1983

on June 30th, 1983 at the age of 42 Allan Douglas Loker died of a heart attack. He left behind 3 daughters and a wife. I’m one of the daughters that got left behind.

I don’t much about him, I know that he liked to race stock cars, he did skeet shooting, he did those fancy plaster things you see on ceilings, that he worked for the same company for 18 years, and that he was unfaithful to his loving wife. I always used to imagine that when I turned a certain age there would be a package sent from him to me or a letter that would allow me to get to know him more than I do. My mom never talked about him much, whenever we really pressed for information she would say she didn’t remember. Now after her stroke any hope of any information is now long gone. My view of him is tainted by the acts of betrayal I knew he committed.

My mom had 4 girls and my aunt had 4 girls, needless to say I haven’t had a lot of positive male role models in my life. Not to say I haven’t had any but for the most part I’ve looked outside my family for role models. I’m a huge fan of TV, movies, science, pop culture, etc so the ongoing list of men with whom I admire is as follows. There is no particular order but each of these men have qualities that I imagine my dad would have had, or what I’m looking for in a future husband.

William Shatner

Photo Credit: @WilliamShatner twitter

Mr. Shatner is the father I wished I had, he is funny, smart, witty, loves horses, and he does a hell of a lot of charity work. With the social media craze Mr. Shatner engages his followers, fans and haters like no one else. I’ve been lucky to exchange a few tweets with him.

Lennox Lewis


I’ve met Lennox and we attended the same high school (years apart), He is genuinely nice engages with his fans. He is a family man above all else which is the biggest reason why admire him. I like to think I can consider him a friend.

Kevin Hart

Photo Credit: @KevinHart4real Twitter

I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Hart’s movies, and I always look forward to his next project. In all the interviews I’ve seen him give he seems true to himself, is compassionate and speaks with true passion about his family. He would be someone I’d just love to hang out with, have a drink. I would love to seem him do a dramatic roll to balance all the comedy.

Ryan Reynolds

Photo Credit: @VancityReynolds Twitter

I’m drawn to other Canadians as I feel being from the same country we “know” each other. I of course have never met Mr. Reynolds but meeting him is totally on my bucket list. I’m constantly amazed at how much of himself he gives to the world and have to thank him for it because he truly does make this world a better place. I’m slightly jealous of his wife who gets to know him as no one else does but knowing how devoted he is to his family (based on things said in interviews) I can’t help but admire him.

Dwayne Johnson

Photo Credit: @TheRock Twitter

The Rock…Dwayne…Mr. Johnson, whatever name he goes by there is no denying his genuine appreciation for his fans. He loves encouraging others to be their best. He has made me laugh with his tweets, and has made my day when he has tweeted me back.

Chris Hadfield

Photo Credit: @Cmdr_Hadfield Twitter


Mr. Hadfield, another Canuck, made space “cool” again. He made others look up to the stars and dream about what lay beyond. I have NO doubt that some of the kids he interacted with while on the International Space Station will grow up to become astronauts themselves. I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting him but when I do a hug is in order. His bravery, curiosity, and inelegance are qualities that should be celebrated.

Stephen Hawking


Mr. Hawking is a brilliant mind who doesn’t let anything stop him. Having to deal with tons of personal issues while producing mind blowing science is simply amazing. I wish I had only a portion of his smarts. I heard some years ago that he was coming to my neck of the woods to do a lecture and I missed it; I hope he comes again because seeing him speak is something on my bucket list. I have no doubt I would be hopelessly lost in the lecture but just being there would make me feel a tad smarter.

Nathan Fillion

Photo Credit: @NathanFillion Twitter


From Firefly to Castle Mr. Fillion has never ceased to entertain and make me¬†laugh. It’s his work outside of that I admire the most. He has lent his voice to a number of charities that I hold dear to my heart. He regularly engages his fans/followers on social media. Oh and he is Canadian as well ūüôā

Zachary Levi

Photo Credit: @ZacharyLevi TwitterOne 

One of my favourite things about Zachary is the work he does for Operation Smile (http://www.operationsmile.org/). For the past few years during SDCC he has gotten a bunch of people together and raised a lot of money to help kids who like me were born with a facial difference. Mr. Levi is funny, kind, generous, and super cute! One day I hope to be able to attend SDCC again but specifically go to all the Nerd Machine events.

