Take a Hike? May 15th, 2016

With fingers crossed for good weather I have decided to check out the Sunday nature hike at 10 am at the MUN Botanical Gardens this weekend.

pathI walk on a regular basis but I have been thinking about taking up hiking more seriously this summer. We live in such a beautiful province. I look forward to checking out our great hiking trails.

In an effort to “bite off one piece of the elephant at a time”, I thought it might be best to start with a 1 hour hike.

MUN Botanical Gardens offers a guided hike through the barrens, b7NoDY-phoreal forest, or bog. The guide will introduce you to Newfoundland plants and animals while you enjoy plenty of fresh air and exercise.

This event is Free for members of the Friends of the Garden, Memorial University students and children 5 years and younger.  For all others general admission applies.

They also offer a Sunday morning bird watching hike that takes place every second Sunday with the next one being on May 15 at 8 am.  

Stay tunpath3ed for my review.

 

 



 

Love to Garden? Planting a Hanging Basket.

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Click on this image above for hours and admission cost information.

Friday lunch time, I attended a free public workshop on planting a hanging basket offered by MUN Botanical Garden.  It was really informative and I picked up some great tips and tricks.

I was busy with work on Friday and I was tempted to skip it but I am so glad I didn’t. Firstly, just walking into the gardens on my way to the classroom started to release the stress of the week.  On this rainy warm day the smell of the garden was heavenly and there were signs of spring were everywhere.

We met in the classroom where Tim Walsh, the nursery manager, gave an eIMG_0704ntertaining and educational presentation along with a demonstration on how to plant a hanging basket.

Along with the lecture, Tim provide us with a couple of reference sheets listing plants and their sun requirements.

For inspiration you can take a look at some amazing photos of hanging baskets and containers designed by the talented folks at the Botanical Gardens here and a plant list here.

I really liked the way he broke down the plants required to create an attractive hanging basket.  Thrillers – the centerpiece or main attraction of the basket. Spillers – plants ideal for cascading over the edge.  And Fillers –  plants required to fill the basket.  It was so exciting to see all the options and I wanted to rush home and start planting right away 🙂

These free lunch time lectures were held all week.  I wish I could have attended all of them.  I hope they will do this sort of event again.  In the mean time,  they offer several other paid workshops that look interesting, particularly the Wine and Walks. 😉

Rating: *****

Cost: This event $0.  Other workshops $0 – $70

Great activity to do alone or with a friend.




I’m no van Gogh but… (Painting Class)

This was a most enjoyable activity. Not because I came away from every class with “great work of art” but because I got to spend 2 and a half hours every week for the last three weeks, with my daughter, in a stress free environment enjoying the company of others (cell phones off 🙂 ).

In early March, my daughter Sarah encouraged me to do a painting class. I was intrigued by the idea of challenging myself so I signed us up to do water colour painting classes with the City of St. John’s.

Like gardening, golfing, crafting etc. I found this activity a fun escape from the day-to-day worries of work and so forth and my focus changed to appreciating the beauty around me and how that could be translated into a painting.  What I learnt even carried with me through the week as I noticed beautiful things around me and wondered “what painting technique” would be used to capture what I saw onto a piece of paper.

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My daughter’s painting. :-)

This was a 4 week course.  Each class was 2 and half hours long.  Brendan Traverse, our teacher, was patient and knowledgeable. He was also very generous in sharing his supplies, which he brought to each class.  When you register you will receive a small list of required supplies but it was fun to try other brushes and painting tools to check out their effects.

During the first class, Brendan spent most of the evening discussing some of the basic water color painting techniques and the entire class tried their hand at a water shoreline view (You can see my painting at the end of this blog).

For our next class, Brendan asked us to find a picture we liked from a pile he provided or bring one of our own.  During that class he helped us individually with techniques to turn our favorite photo or picture into a watercolor.

At first I found this really stressful.  I brought along a favorite photo of a salmon river in Spread Eagle, Newfoundland.  I love this photo, so I wanted good results. No! I wanted great results.

