what i’m loving about the city so far.

after an incredible amazing trip with my fam i proceeded to move to toronto a couple days after getting back. needless to say- i’ve been a little busy and haven’t had a chance to keep up with my blog. i am feeling much more settled now and can’t wait to get back into it.

since moving has been the biggest thing going on in my life right now i thought i would share my top ten favourite things about living downtown so far. i know i’ve only been here officially a week- but there are some things that i am really enjoying.

1. the commute.

i think this one’s pretty obvious- but i am currently enjoying an extra two hours to my day- i already feel like i am accomplishing so much more!

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2. running.

running in the city is a little less boring then running in the suburbs. instead of seeing neighbourhood after neighbourhood of fairly similar houses i run down yonge street and see a whole bunch of different things! its a great way to people watch!

3. fruit markets.

needless to say there aren’t really any of these in whitby. i love that they are everywhere- and have everything! and for super wicked prices. got a pineapple the other day for $1.99!

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4. friends.

its so nice to be able to see all my friends that live in the city on a more frequent basis. all visitors are welcome at my place at all times.

5. coffee.

yes i do believe whitby has something like the most tim hortons per capita or something ridiculous like that. but on my morning walk i think i pass about 50 coffee shops- chains and local ones. for those of you who have read my previous blogs you also know how i feel about baked goods- so this is also pretty dangerous.

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6. exploring.

i love that i can walk out my door and just start walking and discover new things all of the time. yesterday i went for a run and found a really nice nature trail. who knows what i’ll discover next.

7. lack of internet.

i know this one isn’t going to last forever- nor do i think i would enjoy it for forever- but we don’t have the internet in our apartment yet so i’m finding time to do a lot of other things i’d normally pass up on. i’ve been baking and cooking, reading and watching old movies. it’s kind of fun.

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8. book stores.

i love love love that there are so many book stores everywhere. there is a bmv right by my place- i haven’t gone in yet because i’m afraid i’ll have spent my rent money for the month- but it’s going to have to happen soon. i also loved used books so this works perfectly for me- i love knowing that someone else has enjoyed the story just as much as i’m about too.

9. new opportunities.

i know it’s only been a week but there are things that have already happened that i am super excited about. being downtown is making it a lot easier to go to certain events and network.

10. courage.

not going to lie here- i was a little nervous about moving out. i was worried i was going to miss my family (and yep i talk to my mom three times a day at least). luckily i have an awesome roommate and it’s not as scary as i thought. i’m totally braver then i thought i was- i’ve done a bunch of new things- like putting up drapes and finally figuring out how to work an xbox so i can watch a movie. maybe they seem like little things- but i’m proud of myself.

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i know this move is going to change me – i think its going to be for the better and i’m excited to see whats to come.

ox,
katie

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coffee on the rocks.

i wouldn’t go as far as too say that i am addicted to coffee- but i do really, really like it. i usually have a couple of cups a day- in the morning to get me going and in the afternoon as a little pick-me-up. but come summer time- it is just too damn hot to drink a steaming cup of coffee sometimes! luckily many places now offer iced coffee- or coffee on the rocks as i like to refer to it.

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iced coffee is a delicious and cool jolt of caffeine on a hot summer day, a perfect alternative to it’s hot counterpart. however, what you may not realize is that iced coffee often comes with a lot more calories then a regular cup which is only zero if you aren’t adding creams and sugars. i did some research and found the calorie content of some of my fav iced coffee beverages.

tim hortons

small mocha iced coffee: 110 calories
small iced coffee made with cream: 110 calories
small iced coffee made with chocolate milk: 80 calories

starbucks

grande iced coffee with milk: 120 calories
grande iced coffee lightly sweetened: 90 calories

second cup

12oz iced coffee unsweetened, no milk: 20 calories

mcdonalds

small caramel iced coffee: 110 calories
small caramel iced latte with skim milk: 90 calories
small caramel iced coffee with 2% milk: 110 calories
small iced mocha with skim milk: 190

although it may not seem like many calories, for me for example, it’s a big jump from having a zero-five calorie hot coffee to having a iced coffee that’s 110 calories.

coffee-wine

like i’ve mentioned before, it’s very important to know what you are putting into your body- paying attention to nutrition guides, including calorie content, sugar and fat. as you can see the options i posted below are small sizes, and made with milk. the calories in frozen coffee drinks made with cream and more sugar almost triple in calories.

iced coffee is delicious, but just be careful about throwing away calories with these drinks. i have tried most of the drinks i listed above and i have to say that the mcdonalds iced coffee is by far my favourite! i just get it made with french vanilla instead of caramel- i highly recommend it!

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you also have the option of making your own iced coffee- i haven’t tried it myself, but do plan on it this summer! pinterest has a ton of recipes and many of them are “diet friendly”. here is one of the recipes i found:

>2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules (or how many you prefer)
>1 teaspoon of sugar (if you want/need it)
>3 tablespoons of warm water
>6 ounces of cold milk (you can use skim, 2%, chocolate milk- whatever you prefer)

you then simply combine the coffee, sugar and warm water in a concealed jar and combine until frothy and thoroughly mixed. pour this mixture into a glass full of ice and then pour the milk into the glass- adjusting to your liking.

i’ll definitely be trying that this weekend!

here are some links to other iced coffee recipes i found, that i think sound absolutely amazing!!!:

nutella iced coffee
spiced iced coffee
iced coffee chocolate chip popsicles
peppermint-vanilla-mocha iced coffee
light calorie iced coffee

enjoy!

ox, kt

p.s. here are links to more nutrition information

tim hortons nutrition

starbucks nutrition

second cup nutrition

mcdonalds nutrition

choosing the right muffin for you.

i have to admit that i have a weakness for bakery items. this includes, and is not limited to; cakes, cupcakes, muffins, butter-tarts, donuts, timbits, cookies, scones, croissants, etc. (and now i’m drooling). being health-conscious, i try to keep an eye out on what i eat throughout the week; sticking to a rather strict routine. however, on friday’s, and on the weekends i do let myself indulge (with limitations) and one of the things i always look forward to is my friday morning muffin.

as i walk to my office in the king west area from union station i generally pass about 1800 starbucks, 400 tim hortons, and 250 second cups, not too mention all of the wonderful local cafes along the way as well (my favourite is wagamama!). the early morning smells of coffee brewing and baked goods baking makes my mouth water all of the time- but i am strong willed- and only give in on fridays.