Joseph Mallozzi


Joe has been responsible for some of my favorite TV of all time. He has one of the most creative minds that I know and he genuinely cares. He has been keeping up a blog daily for a crazy amount of time and when I started my own blog I had hoped that I would be just as good at it as he is. Sadly I’m not but i’m totally ok with that. I’m super excited that his Dark Matter season 2 premiers¬†tomorrow and I hope everyone gives it a watch. You should also read/follow his blog (https://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com)

Jared Padalecki

Photo Credit: @jarpad Twitter


#AKF stands for Always Keep Fighting, as Jared continues to work on an amazing show called Supernatural he has been upfront about his battle with depression. He used is reach to let us all know that we are not alone. Many in the SPN Fandom have opened up and come together to help each other through some really hard times. I love watching Jared tell stories of pranks he and his casts mates have pulled on each other and I love seeing the love he has for his family.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Photo Credit: @Lin_Manuel Twitter


I’ve only recently discovered Lin-Manuel thanks to the success of his Broadway hit Hamilton. I’ve listened to the soundtrack and like probably 75% of the world I really REALLY want to see this musical. I have watched a lot of the interviews he has done and he seems like one of the nicest people ever. He genuinely wants to help people and the territory he comes from. If I saw him on the street it would be hard for me not to give him a hug. On a side note I creeped his Twitter to find a picture and in almost every picture he has posted he is with someone else and has the biggest smile on his face! Class!

This list could go on-and-on-and-on. I know who I am as a person, I’ve said this before and it still hold true. I don’t need a “man” to define me but would be sure nice to have one stand with me. I like to think that some of person I am is because of these guys influence. As I continue to grow as an individual I will continue to seek to look to positive influences to help continue to guide me. On this the anniversary of my father’s death this might be one of the first years I haven’t wondered so much on what would have been. I continue to look forward and hope that he would have been proud of the woman I have become and that he would have agreed with the men I choose to look up to and admire.

Cooking Class #2

Last night I was really tired and so I posted some very cute pictures of our dogs. The reason why I was so tired was because after work my friend Donna, her mom, and I attended another cooking demo/class at Sobey’s.

Last night’s theme was Thai comfort food, I have to say it didn’t disappoint. Chef Patrick created a menu that is easy to replicate and tastes so divine. It gave me the chance to hear him speak about his experiences on Chopped Canada that aired this past Saturday night. Any regular reader of this blog will already know that I love all the behind the scenes info and I was glued to Chef Patrick’s every word about how it works off camera. The other awesome thing about last night was that I got to meet his lovely fiancee Andrea Lauren who was super sweet and I am so thrilled for the both of them, they are busy planning their wedding and planning a honeymoon in Thailand!

Last night’s dishes in order in which they were served were:

COCONUT AND LEMONGRASS SOUP WITH SHRIMP

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INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 thumb size piece fresh ginger, minced

1 stalk lemon grass, white bulb minced, stalk reserved for soup pot

2 teaspoons red curry paste

4 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced

1 large tomato, chopped

1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined

1 lime, zested and juiced (need about 2 tablespoons of juice)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3/4 cup chopped scallions

STEPS

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute until fragrant. Slowly pour the vegetable broth over the mixture stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar and lime zest simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, mushrooms and tomato; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and states; soup should have equal balance of spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. Garnish with cilantro and scallions and enjoy!

I have to say that when I looked at the ingredient list, I had reservations about liking this soup. I’m NOT a fan of cilantro but for some reason the flavour of the cilantro did not over power the rest of the flavours. I would have eaten a huge bowl of this if I had been able to. I would love to make it at home but no one but me would eat it, which may not be a bad thing.

Nest up:

THAI GREEN MANGO SALAD

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INGREDIENTS

2 red or green Thai chiles, with seeds, chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

3/4 cup fish sauce

2 tablespoons avocado oil

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

4 green mangoes julianned

1 cup of bean sprouts

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup dry unsweetened coconut

2 tablespoons toasted dried shrimp (optional)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

kosher salt

STEPS

Puree chiles, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, oil, and sugar in a blender until smooth.

Toss mangoes, bean sprouts, shallots, peanuts, coconut, cilantro, mint, basil, dried shrimp if using, sesame seeds, and dressing in a large bowl; season with lightly with salt, enjoy!

The hardest part about this is getting everything sliced and diced once it’s all tossed up it’s SO good. You can make the dressing ahead of time and it keeps for a while.

This salad was served alongside our next recipe:

THAI PORK SATAY

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The pork all marinated ready to grill (or in our case broil)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon chopped galangal or ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow curry paste

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 limes, cut in half

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 1″-wide, 1/4″ thick slices

STEPS

Wooden skewers soaked (this is only for presentation so feel free to skip)

Puree 1/2 cup coconut milk, lemon grass, oil, galangal (or ginger), sugar, garlic, spices, fish sauce and curry paste in a food processor. Toss paste and pork in a large bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Don’t leave any longer than 4 hours as the the texture of the meat will change.

