. anyone that's friends with me will know that i rarely wear colours outside my beloved neutral colour scheme. so much so that my poor mother has often bribed me in purchasing shirts and pants for me in exchange for them being in colour.

right now, i am a poor college grad ... so the thought of wearing black and grey helmut lang sweaters, leggings, etc. is like a whole different universe away where i coincidently end up being married to RyGos and stuff.

anyways, one colour i will always make an exception for is orange. somewhere in my crazy and weird head, i consider orange an acceptable colour. hear me out ... orange provides a pop of colour, looks great on most skin tones, and can really dress up or down your whole entire outfit. it really is the new black.

(all pics courtesy of every diamond diploma girl - pinterest)

An Ode to Jean

 Goodness gracious cyber friends. I cannot express how happy a certain little woman (I do mean myself) is to see, feel, and smell that spring is upon us! The most glorious aspect of the tail end of Montreal winter is it's unabashed leap into the spring.

Heck, sometimes the city even skips spring altogether and flies headlong into summer. Either way, my lungs are filled with floral scented air, my feet skipping along dewy streets, and my eyes seeing the beautiful colors of le primtemps. J'adoreeeee!!

In the beginning of last summer, my friend Rachel and I set out to explore the Little Italy section of Montreal. My absolute favorite part of going to this quarter, is visiting Jean Talon Market. This market particularly suits Rachel and I because we are of the sampling sort.

Upon entering the market, the scene is set a bit like this: The smell of fresh fish frying greets you from the very first seafood stall, where les montréalais, montrealers, tuck into their  fried fish and beer. Curious little wafts of lavender linger around you also, as the corner soap stall displays its petite wares.

You then look up and behold a wondrous scene. The main market lane! An abundance of colorful produce and fruit of every hue line the paths that weave through the scene.  You can smell fresh baguettes baking in the boulangerie and you can certainly not miss the scent of buttery croissants rising in the ovens of one of the many patisseries in the distance. Line-ups spill out of the cheese-mongers' stalls and colorful jam jars and butters parcels line wooden tables. You are here, this is Le Marché Jean Talon! 

Now friend, when I say that I am a sampling sister, I do mean it. You can walk up to pretty much any of the produce or fruit stalls and steal away with a freshly cut sample of each good. And yes, in case that sounded illegal, it is fully sanctioned and wholly encouraged! Some of my own thoughts upon sampling the goods: Who knew that fresh oranges were THAT GOOD. Or those darling grape tomatoes? Sweet, refreshing, and brilliantly red! The mangoes. THE MANGOES. Should I even mention the mangoes??

Suffice to say, Le Marché Jean Talon is beautiful and lively. Its colors, smells and sounds make you believe, after 5 long months of winter, that spring has finally sprung. And with joy!