However there is so much to learn. I was putting unreasonable expectations on myself and it was really taking the fun out of it for me. When I reminded myself about my purpose for taking this course I starting just enjoying the process and the results weren’t too bad 🙂

My watercolor painting of a photo taken in Spread Eagle, NL
My watercolor painting of a photo taken in Spread Eagle, NL

I would highly recommend this course.  It was fun, informative, relaxed and inexpensive. I encourage you to check out the many activities offered by the City of St. John’s.  Sign-up early, especially for the painting classes, as the class size is small and they fill up quickly.  Scroll down to see pictures of our classmates and their paintings.

We have 1 class left and I am really looking forward to it.  In addition, I plan to check out the other painting courses offered and sign up again soon.

Rating: *****

Cost: $ ($50 for 4 classes)

Great activity to do alone or with a friend.

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Sarah, our classmate, posing with her clothesline painting from class #3. She had never painted before doing this course. Nice Job Sarah!
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My painting from the 1st class.
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Our classmate, Marilyn, posing with Brendan and her sunset painting. Pretty!

Tattoo? No, you!…No, you!! (part I)

Trouble Bound Studio located at 132 A, Water Street, St. John’s, NL.

Call us crazy. Call us what you want. We are 40+. Being a little crazy is a privilege of getting older. 🙂

I have been thinking about getting a tattoo for a very long time.  Recently, one of my friends and her 2 sisters got tattoos and it really inspired me to put it at the top of my bucket list again.

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One of Trouble Bound’s tattoo artists

As Wendy and I embark on a 2 week trip to Greece in May, I encouraged her to mark the event with a friendship tattoo. Is she on board? I think so.

On a recommendation from a friend, we visited Trouble Bound Studio located at 132 A, Water Street, St. John’s, NL for a consultation. We met with Mike Ledrew who discussed our design and reviewed the process.

Subscribe to our blog to follow our tattoo journey.

CA.

The Fifth Ticket with a side of comedy

SapuuYU6A great server can make or break a meal.  Agree? While our food was yummy it was our server Jordan that made the evening so pleasant.

Wendy and I decided on an early reservation since the comedy show in the piano bar started at 8:00 PM and we didn’t want to rush though our meal. At 6:15 PM the restaurant was mostly empty with the IMG_4921exception of a couple of tables but it quickly filled as the night went on. The Fifth Ticket is located at 171 Water Street, St. John’s NL (the east end of Water Street).

When we arrived we were shown quickly to our table. Once seated I heard Jordan mention “Silver Fox”.  I immediately assumed he was talking about me. LOL. Actually, he was describing one of their most popular drinks. A combination of gin, black current syrup topped with Prosecco served sweet or dry. It was delish!

IMG_5911Our meal choices included cold duck slices served on arugula and pan fried trout with asparagus and a type of pasta similar to orzo.

We enjoyed our meal but it was Jordan’s attention to detail; eagerness to explain the choices and he recommended when asked. He was authentically friendly and clearly took his job very seriously.  He reserved for us two seats in the piano bar for the comedy show and with such chivalry, offered to show us to our seats and carry our drinks. (FYI…Jordan nor the restaurant knew of our plans to write this review.)

This is a 1/2 portion as Jordan offered to split the plates as we were sharing.
This is a 1/2 portion as Jordan offered to split the plates since we were sharing our selections.

My thoughts on the restaurant are this.  The food was good and the menu choices were interesting. If I would make any suggestions for improvement I would say the ambiance lacks a bit of intimacy and softness.  Some dividers, white table clothes and soft window coverings would make it more comfortable.

The comedy show? Not for us. Sorry. I like the idea of the piano bar and I look forward to returning to listen to the live music instead.

Price: $$$

Restaurant Rating: ****

Comedy Show: *

 

 

Can you paint?

The only things I know I can paint are the walls of a room. 🙂 My daughter, however,  is quite the artist (not sure where she gets it) and has been encouraging me to do a painting class.  I was intrigued by the idea of challenging myself so I signed us up to do water colour painting classes in April with the City of St. John’s .

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City of St. John’s Subscription Site

The City of St. John’s offers an impressive selection of activities including painting classes offered at accessible prices ($50/person for 4, 2.5 hour classes). In addition, they offer such activities as swimming, guitar lessons. dance, yoga and so much more.