Set a grill over medium high heat. Thread a couple slices of pork on each skewer, brush with remaining coconut milk and grill turning once until charred and cooked through, about 7 minutes total. Remove from the grill and squeeze fresh lime juice all over satays. Enjoy!

These were simply fantastic!

Up next:

THAI DRUNKEN NOODLES

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INGREDIENTS

1 200g package pad Thai noodles

4 chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces

1 cup basil leaves, preferably Thai

2 shallots, chopped

2 scallions, white and green parts chopped

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 Thai bird chillis finely chopped (if you can’t find these just use good old Jalapeno)

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons peanut oil

SAUCE

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 1/4 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce (or just plain Thai soy sauce)

1 1/2 tablespoons normal dark soy sauce

2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup Sake rice wine

STEPS

Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain when ready. Make sure to rinse noodles under cold water.

Put Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Heat oil in wok or pan over high heat. Add garlic and chilli and cook for 10 seconds. Add the eggs and cook stirring constantly until just set. Add chicken and fry until cooked partially through, about 2 minutes.

Add the shallots/scallions and about 1 tablespoon of the sauce and stir fry for 30 seconds, just to coat the chicken. Add the noodles and sauce and cook for a couple minutes until the sauce has coated the noodles completely and they start to brown.

Remove from heat and immediately add basil leaves, stir until just wilted, then serve immediately. Enjoy with a cold Tiger Beer.

Chef Patrick gave a great tip for this one, make sure ALL of your ingredients are ready to go, all cut up and the sauce is mixed ready to go. Don’t wait until the end to cook the noodles have those done before starting to fry.

Last but not least:

THAI FRIED BANANAS WITH COCONUT CREAM

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 can coconut milk, well stirred

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 egg yolks, at room temperature

vegetable oil, for frying (don’t use olive oil, use a neutral flavored oil)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup hot water

3/4 cup rice flour

1/2 cup desiccated coconut, toasted

1/2 cup coconut milk well stirred

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

8 ripe baby bananas or 4 large normal bananas

1/2 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped.

STEPS

FOR THE COCONUT CREAM SAUCE: Toast the desiccated coconut in a small saute pan over medium heat until just browned. combine the coconut milk, toasted coconut, whole milk, and kosher salt in a small saucepan and bring up to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat and steep for 30 minutes.

Strain the coconut mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and into another small saucepan, using a wooden spoon or spatula to press down on the solids. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl, and then whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture to temper the eggs. Gradually whisk in the rest of the hot coconut milk and transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes. Strain into a mixing bowl and place plastic wrap directly on to of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool at room temperature while you make the fried bananas.

FOR THE FRIED BANANAS: Fill a wok with 3 inches of vegetable oil or a large dutch oven with 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat.

Put the brown sugar in a small bowl, add the hot water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. In a baking dish whisk together the rice flour, desiccated coconut, coconut milk, all-purpose flour, baking powder and the sugar/water mixture to form a thin batter. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes while you prep the bananas.

If using baby bananas, simply peel and slice each lengthwise, if using normal bananas slice each in half and then again lengthwise. Dip the sliced bananas in the batter, shaking off any excess and fry the bananas until golden brown and crispy, turning occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes. Place the fried bananas on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve with chopped peanuts and coconut cream sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

I would eat this meal again in a heartbeat! So good. please let me know  if you end up trying any of these, I would love to see your pictures and know what you thought.

Places I would love to travel to

travel 1

As I get ready for yet another trip to lovely Toronto it makes me think of all the places I could get to if I was going to the airport. I had thought about saving this topic for another epic top 10 list but it’s cold outside so I thought writing about all the amazing places that I would drop almost anything for to go to.

First one wouldn’t be all that warm right now but visiting the great city of New York!

travel 2

I want to spend a good few weeks at New York City to see the American Museum of Natural History, tour the Bronx, Central Park, Empire State building, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, and the 9/11 Memorial. I would love to see a show on and off Broadway, to stand in times square slowly look up and around and just take it all in. I don’t want to ever be there for New Years eve, standing there for over 12 hours without going to the potty, that’s just crazy.

When my sister worked for Starwood Hotels one of the hotels we both drooled over was in Belize.

Travel 3

I would love to to sit on the beach with no phone, and a pile of books and just laze away the days. I would go to the Belize zoo, the Maya ruins of Xunantunich, but seriously laying on the beach is the thing I would to in Belize.

I have learned that I wouldn’t want to drive here but I would love to stroll around and sit at an outdoor cafe. Italy!

