WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

Tag: weekend

Ha Ling Peak

We kicked off our hiking season by conquering Ha Ling Peak a couple weeks ago. The rain finally let up for a day so we took advantage of the sun and pilled into my car to head out to Canmore for a day in the mountains.

Ha Ling is a great beginning of season hike. It’s not too long and even with snow, it’s hike-able. They used to list it as a beginner scramble, but the word beginner throws people off. It can be daunting for an actual beginner, so they’ve since changed it to a moderate hike.

You don’t really get any breaks on Ha Ling. It’s starts out pretty steep and never really lets up the whole way. The nice thing is that it’s relatively short and the views are pretty awesome. You can see all of Canmore just before the final push to the summit. It really reminds you of how lucky we are here in Alberta. 

We started out in the late morning and took our time, pausing for lunch before the summit and taking water breaks whenever we wanted. It probably took us about 3 hours round trip. It was a great first hike of the season. Since it’s still quite early in the year, there’s lots of snow once you get past the treeline, but we managed to find a way up relatively unscathed.

The next day I wasn’t too sore but I could feel my muscles. For me, this is always a sign of a hike that I was well prepared for. It was definitely nothing like our beginning of season attempt at Middle Sister several years ago She left me waddling for days afterwards. (And yet, I still want to hike her again sometime soon. Masochist?)

I’d definitely recommend Ha Ling, even if you are a bit of beginner. Take your time and enjoy the awesome view at the top. It’s well worth the burning calf muscles!

Birthday Pizza

N loves pizza so it was an obvious choice for his birthday meal. It doesn’t hurt that my parents have an incredible pizza recipe that they love to use. When I suggested we make it for N’s birthday, my dad was more than happy to oblige.

Like most recipes I love, this one just takes patience, practice, and some delicious ingredients. The sauce is Jamie Oliver’s quickest tomato sauce. It’s simple and full of flavour. You can’t go wrong with this one. We usually substitute Roma tomatoes for San Marzano type and I would highly recommend doing this if you can get your hands on them. They have a really distinct flavour and it’s become what I look for in an authentic pizza sauce.

The dough is a bit of a hybrid. My dad is always the one to make it, but I’ve borrowed his recipe and was gifted some semolina flour so I plan to try it out. You’ll have to wait for that to happen for me to post my take on the recipe, but there are hundreds of great recipes out there. I really think a lot of baking is getting to know your oven and your region anyway, so be adventurous. Experiment. I mean, the worst thing that’s ever happened to me was that I ate the ingredients off my pizza. They were still delicious even if my crust was a bit of a fail.

As we waited for the dough to finish proofing, we made up a tray of appetizers, grabbed some beers, and headed out to the deck to relax. This is something my family does often, especially out at the lake, and I love it. Olives and cheese are two of my favourite things. I’m not one to get overly excited about sweets, so to me these little appies are way better than desert. Unless it’s crème brûlée. I can’t say no to that deliciousness.

We made two large pizzas that night. The first was very traditional:  tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, caramelized onions, and basil. It’s probably my favourite pizza. The flavours seem to come together perfectly without competing with each other.

My dad named our second pizza The Kitchen Sink. Basically it had “everything but the kitchen sink”. We took a bunch of stuff we had in the fridge and piled it onto the pizza. There was asparagus, spicy capicola, prosciutto, artichoke hearts, and a couple different cheeses. I’m sure I’m forgetting some things too. It turned out delicious! I still love our simple pizza, but this one gave it a run for its money.

We chatted well into the night, enjoying our pizza and wine. That’s another thing I love about making pizza with my family: with one oven the meal lasts for a few hours, so we sit around chatting and enjoying each other’s company as we wait for the next pizza.

Weekend Wears

Even though I am more than tall enough and most of my friends are on the shorter side, I love heels. I feel so much more put together when I wear heels so I tend to wear them almost every day at work. So when it comes time to hit the Farmer’s Market on the weekend, I’m all about the comfy flats. Moccasins are currently my favourite. Not only are they the comfiest shoes I own, but they are adorable too! Thank you for being so awesome, Minnetonka.

I linked to that website and now I really want another pair of moccasins. Maybe in white for summer?

Life has been busy lately despite our lack of drinking and partying. Our office is undergoing renovations and I’m working on getting new manuals ready for when they are finished. It’s going to be a pretty busy couple months. I also have the opportunity to attend more events in my new role. It’s exciting to be able to put names to the faces of so many of the clients I’d spoken to on the Help Desk. 

N’s mom brought me back this awesome yellow coach purse from the States and I’ve been wearing it at every chance I get. I just love it. It seems totally perfect for spring and is a nice change from my usual black, brown, or blue.