Stay tuned for my review.  Receive the review automatically by subscribing to FortyandFun.com in the side bar at the right or at the bottom of this blog.

Happy Easter,

Carol-Ann

St. John’s Fish Exchange for 5 to 7

Maybe not your typical place to visit for happy hour but Wendy and I were anxious to check out the St. John’s Fish Exchange which recently opened downtown St. John’s, NL. Located at 351 Water Street, with a nice view of the harbour, it is a combination of big city chic with a nod to Newfoundland cuisine and culture.map

We arrived closer to 7 than planned and good thing we were only stopping in for a drink because on arrival the hostess politely informed us it would be an hour and a half wait for a table unless we had reservations.

So word to the wise, make your reservations in advance to avoid disappointment.

We explained we were only staying for a glass of wine and the hostess happily showed us to the bar where we were lucky enough to snag 2 stools.

Screenshot_2016-03-20-23-24-28The bar area is impressive.  A nice spot to sip your wine and chat. Wendy and I decided to order a calamari appetizer, recommended to us by our bartender and we really enjoyed it. The service was excellent and the bar well stocked with a nice selection of wine and beer.  They also have a very fun specialty cocktail list that I recommend you order from (or at least read :-).

Jam Jam Martini – Seriously? A drink served with a cookie? Can it get any better than that? (Jam Jams are cookies made locally by Purity FacJam jamtories and are a Newfoundland favorite)

 

 

We enjoyed our visit to the Fish
Exchange and look forward to returning to stay to for a meal and dessert (psst! try their bread pudding, chocolate torte, Bailey’s creme brule. OK OK try ALL the desserts).

Rating:  *****

Price: $$$

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I Quit Legit.

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February 19th 2016

While it was clear that a lot of hard work and preparation went in to this performance, it wasn’t for me. Very few of the songs were familiar which may have contributed to my lack of enthusiasm.

I found the tunes and lyrics dark and a bit depressing.  Not exactly what I was hoping for on a Friday night.

All that aside, the performers were passionate as were many of the audience members. And hats off to event planners and participant’s mini fundraiser in aid of the soup kitchen at Choices for Youth.

The LSPU Hall offers an intimate theatre space with excellent lighting and acoustics and I will return there to check out other events. Attending a live event at the LSPU Hall is an activity you can do with a friend or on your own.

Rating: **

Single: $20

 

Check Out this Weekend’s Destination! ~ 2 Legit 2 Quit

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Friday February 19th, 2016 8:00 PM. LPSU Hall

I love live performances of any type so I am excited to check this out at the LSPU Hall this Friday night. The LSPU Hall is home to the Resource Centre for the Arts.

2 Legit 2 Quit will transport you back to the classically-influenced roots of musical theatre” Ooo la la!

We might even drop by The Cox & Palmer Second Space or another pub close by for “a little drinky-poo” before it starts. 🙂

Stay tuned for our review.

Peace, Love, Yoga with Tina Pomroy

“I Am Divine Love” I chanted.  And that was exactly how I was feeling after an hour and a half yoga session with Tina Pomroy at the Yoga Kula Co-op located at 286 Torbay Road.  This special yoga event focused on peace and love, which is apropos given it was the Valentine’s weekend.

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This event took place Friday night , February 12th, 2016

My evening with Tina and 6 other participates, included stretching, breathing, enjoying essential oils and eating chocolate by candlelight. Sound nice? It was.

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Tina Pomroy

During this event I had the opportunity to practice meditation which I find incredibly difficult and chanting which, while awkward at first, became highly enjoyable as all my stresses of the week drifted away.

One of my favorite parts of the practice took place when Tina spoke softly and gently using imagery to help you imagine holding a magic bowl which we could fill with love. For those of you that have never done yoga or meditation before, this might sound a bit hokey, but trust me, this opportunity to empty your mind of negativity and stress and fill it with positive and uplifting ideas, hokey or not, felt GOOD!

This was a lovely way to spend a Friday evening and I highly recommend it to any beginner or

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I even received a love note 🙂 “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” ~ Mother Theresa

expert yogis out there.  This is an event that can be shared with a friend or enjoyed on your own.

Rating:  *****

Single $20

Couple $30