Silver Antelope

1231 Woodbine Ave, East York Toronto,
(on Woodbine about 1/2 way between Danforth and O’Connor)

Online at:

I have followed Silver Antelope on instagram for a while though I had never made it out to their shop. Well – Silver Antelope has only existed since 2021; before that one of the founders – Lichia Liu – started Gotomago. Gotomago focuses on using environmentally friendly materials and has the most amazing (and some very twee) designs:

Some random Gotomago cards from the website:

So back to Silver Antelope – on January 18, they posted an 18% off sale to celebrate paying back their CEBA loan (oh don’t even get me started on how large corporations also got CEBA loans and how some small local businesses lost their business because of how awfully run this government program was) and to build up their cashflow.

Seemed like a good enough reason for me to finally get some stuff. And what terrific stuff! Lots of Gotomago products and they also carry other brands: “small-batch products that are consciously made by small businesses whose values align with ours, emphasizing companies that are also women-led and/or BIPOC-owned.”

brown paper envelope inside a brown cardboard box with a sticker reading "Silver Antelope" on it
Such a lovely package. Simple and clean.

I am trying to use my journal(s) more and I thought some fun stickers might help πŸ™‚

Never one to shy away from a deal – I bought two “mystery card packs.” These are assorted packages of 10 cards (for $12!!) that are either discontinued designs or have slight flaws. If there are any flaws I definitely couldn’t see them. I also bought 2 packs of “imperfect envelopes” to go with them.

A white pencil with I (heart emoji) math engraved on it.

A gift for Q – he loves it! I’m glad I got him two.

Picture of lovely red flowers on long stems with the word fuck written delicately above.

This will be going on my yellow yeti tumbler that I use for coffee πŸ™‚

And they sent along a present too:

They have a load of stuff for lunar new year, and you can shop by brand or look through a list of zero waste and recycled products or “gifts that give back” where they make a donation of partial proceeds to a charity doing important work in local and global communities. Shipping in Canada and the US is free for $125 or more in spending; other countries and less than $125 is charged by weight. Or you can pick up from the shop — funny how far away Woodbine feels though from Broadview lol (it’s about 5 km away).

I got a couple of other cards but I don’t want to ruin the surprise for the people that will be getting them so I won’t be sharing those. Needless to say though it’s a terrific shop – and the online experience was easy and straightforward. It may take me a while to need more cards but they will definitely be one of the shops I check out when I do.

Oh and afterwards I got an e-mail saying that if I would like to leave a review on my purchases I would get a 10% off code to use next time. Now that I’ve opened everything and used some of it I will do that! Oh and I’ll leave a google review too – I think that also helps small businesses a bunch!

Family Toronto

Edgar the Bernedoodle

aka the Bernegoof

Okay, not really, I just came up with that today.

I stopped to take a picture of the city from the park – it’s cool and windy and the lights and the clouds look really pretty.

Picture of downtown Toronto skyline at night taken from the hill at Riverdale Park East.

And I swear the dog saw me pull out my phone and take a photo. Then he walked out in front me, sat down, and posed.

Same as the skyline photo with a large cute dog front and centre

I didn’t really even have a choice. So I thought I’d make this late evening post about the dog.

From day one:

bernedoodle puppy's face takes up most of the photo - he's sticking his tongue out.
One of the very first pictures I took of him – in my dad’s van that we went to pick him up in.
bernedoodle puppy lying beside pale, slightly hairy legs; you can see a pale wooden floor.
This gives you an idea as to his size back then.

…to today – uhm just look up a little

Oh wait – same pose again from October:

Same as last photo but dog is much much bigger

Both his parents were bernedoodles too – and so while the breeder thought he would end up about 45-50 ish pounds, I think he mostly sucked out the Bernese Mountain Dog genes and not so many of the poodle genes. He started off about 5 kg when we got him at about 2 months old (about 11 pounds) and weighed 35 kg in September at the vet visit, (about 16 months later; about 77 pounds).

