Wednesday

Little Moments, Big Changes

 Life feels like a whirlwind these days... but in a good way. With our Residency complete, licensing exams done & passed, this week of vacation feels like such a blessing. And we have definitely been filling our time....

With trips to the market for fresh strawberries and my husbands favourite pizza

end of year pool parties

and visits with friends (who know how to cook and who have really cute babies!) 
 (honestly, this pie Brianna made was AMAZING!)

 Life on vacation is truly blissful!

But there's also A LOT going on behind the scenes too...

The husband & I are in the process of packing up our life. 
In less than 2 weeks, we will be moving WAY up north to live and work in a remote northern village called Chisasibi.
It's going to be a life-changing experience to say the least.

We have to stock up on food and supplies (stuff that isn't available or is outrageously expensive up north)... I've never bought so many groceries in one shot before!
Our apartment is like a hurricane of boxes and non-perishables right now, and I'm feeling both excited and terrified with all the upcoming changes in my life.
But I'm taking deep breaths and trusting that life will just work out somehow, like it always does.

oxo

Congrats to my French-speaking husband!

As many of you know, Quebec is a French-speaking province. I've always thought of it as a blessing - that I was born in a bilingual city and had the opportunity to learn another language. But my husband is from Toronto, and he came to Montreal with very little knowledge of French. 

Over the years of his medical training he managed to learn enough French to function in the hospitals. But just about a month ago we found out unexpectedly that he had to pass a French qualifying exam - or else we would not be able to practice medicine here and would have to leave Quebec! And it gets worse - the exam is no easy feat - it has a pass rate of only 38%!


So my poor husband has been under a crazy amount of stress - not only were we in the middle of studying for our medical licensing exams, but he had to take intensive French lessons on the side, as well as continuing to work full-time in the hospital.

Anyway all this to say that somehow he managed, and we found out yesterday that he passed the exam! He worked so hard for this and I feel ridiculously proud of him.

I also feel hugely relieved  - I wasn't quite ready to leave this province.

Tuesday

Eeek, I'm a klutz!

So I spilled my morning coffee all over my laptop this morning, and now my computer has to spend some time in the electronics hospital over at Apple for an emergency surgery. I'm praying for an uneventful recovery, but I have a bad feeling about it.
(I am SO happy I backed everything up recently!)


Unfortunately the blog will be on hold for a few days.
I hope you're having a wonderful week.
oxo

Monday

The Summer Kitchen


How nice would it be to have an outdoor summer kitchen?
I love cooking and baking - but who wants to be stuck inside all day? This is the perfect solution!


(above 3 images via marie claire Maison)


Source: toast.co.uk via Alison on Pinterest


Sunday

Longing to belong, to you


I just love this song.
It's beautiful.

(don't you love how well dressed Eddie is in this video?)

Happy Sunday.

Friday

Fete de la musique in Montreal


On Wednesday night, my father-in-law took us out for a celebratory dinner at the Renoir (the delicious restaurant at the Montreal Sofitel - which is also where we got married two years ago). 

Apparently June 21st was the Fête de la Musique (in France), and we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of a wonderful free outdoor concert with Montreal's Sally Folk. It was a fantastic evening, and the perfect way to celebrate our finishing school forever!

Oh and the food at the Renoir is UNBELIEVABLE!

And somehow this week is already over, and the husband and I are officially done residency forever. We have some big life changes up ahead, which I'll explain next week.
In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful weekend.
oxo

Wednesday

Fresh Apricot Almond Tart


Last night I was making a batch of macarons for a work party, but I knew they wouldn't be safe left alone in the apartment overnight with my husband on the loose. 
So I whipped up this ridiculously easy apricot tart, as an overt distraction for my sweet-toothed husband, and it totally worked!
He absolutely LOVED it (and he completely forgot about the macarons hiding on top of the fridge!)

This little dessert is a delicious combination of sweet almond pastry and tart fresh apricots, and the results are simply blissful!

Read on for the recipe....

Tuesday

Damage Control....


My friend Rebecca introduced me to this miraculous stuff and I'm so grateful she did!
Aveda's Damage Remedy is a leave-in treatment that has truly done wonders for my hair. 
If your hair needs a little boost, I highly recommend trying this.


Ok that's all I really had to say,
... just wanted to share the love : )

Summer Inspiration: dining al fresco



Source: apartmenttherapy.com via papeete on Pinterest






All I seem to want to do these days is picnic in fields of tall grasses,



 and laze around under shady trees.



Isn't summer glorious?!

Monday

Montreal Weekends: Oh to be a tourist in your own city!

This weekend was pure heavenly summer.
We had friends staying with us from out of town, so we filled our weekend with must-see Montreal stuff. It's a lot of fun to be a tourist in your own city!

First stop was Schwartz - a Montreal institution since 1928. Schwartz's is little greasy smoked meat deli that locals and tourists line-up for on a daily basis. I'm not a huge meat eater, but this was a special occasion and it was totally worth it. That stuff is DELICIOUS!

St. Laurent blvd was closed off to traffic for it's annual street sale. There was so much to look at and to taste, we almost wished we hadn't just gone out for lunch!

Sunday of course was father's day, and my brother & I took my dad to an antique car street show.
Old cars are not really my thing, but my dad loved it and that's all that really matters. 

My touristy weekend would not have been complete without a trip to Montreal's beloved Orange Julep. I hadn't been since I was a kid.

As for the rest of the weekend, we spent it on patios & balconies, basking in the glorious summer sun.
Hope you had a relaxing weekend as well.
oxo

Saturday

My mother's homemade granola


My mother is well-known in our extended family for her delicious granola. She would often bake it early in the morning, and we'd all wake up to the incredible aromas of cinnamon and honey flooding the house.... enough to get any sleepy adolescent out of bed!

I'm sure there are a lot of great granola recipes out there, but this one is definitely special.

Read on for the details and instructions...

Wednesday

Take me to sea...

Lately I've been daydreaming about sailing away.
Possibly while wearing an outfit like this...


All from Madewell

Monday

Weekend Moments: The Rain and Roses

 It was cold & rainy this weekend, but that didn't stop me from having a wonderful time.
 On Saturday we celebrated my little cousins 8th birthday. She looked so cute, and changed dresses 3 times... what a little girly girl (my kind of girl!)

Meanwhile, life on our sheltered little balcony goes on despite the rain. 
And the garden loves it!

 On Sunday my dear friend Brianna visited with her adorable little boy, Harris. 
 I never realized how un-baby-proof my apartment is!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
oxo

Friday

This calls for a celebration...


I don't really like to talk about my work life too much on this blog (after all, the reason I started blogging was to give myself a little escape from it)... but this news is too big not to share.

My husband and I are both medical residents in our final year of training in Family Medicine, and we just found out that we both passed our Canadian certification exams!
After a bachelors degree, after 4 years of medical school and 2 years of residency, I can finally say that I am DONE with school and DONE with exams... forever! 
I never thought this day would actually come!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. You know I'll be celebrating, that's for sure!

Here's a fantastic new song by Beirut, from the upcoming new album...

oxo
Vanessa

Wednesday

Call of the Wild - Inspiration from Free People








Beads and feathers.
Summer layers.
Wild beauty.

I'm inspired.

images via Free People June 2011 Catalog
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