Travel 4

Visiting the typical tourist spots would totally be on the agenda, the Colosseum, Pompeii, would float the Blue Grotto, I would need to visit Murano Island to watch the glass blowers make beautiful works of art. would visit the Leaning tower of Pisa, a wine tour of the vineyards in Italy sounds divine, although I’m not catholic I would love to the Vatican City, I would want to eat everything, everywhere!

I know a few people that have traveled to Australia, and a friend of mine has since moved and it’s so beautiful.

Travel 5

I would really love to see the wild life of Australia, visit the sanctuaries and volunteer some hours if I could, help out. Seeing a performance at the famous Opera House is on my bucket list. Another stack of books for another beach to get lost in. I would enjoy the warmth, sunshine and people.

I have read about my friend Joe’s trips to Hong Kong for years each time I drool… I really want to go.

Travel 6

This trip would be about food, I would eat at as many places as Joe and his girlfriend have eaten at. I would visit the temples outside of Hong Kong. I’m not 100% sure where else I would visit, I know there is a Disneyland there, I’m not too keen on visiting the one here in North America and I may try the one in Hong Kong, I’d fear the looks I would get in Hong Kong so might as well go all out and have a blast!

I would love to travel across the pond and visit the UK, the weather can be questionable, but I’m Canadian.

Travel 7

I’m so fascinated by Stonehenge that I would need to visit and cross it off my bucket list. Going around London, going to the art galleries, visiting Buckingham Palace, I bet there are tours that would visit the historic buildings which would be a must. I would also want to visit the country side, take a few books and just reflect on life while soaking in the greenery.

I will add to this list maybe tack on to this post or create a new one. Where are some places you want to travel?

A Great Night

SA

After a good day at work it’s nice to have some downtime with a friend, kick back, and have fun. Today starts a busy week for me whereby I’m out doing something neat after work most days. Tonight I headed out with my friend Marnie to do Social Art KW. I’ve written about this before but here is a refresher for those new to my blog or who just plum forgot!

A group of upwards of 30 people all converge at a local pub or restaurant with nothing and come out with a work of art that they are happy with, or at least tolerate! My first one was a fall scene I took myself out on my birthday and this is where I first reconnected with Marnie. We have worked together in the same building for years but hadn’t had the chance to hang out. I was a little (ok a lot) worried about my first time at this event but was excited. I was sad that no one was able to come with me but determined to have a good time. Marnie noticed me first, approached me and welcomed me to sit with her and we ordered food before things got under way. I’m forever grateful for her for doing that because I doubt I would have spoken with anyone, I would have kept to myself, did my painting and bused home. Instead I ended up really connecting with her, had a great time and painted a scene I could tolerate. It’s currently hiding but here is a picture:

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My first ever attempt

My second time going was as a private party that was hosted with a former co-worker and friend Lisa. She had really wanted to go to an event but none of the dates worked with her schedule so she made a private party and we painted an owl, It’s still growing on me but at least it’s hanging up in the dining room!

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Midnight owl

That brings us to tonight’s outing, which was much like the first. Marnie and I went together and it was hosted at Fionn MacCool’s in Kitchener near where SportsWorld used to be. It’s my first time there and I liked it. I couldn’t eat much as I’m still recovering from that torture of a tooth removal so I tried their Latke Grilled Cheese which I was only able to really eat the centers and the pickles on top, I also tried their Apple Crumble Pie, they don’t dice the apples they have them slicked which meant when they cook with the skins it makes them a bit tough to eat so sadly most of this went untouched as well. Have to say the coffee was great!

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Dinner

We started painting at about 6:30pm and I got home about 9:15pm, so it was a pretty good evening event. Rachel is really great at walking you through each step, and when you get behind or need extra help she is always there to lend a hand. Just don’t ask her to actually put paint to canvas on yours because she won’t..this is not a bad thing, as it is meant to be your work of art. Being this was my third one I really didn’t want to rush so I found myself quite behind everyone else. I was working on my background and hills while everyone had just about finished the windmill. I took great care to ensure that the background and the ground were blended nicely as I found that with my first one I didn’t do this well. The windmill posed lots of challenges with the lines, filling in, and the blades. If I had to pick a favourite element from today’s painting I would say my background and my grass. If I had to pick something I could change it would be the hills and the blades of the windmill.

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 Finished painting

If you live in the area or are coming to KW for a visit please check Social Art KW’s webpage (http://www.socialart.ca/) for upcoming dates because it’s well worth the $30, I love seeing how everyone’s turn out, and I try very hard not to compare mine to everyone else’s because I always feel that mine doesn’t stack up.

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Progression shots

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Paints!

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Marnie & I