Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Follow me!!!!!

To be the Whole Package has now moved to:

 Toronto Girl West


Please change your bookmarks, feeds, and links.

Meet you over there!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Foto Friday

I know of no better way to follow up a post about a day of alpine perfection than with a similarly inspired meal.

Welcome to another Foto Friday.



Question: What are your plans for the weekend? I have to spend part of mine working but I have a long run planned as well as a belated Daisy Birthday celebration!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Hills are Alive

How I have missed you, my blends (blogger friends)!

There are times, like this last little while, where my day job leaves me feeling so drained I scarcely find time to blog. It’s a side effect of reading all day long when I’m preparing for trials.

But inevitably I hear the siren song of blogging again.

And so I return. To share beautiful pictures. Tell you about my wonderful eats. Remember happy times. And feature all the loves of my life.

So let’s take a bit of a jaunt down memory lane, to a perfect summer day deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies . . .


Where mountain meadows meet spectacular views.


And wild flowers bloom as though out of a fairytale.


No one had told us this beautiful place existed.


Discovering it led to an unexpectedly happy time.


The trails were so beautiful that for a moment, we thought we could turn this area into our forever home.


We soon changed our minds. The next year will likely see us return to the West Coast.


And when we leave, we’ll pack with our treasures the memory of a perfect alpine day.


Question: When was the last time you unexpectedly had a perfect kind of day?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day for Cheaters

Hola Bloggies:

Tonight, I’m coming to you straight from Cowtown Canada – Calgary, Alberta. We're back here for some wedding related business but that doesn’t mean we can’t live it up while we’re at it; which is why we’re staying at the Westin hotel and treating ourselves a little.

Heavenly Bed? Yes, please!

I have to give major props to the front desk staff; despite the fact that we booked through Hotwire (and got a screaming deal) they still recognized my Starwood Preferred Guest status and upgraded us to a corner suite!!! There’s a reason I keep coming back to the Starwood hotels. smile_regular


For dinner, we decided to hit up one of our go-to restaurants in this city. Which just so happened to coincide with my cheat day. That’s right, yours truly has been following a somewhat strict diet (trying to limit un-necessary sugars and fats) in the lead up to the wedding but once a week I allow myself a splurge day. Hence tonight’s dinner.

Perfect timing.

noodle house exterior

Noodle House Signage

We discovered the MBA BBQ Noodle House, years ago on our first visit to Calgary. It was late, it was cold, and we were starved. Everything else seemed to be closed downtown – with the exception of some Chinatown establishments. In the end we chose the busiest restaurant.

Honestly, it was chock full of Chinese families. I always judge a Chinese restaurant by the number of old school families that are eating inside. The higher the number, (usually) the better the food.



We’re still working out the kinks of our over-ordering problem. Don’t judge! smile_tongue

Tea pour

Hot and Sour

Spicy Squid

For starters, we went with the hot and sour soup – the FiancĂ©'s favourite. Honestly, we’ve had a ton of hot and sour soup over the years but no one does it better than this restaurant.

We then followed that up with a spicy squid. It ended up being a ton of seafood! And unfortunately, also fried. When we ordered the dish we envisioned something pan fried in a spicy sauce. Not so much.

SiuMai I

Siu Mai II

And then there was the siu mai . . . ahhhhhhh the siu mai (shrimp and pork dumplings).

I’ve had dim sum at what is thought of as the best place in Vancouver (Sun Sui Wah) and some of the best restaurants in Toronto. And. Nothing. Even. Comes. Close.

In fact, before this little Calgary restaurant I didn’t even like this kind of dumpling!!!

SiuMai III

SiuMai IV

All in all a fantastic meal (notwithstanding the fact that we barely touched the squid). And well worth my cheat day!


Question: Have you ever randomly discovered a jewel of a restaurant?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Foto Friday

Hola Bloggies:

We’ve reached the end of another week – yaaaayyyy!!!! smile_regular

And that means the return of another Foto Friday. Today’s post is brought to you by one of life’s simple little pleasures: a hotel breakfast.

That’s right. I’m a girl that loves me some room service!

There’s just something so indulgent about having breakfast brought to you in a gorgeous hotel room. The breakfast featured today was devoured savoured at the Hyatt International in Calgary. BTW, a hotel I would highly recommend.



IMG_2433 IMG_2434 IMG_2435

Question: What are your plans for the weekend? We’re heading to Calgary (again) to run some wedding errands and indulge a little too!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Today Was a Good Day

My afternoon was decidedly laid back and relaxed. And it was all thanks to a 3pm power outage that saw our boss let us leave early,

I have to confess I scurried away, lest the power come back on or my boss change his mind.

Once I was a safe distance from the office I decided to head to the gym for a run. Let’s just say it could have gone better. Clearly, the bananas in my breakfast are not agreeing with me. Noted.

After quickly rushing home for a snack I grabbed Daisy and headed out for one of our doggy hikes. It was kind of a cold and slightly wet day so we all played it safe and wore an extra water-proof layer.

Yes, even Daisy. She’s cool like that!


The emptiness of the trails was quite in contrast to the summer months teeming with other dogs, hikers, and mountain bikers. It was kind of nice to feel surrounded by the solitude of the forest. Of course that may just be the fact that we brought a hunting knife and bear spray for protection talking. Ha!

In all seriousness though, grizzlies and their cubs have been out and about in alarming numbers lately. Combine that with the fact that there are cougars, coyotes, wolves, lynx, and black bears on the trail and you can’t blame us for being prepared.


Like Daisy’s coat? It’s Gore-Tex and even has a reflective strip for greater night time visibility. Yeah, it’s mighty high tech of my puppers.


As an added bonus, it keeps her a tiny bit cleaner when she ends up muddy after our hikes.


Of course, what would one of our hikes be without our usual follow up dinner. Tonight’s menu is brought to you courtesy of the latest record run of wild sockeye salmon in British Columbia’s Fraser River.


You could taste the freshness of the fish in every bite.


All in all a wonderful night that left me feeling relaxed and ready for what tomorrow will bring.


Question: Have you ever had any crazy wildlife encounters? Do share!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Farewell to Summer

In my corner of the world, today marked the first day of school. Summer has come to an end.


There’s a definite chill in the air. A wind that rustles the fallen leaves. Snow on the hill tops surrounding the city.


But what a summer it was. One filled with laughter. Doggy hikes. Blogger trips to Banff. And summer afternoons on sun drenched patios.


I will miss summer in the mountains. This will likely be our last. And I have to confess that makes this city-girl a tiny bit sad.


I will carry the memory of these past three summers with me.


And although I've much to look forward to this fall (wedding anyone?) warm summer memories will warm my cold winter nights.


So here’s to summer. The sweating. The laughing. The splashing. The hiking. The running. I have loved it all.


And here’s to the fall that will be. Filled with joy. Brimming with love. Abounding in its possibilities.


See you in a year my dear friend. Until then. Thank-you for all those special moments.



Question: What was your favourite part of summer?