I’m pretty excited for the coming weekend. Cirque de Soleil’s Amaluna is in Calgary right now and N and I are going with my family on Saturday night. I’ve heard it’s incredible! We also plan to grab dinner all together before the show. Everyone knows how much I love going for dinner, so it should be a pretty great weekend!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Weekend Wears

Last weekend was full of food: farmer’s market, baking, cooking, and eating. It snowed on Sunday so we when we weren’t wrapped in a blanket, watching Prison Break on Netflix, we were cooking. Well, mostly I was cooking. Our kitchen isn’t really made for two.

It was a typical snowy spring day when we took these pictures – the beginning of the weekend snow storm. I bundled up in my favourite boots, a comfy sweater, leggings, and my leather jacket. Uncharacteristically monochromatic of me. 
Our next few weekends will probably look a lot this this: cooking, baking, eating, and hanging out at the Farmer’s Market. I’m sure I’ll add in some CrossFit, running, and time with family and friends as well. Sometimes it’s nice to have a low key weekend. 
I got N a nice new winter jacket for his birthday and it arrived really early. I just couldn’t wait to give it to him though so I did last week. I ordered it from Bridge and Burn and it’s even more beautiful than I expected it to be. Of course, I had to snap a photo too. 

Doesn’t he look nice? Yeah, I thought so too!


N and I spent Easter Sunday with my parents this year. Mom asked that I bring an appetizer so I got up early Sunday morning and set to work. I decided to make deviled eggs. What is more perfect for Easter than deviled eggs?

The recipe I used is from Bon Appétit and they were a huge hit! Even my brother seemed impressed with them. I can definitely see myself making them again, since they were so easy and they include ingredients we tend to have on hand: bacon, eggs, and green onions. 

Bacon Deviled Eggs

Mom set out some other delicious appetizers including homemade bruschetta, olives, crackers, and a selection of delicious cheeses. I was in appetizer heaven. This is honestly one of my favourite things about family gatherings: sitting around the island, munching on delicious things, and having a couple drinks before dinner.

Nathan hanging out before dinner
For my family, Easter is usually either Ham or Lamb. Luckily for me, my parents had decided on lamb this year. I’m just not a big Spiral Ham fan. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ham, but it inevitably makes me think of lamb and then I’m just disappointed. Sorry, Ham, you just can’t compete with Lamb!
Mom originally told me we were having Lamb when she invited us for dinner. I then came over the week before Easter and she told me she had some news for me: We were going to be having Ham instead of Lamb at Easter. She then took photos of my disappointment and laughed a lot before telling me it was all a joke. We would still be having Lamb. 
Mom Cooking
Delicious Lamb
As usual, dinner was delicious. Dad made risotto and roasted asparagus with harrissa to go with the lamb. Looking at these photos makes me wish I could go back in time and eat this right now. 

All in all, it was a wonderful day with N and my family. The weather even cooperated enough for me to wear open toed heels and a skirt! I forgot to ask Nathan to take a photo of me, but I did manage to snap this one of my gem of a brother.

What a photogenic kid!


It’s no secret that I love coffee. A good cup of coffee is my favourite way to start the day. I have a stove top espresso maker and I love having time to make delicious coffee on the weekends. Even better though, is heading to a local coffee shop for a cappuccino or an americano. I’ve been drinking Fratello Coffee for a while at the Calgary Farmer’s Market and it’s what goes in our stove top espresso maker. Now they also have a great shop on 17th avenue called Analog Coffee and it is fast becoming my favourite.

When we did strict paleo, I made an effort to drink my coffee black more often and Fratello made this significantly easier. N has always drank his black, but I was a milk and raw sugar girl myself. Mostly, this is just a necessity due to the terrible coffee at work. I’ve come to enjoy my weekend coffee without any sugar, but I still love a delicious cappuccino from time to time.

Some days there’s nothing better than a delicious cappuccino, a pain au chocolat, and some blank journal pages. Fratello is such a great place to enjoy these simple joys. It takes me back to living in France. Journals are such a great way to keep track of travel, but I often forget how great it can be to do the same back home, when life is far more average.

Not only does Fratello have delicious coffee, but the cafe itself is really beautiful as well. My photos of it aren’t the greatest, sadly. (I was feeling a little self conscious trying to get them. I should work on that.) I guess you’ll all just have to check out for yourselves.

N and I were running low on coffee so we had to stop by again last weekend. Sometimes life is really tough.

I also convinced N to take some outfit photos after the pumpkin pancakes recipe photos. It was a gorgeous day; leather jacket weather is finally here! Most of the photos turned out pretty funny, but I got a couple that I like so here goes: first real outfit photos.

I’ve been wearing these little booties a lot since I got them. It wasn’t quite warm enough for bare legs last weekend, but I’ve worn them a few times since without tights. So exciting!

I find myself getting really excited for spring fashion every year around now. It’s probably the same with the start of other seasons, but all I’m thinking about is how satisfying it is to pull my leather jacket out of the back of my closet.

