Archive for March, 2016

March 31, 2016

Girls Weekend in Toronto

At the end of February the ladies in our family planned a girls weekend in Toronto. Mom, Jen and Al drove up on a Saturday morning and we started the day off with brunch at a place called ‘The Hole in the Wall’ in the Junction. The food was delicious (nothing measures a brunch place better than trying the eggs benedict) and we also splurged on mimosas made with freshly squeezed orange juice! From there we walked down to Dundas station and took the streetcar to Kensington Market. We wandered around for a while and then walked to a cafe across from the AGO. Even though we discovered it was only one hour until closing, we decided to check out the AGO. Back at my place I cooked dinner for us and we hung around and had our typical van Overbeeke discussions (aka lengthy debates where in the end we have to agree to disagree ;) ). My roommate Susan came home while we were battling it out and was almost afraid to cut in to say hello! She told me later though that she admires our intensity…lol! Yup, sounds like my family! I’m glad we decided to be intentional and get together between the normal holidays!


The following day Jen and Mom went to church with me. After the service they headed home and I went and had dim sum with my small group at a place called the Crown Princess. This was only my second time having dim sum and it was delicious! Dim sum is a Cantonese dish that has its history as bite sized food that accompanied tea in teahouses that were established along the Silk Road. Today it is still prepared as a type of brunch. A great part about it is that you eat at a huge round table and the food comes gradually as you eat and commune together. Another great weekend!


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March 27, 2016

Family Day Weekend

Family day weekend was full of activity. On the Friday I met up with Kurian, a couch surfer from India who would be staying with us for a few days. On the Saturday I ran errands and then worked on my wood divider screen, a project I have been putting off for years that I am finally planning to finish! That evening I went to Indie Ale House with Siubhan and Kurian, and later Susan came and joined us. It was below negative thirty on the Friday and Saturday! Sunday was valentines day and Susan had the great idea to plan a love themed worship night. The event was at Glo’s place and the place was packed tight with people from Grace! Monday morning was family day and Jana, who I met through Adam House, invited us to brunch at her place. Then in the afternoon Susan and I finally got around to painting our living room wall! It was something that we had been talking about for a long time and we were very happy with the result! That evening I met up with Vikkie at Finch station and we went for Korean food. The restaurant was super busy but the food was worth it and it was very nice to catch up! Afterwards we went for bubble tea and Vikkie pulled out these amazing rose apple tarts for me to try. She knows that I never mind being a taste-tester for her baking experiments!IMG_20160215_142631IMG_20160215_221026

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Couch surfer selfie


March 26, 2016

Skating on the Rideau Canal

PANO_20160131_131841On our way home from Mont-Tremblant, Neil, Benissa and I stopped in Ottawa and went skating on the Rideau Canal! One fun fact is that the Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink and is 7.8km long! It was a beautiful one degree outside but thankfully the canal was still open! First we went to one end of the skateway called Dow’s Lake because Neil thought there would be Winterlude festivities happening there. We found out that the Dow’s lake section was cut off from the rest of the skateway, however the lake is huge and wasn’t very busy and so we enjoyed skating that section. At one side of the lake there was a giant inflated beaver and a beaver mascot where we couldn’t help but to play tourist and take a picture! Since it was the first day of Winterlude there was nothing else happening there, so we went back to the car and drove closer to the downtown so we could skate the other, longer section of the canal. This part of the canal is awesome because you get to skate under bridges towards the downtown, where eventually you get a glimpse of the parliament buildings! The canal was alive with people and there were food stalls right on the ice! When we turned around and were on our way back to the car, we ran into Sally-Jane and John-Paul. It was funny how we met them because Neil was taking a picture and then John-Paul skated into the scene! It was such a memorable day and I’m glad I can finally say I have skated on the Rideau Canal!


March 25, 2016


At the end of January I went on a two-day ski trip to Mont-Tremblant with a group of friends from my church. One of my friends has a wonderful cottage in the village and invites a group to join her every year. I had never been to Mont-Tremblant; the last time I was in Quebec was when I went with the Explore program to Trois-Pistoles in 2007! I enjoyed every part of the trip. The conditions on the mountain were excellent, the cottage was the most gezellig place I had been in a while, and I was in great company! Here are some fond memories that I have from the trip:

  • The day before I left I went to my Wednesday evening small group gathering. We had just finished talking about the importance of communal worship, and as a joke Howard asked the group who was not coming to church on Sunday. JP and I hesitantly lifted up our hands and explained we would be going skiing. When Kathy and Derek discovered I didn’t have skis, they generously lent me one of their own pairs!
  • I carpooled up with Neil, Benissa and Soojeen and we had some great discussions that made the time fly by!
  • It was obvious that I don’t ski often because the morning we went to the hill I forgot my poles in John-Paul’s car. My first journey down the hill was without poles as I navigated my way back down to the car! Luckily Sally-Jane and John-Paul were able to give me clear directions and there was a stand-up gondola that brought me pretty close to the car.
  • For the first morning I skied on my own, but then in the afternoon I joined the group. It was great because they first convinced me to go on a black diamond that they said was more of a dark blue, then a simple black diamond, and finally I was skiing black diamonds like a pro!
  • It was often foggy on the mountain. Near the top the fog freezes to the trees and makes you feel like you are in Narnia. I loved enjoying the view from the lift! Often times we took the singles line and ended up on the lift with strangers, but one time we got on all together and I decided to take a photo of the others. I found out later that I had captured my reflection in Becky’s goggles! IMG_20160129_140130IMG_20160129_145122
  • I enjoyed skiing through the fog even though visibility wasn’t great. It made me feel like I was moving faster than I actually was or like I was a character in a video game! Most of all I love skiing because it makes you feel like you are flying. I tracked my speed one time and I reached 45km/hour!
  • We enjoyed three wonderful evenings at the cottage. We shared two delicious meals and played a lot of games. We played a game similar to charades but the one where for the first round you have to describe the word, the second round you act it out, and the third you pick a single word to describe it. At the end we tried an “act it out under a blanket” version that Alexa and Eric tried out, and then Neil and I tried the version where you are only allowed to make sounds. I think the under the blanket version was the funniest to watch!
  • On the Sunday morning I woke up early and went for a lovely walk on my own on a trail in the woods behind the cottage. It was so peaceful and beautiful! We didn’t get much snow in Toronto this year and so it was nice to be surrounded by white!
  • I carpooled home with Neil and Benissa and we stopped in Ottawa to go skating on the Rideau Canal! But that is for the next post…. :)



March 3, 2016

Home Projects

Over Christmas I used some of my dad’s maple lumber to make some furnishings for my and Susan’s apartment. We have this cute little sunroom off the back of the house that is perfect for plants in the summer, but the problem was that there was no sill to place plants on. The first project was to make a long sill to go underneath the windows on both walls. The second project was a group of shelves for the living room. Unfortunately they still are not all up because I haven’t found any more brackets that I like! The pair that I have I found at an antique store in the junction.

I cut the pieces with my dad’s help in his workshop and then he drove me home after the holidays to drop off the pieces and help me install a new Ikea lamp over our dining table. Because sanding is such a dirty job, I made the sunroom into a little workshop for a few weeks. I took a lot of care with the sanding and finishing and the results were excellent! I decided to try using shellac as a finish because I wanted to keep the natural colour of the maple and wanted to use a more natural product. I am very happy with how they turned out!


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