He is definitely mostly my dog, though Q is getting more and more used to him. Especially as Edgar is becoming less and less jumpy and over-eager. And Edgar loves Toby but will spend ages barking at Toby when I leave for work or to go out or what have you. Sigh. Really not sure how to work on that one but we’re trying!

Edgar and I did a puppy class and then two levels of obedience. The obedience classes were at Dog Logic – and I really cannot say enough good things about Madelayne and her team. He goes to day care there too now occasionally especially when we’re both going to be out of the house for a long day! And it’s so much fun to see the photos they post on IG and that they send to me when he’s there.

Bernedoodle dog sitting up with a bright blue wall behind him. A small white dog is photo-bombing from the left side.
He’s being photobombed by Mikey – who has known Edgar since they were about the same size!

There are a couple of things we’re still working on:

First, not jumping on people when he’s excited to see them! This is especially true for friends either visiting the house or if we bump into them on the road.

Second, getting him more used to me brushing him. I really suck at this so we’re starting from scratch again – I’m going to try using a lick mat and some frozen peanut butter and just a couple of minutes at a time and we’ll see how it goes.

Third, I want to incorporate more “training time” with him on a daily, or really every-other-day, basis. Going over what we already know, adding a few things here and there (working on stay as I increase the distance between us; definitely working a bit more on leave it again – ahhhh garbage day walks are always fun; that sort of thing).

Sometimes there’s a lot of Sheryl Crow going around in my brain but I am very happy Toby finally agreed that we could get a dog and I am so very happy that dog is Edgar.

A selfie of a lady with kind eyes and grey hair and a round face and a scruffy looking bernedoodle

Oh and if you want to follow him on IG you can: @edgar_fluufle

Diversions Food Review Toronto

Eating around the world

I do well with lists. I like checking things off.

Left to my own devices, I will stay inside and never leave the house. Now I have a puppy. I leave the house several times a day. I have spoken to more people – STRANGERS! – in the past 7 months than I probably have since 2012 when we moved into this house.

Toby likes going out. And Toby loves trying new and different places to eat.

So I thought I’d combine the two – a list and going out to eat.

What better list than ALLLL the countries of the world?!?

Well, probably lots. There are honestly loads of better lists to use to pick restaurants than “an alphabetical list of the countries of the world.”

First of all, not everyone agrees as to what is “a country.” And seriously, this is not at all supposed to be political (not the blog, the eating out!). But if the list didn’t have Palestine on it I wasn’t gonna use it. This is my favourite list though – it recognizes Palestine and Kosovo (to the Mighty Q’s great relief).

And second, wow there are a LOT of countries that start with A. And not a lot of restaurants for all of them in Toronto. So Toby suggested, 1 country per letter and just keep cycling through the alphabet. I think that’s actually what I’m going to work with.

But wait…why eat around the world at all?!?

Okay, let’s step back a minute. I was born in Toronto Ontario Canada. In the early 1970s. I basically grew up with the story that Toronto is the most multicultural place in the world.

It turns out it is actually not just a story – see here: BBC Radio – behind the stats; or here: BBC Travel: the city of 140 languages; about half our population comes from elsewhere AND half of the immigrants to Canada come here: wiki.

But of course it’s not all honey and love and equality. Most people have heard of Little Italy or Chinatown. But we also have a Little Jamaica, and a Chinatown East, and Little India. I live near Greektown. And then there’s Koreatown. And so so many more. So the idea came to me to get out of the house and explore the city a little more. To entice Toby, and maybe some friends too, I’d link it to food.

Start at the beginning

So – I started at the top. With Afghanistan.

Map Of Afghanistan And Surrounding Countries

I googled “best [country] food Toronto.” I relied heavily on reddit: specifically /FoodToronto. And this is obviously not a new idea. There are other blogs dedicated to this: Eat the World TO, Global Toronto Eats, even a food tour! But hey I am still gonna do it my way.