I already mentioned how much I love the inside of Analog Coffee but the exterior is just as great. I love this large, graphic A on the side as well as the A in the concrete at the threshold, the doors, and the large front windows. 

 I love slow-paced weekends sometimes. It’s so nice to sleep in, grab coffee together, and enjoy the gorgeous weather. We’re usually running from one thing to the next and before I know it it’s Monday already.

Coming out of the long weekend, I’m already wishing I could have one more day to relax. We had a great Easter weekend that seemed to last for much longer than three days, but I’m still not ready for work tomorrow morning. I guess that’s what happens after a great long weekend!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Pumpkin Pancakes

I love brunch. It’s one of my favourite things about weekends. We live down the street from 2 amazing brunch spots and a short drive from a handful of others, but most of the time we try to do brunch at home.

Pumpkin Pancakes are one of our favourite weekend treats. They are delicious, easy, and paleo. Triple threat brunch. Sounds good right?

I’ve instagrammed photos of these pancakes so many times that I figured it was about time I blogged about them. I even convinced N to photograph for me (believe me, not an easy feat!). And yes, I always look this put together on Saturday mornings. (I hope if you make these pancakes you enjoy them in your pyjamas too. No makeup necessary.)

I really wish I could take credit for this awesome recipe, but sadly I cannot. This is from what has quickly become my favourite cookbook, Practical Paleo. Follow the link to Diane’s recipe online or check out my very similar version below.

Pumpkin Pancakes
grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, nightshade-free

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


* 4 eggs
* 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
* 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil   (I use coconut oil)
* 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (unless you’re going sugar free. You can also use honey.)
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (we don’t have this so I added a pinch of nutmeg)
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
pinch of salt (I’ve forgotten this many times.)

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.

Add the pumpkin puree, pure vanilla extract, and pure maple syrup. Whisk together. Sift the spices and baking soda into the wet ingredients. (I am usually too lazy for sifting, so I just add them and mix until everything is combined.)

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter (or coconut oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, mix the butter into the batter. (I let it cool for a bit so it doesn’t cook the egg.)

Continue to whisk the batter and butter until they are completely combined. 

Grease the skillet and spoon the batter into the skillet to make pancakes of your desired size. When bubbles appear, flip the pancakes once to finish cooking.

Serve with butter, cinnamon or bananas. Personally, we usually go with extra maple syrup and nice cup of fresh coffee. 


Snow Day

As the rest of the world is preparing for Spring, we’re just hoping Winter doesn’t last too much longer. Spring in Calgary is always a roller coaster of ridiculous weather. Last week the temperature literally changed by 30 degrees. Wednesday it was 12 above; Thursday it was 20 below. Yes, you read that right: 30 degree temperature change in 24 hours. March is one of our snowiest months, but I still go into it thinking “Hey, Spring is almost here!” Fool.

A few weekends ago, we started the weekend in the teens and finished with a full blown snow storm. It was classic Calgary. Luckily, the storm hit on a Sunday so most people could just stay in, wrapped in blankets, watching movies. 

I, however, decided to venture out for a few provisions: namely fresh sourdough bread and artisan coffee. I figure that I drive a Subaru for just such occasions. Nothing gets in the way of me and food or coffee. Seriously. Don’t try.

I also decided that I’d make good on my promise to myself to use my SLR more often and take some photos. Our street is pretty gorgeous year round, but there’s just something about fresh snow that I love.

Of course, I started with some obligatory outfit photos. Flannel, Canada toques, leggings, and pink socks. I know, I’m such a fashionista.

By the time I was done taking photos of snow covered Rula and our street, I was covered in snow and I hadn’t even actually brushed any of it off my car. It’s a good thing N was at football; he’d never have put up with my taking pictures of my car instead of actually doing something about the snow covering it.

Our pretty street
Sorels are the best!
Driving was a bit of an adventure, but nothing too ridiculous. I slid around a fair bit heading to my destinations, but by the time I left Analog Coffee things are cleared up significantly and I had no trouble making it back home. 
Mission Accmplished: Artisan Sourdough 

All in all, it was a pretty great Sunday. As much as I’d love to be enjoying patio beers and gearing up for Spring, sometimes a Winter snowstorm is just what you need to reboot. There’s something so relaxing and peaceful about watching the snow fall as you enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. 
Thanks for keeping me safe, Ru!


Apparently the flu this year is much worse than it normally is. I don’t think I’ve had the flu for real (fever, nausea, inability to keep anything down) for about three years. I was in France and couldn’t move far from the bathroom and couch for three days. Luckily, I had four days off a week and it fell on those days.

I’ve been popping probiotics since yesterday and drinking lots of tea and water. At least we have a pretty tea pot and a delicious tea selection. Thanks David’s Tea! I’m already feeling so much better. No more chills, fever, or nausea. Hopefully that means I’m in the clear. Just half a day of laying in bed with a fever and nausea was enough for me, thanks!

Happy Weekending!

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