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as a bit of a muffin connoisseur, i’d like to think i have tried most of what’s available. before i really began to think about what i was putting into my body i was eating things like double-chocolate-fudge muffins, blueberry-chocolate chip muffins, carrot muffins with cream cheese filling, etc. i think a friend of mine put it best when he said, eating a muffin is simply an excuse to eat cake in the mornings.

let me tell you- these morning treats are absolutely jam-packed with calories, fat, sugar, hidden behind their mouth-watering smells, and cute packaging. even though they appear small, you could be eating more calories than what’s in a big mac if you’re not careful.

but don’t fret! you should absolutely enjoy what you eat, and eat what you want- everything in moderation, including moderation. i have done my own research so i can enjoy my friday muffin without immense feelings of guilt and i am going to share it with you.

friday

here is a list of the some of the best and worst muffin choices (health wise):

starbucks

i’d stay away from the zucchini walnut muffin. although it sounds healthy (it has a vegetable in it!) it is a whopping 490 calories. both the bountiful blueberry muffin and the blueberry yogurt muffin with honey (350 and 320 calories) are much better options. the morning-glory muffin isn’t that bad either at 380 calories.

tim hortons 

i always thought that raisin bran muffins were a healthy option- it turns out this is not the case. a tim hortons raisin bran muffin is 410 calories (and it isn’t that big!). their blueberry muffin is the only muffin on the menu below 350 calories (340) besides the low fat options which are around 290 calories but taste like cardboard in my opinion.

second cup

unfortunately i could not seem to find second cup’s nutritional information on their website- so i hope the information i did find is accurate. their lemon cranberry muffin is 420 calories, where their zucchini & carrot muffin is only 320! their raisin bran muffin is only 340 calories which also isn’t as bad.

mcdonalds

surprisingly mcdonalds muffins are actually quite delicious. perhaps avoid the double chocolate muffin with oreo cookie crumble which is 450 calories (that really is just like cake). their carrot and blueberry muffins aren’t that great either at 430 and 410 calories. i’d try the cranberry orange muffin which is 360 calories and very filling (it’s my muffin choice for this week)!

as with everything it’s always important to think about what you are putting into your body- just remember there are always healthier options.

if i’ve scared you with my muffin calorie counting there are lots of other baked good items that are much fewer calories! try for example, a starbucks marshmellow dream bar (210 calories) or their double chocolate biscotti (150 calories). tim hortons plain tea biscut (240 calories) or even their chocolate glazed donut (260 calories). second cups banana bread (210 calories) or their apple & cinnamon breakfast cookie (280 calories). and then mcdonalds- well the ice cream is only 230 calories, but i’m not sure how you feel about that in the morning.

another option is to make your own muffins at home if you have the time. president’s choice blue menu offers muffin mixes that you simply add water too and bake which are only 150 calories each.

love muffins

like i said above, if you’ve been trying to eat healthier, just think about what you’re putting into your body. and although the cute little, mouth-watering muffins might not look like much, they often pack a calorie-ladden punch.

ox, kt

ps. here are the links for more nutritional information from each company

starbucks nutrition

tim hortons nutrition

second cup nutrition

mcdonalds nutrition

keep calm and blog on.

one of the strongest memories i have of the first house i grew up in was that i could write all over the walls in the basement. it started out with the alphabet, practicing my little letters and capitals. it soon evolved into writings all over the place. jump ahead a few more years and i could be found meticulously practicing my cursive letters, eventually moving on to sentences and stories. throughout elementary school i always loved coming up with and writing epic tales- thinking i was going to write the next great baby sitter’s club novel or goosebumps saga. in high school i could often be found doodling in notebooks and writing song lyrics all over my bedroom wall (i’m sure nigel just loved that)- this continued into university where, low and behold, i studied english literature. over the last few years, although an avid reader and literary lover, i feel that my writing slipped through the cracks and it became lost. thanks to a very encouraging boss and colleagues, i’ve decided it’s time to start writing again- and i might as well keep up with the times and do it digitally, via this blog.

as we were driving to our peacock parade warehouse yesterday afternoon, we found ourselves on a very familiar topic- food! we decided it was well worth our time to make a little trip to tim hortons and of course we started talking about what we wanted to get. being such a beautiful day, one of my bosses, nancy, decided she wanted an ice cap- but that she felt guilty because it’s made with 18% cream. luckily, being the calorie-counter that i am, i recommended to try it out with chocolate milk- much less fat, but same great taste. “geeze katie,” she said, “you know everything, you should totally start a blog!”. with encouraging shouts from everyone else in the car that i should “totally do it!”, and after counting my absolute certain readership of about five people (including my mom! hi mom!) i decided- why not!

last night i was thinking about it some more- and kandidly katie was born. with this blog i promise to be candid and truthful. i promise to share everything wonderful that i find (like if you make an ice cap with chocolate milk it’s way healthier for you and tastes even better in my opinion). i promise to share my happiness and delights. and to myself- i promise to write.

thanks for taking the time to read my first post- i’m looking forward to writing more!

blogon

ox, kt