On January 14, Toby and I and the Mighty Q and some friends (people came along! wheeeee) met at Bamiyan Kabob on Overlea Blvd. in East York. Inexpensive and cheerful – think hard tables, plastic chairs, picking your food up on trays etc. – and the food was really really good and three of the boys (7, 11, and 48 years old) all really liked their mango smoothies too. It was busy. We grabbed a table for the 9 of us and almost all the other tables turned over while we were there. A mix of ages and races and genders and everything.

barg kabob on rice with some lettuce and chopped tomatoes
barg kabob
kofta kabob with rice, lettuce and chopped tomatoes
kofta kabob

Even Q ate it. Well, not the lettuce πŸ˜‰ Turns out he liked the barg best. I ordered it because I had no idea what it was. According to the website it’s filet mignon. Kid has good taste.

And then across the “street” in the little plaza-type place, there was an ice cream shop. Remember we had 3 kids with us.

Anyway – why not have Afghan dinner and then Thai dessert?

Ice cream is rolled out on a tabletop that is chilled to -19 degrees Celsius. Then rolled up. That’s it in a nutshell. The Mighty Q got smores (complete with marshmallow). I got blueberry cheesecake with whipped cream and white chocolate. I don’t even remember what Toby got but I’m sure there was fruit involved. And no pictures even. Clearly we’ll have to go back.

Next up I think is Belgium. Moules…. lambics…ales… steak frites.

My brain is already thinking things like “so many different types of “Chinese” food – what the heck are we gonna do?!?!?” But one thing at a time I guess. January was Afghanistan. March will be Belgium. If you have a favourite “country” restaurant in the GTA let me know!


Getting to PEI (weeks 3-4)

I would really like to get a bit more consistent in doing the plan 3 days a week!

The stats for weeks 3 & 4:

4/12/2022RunrandomDefault3.5 km35:1910:06
2/12/2022RunrandomDefault3.6 km36:0810:04
29/11/2022RunrandomDefault3.1 km31:4410:19
26/11/2022RunTreadmillDefault3.0 km31:0710:19
23/11/2022RunTreadmillDefault2.8 km28:2010:01

What I tried to do was “catch up” to where I would be if I had actually done three runs a week. So Friday December 2 was week 4 day 2 and Sunday December 4 was week 4 day 3 (even though I should be somewhere in week 3). It was not at all fun – so instead I’m gonna go back and actually do week 3 properly.

Anyway though, I did run three times this week! Yippie! I’ve gone up from running 90 seconds to running 3 minutes (and walking 2) to running 5 minutes (and walking 3 and then walking 2 – those 5s though are where I died so going back to 3s and then I think 4s before I get to 5s again).

A 2-week total of 16 km (ish). And about 28.5 km to date.

I’ve made it along Highway 2 (which is called Kingston Rd here) to between Sheppard Ave East (Toronto) and Altona Road (Pickering) – so I am smack dab in Rouge National Urban Park. It’s apparently the largest urban park in North America.

ADDED: I found a place to track it on a map! PLOTAROUTE

There’s an Act! *swoon* The Rouge National Urban Park Act.

The centre of the park is the Rouge River. Which is also the boundary between Toronto and Pickering. It’s part of the Oak Ridges Moraine watershed. I’ve never really been out there but it looks amazing. I really wanna go!

A picture of trees, flowers and a path. Could be anywhere but apparently it's in the Rouge somewhere.
From the Rouge’s website.

Visit the Rouge is the Canadian government website for the park. It has all sort of links to the area and planning out a trip, including letting you know how to get there and parking info and there’s even an app. Hmmmm I did finally threaten cajole Q into trying snowshoeing with me this year (I’ve never done it!). This seems like a great place to go for that.

Map of the entire Rouge National Urban Park.
Parks Canada:

Oh and then I found this stunning map on the Canadian Geographic website:

A relief map of the Rouge National Urban Park - a sort of colourized street map.

I tried to find a photo taken from the park of the City and I found this from 2017 on Park Canada’s twitter account:

A picture of some dude in a hipster sweater staring (what I assume is wistfully) over fall foliage in the direction of Toronto.

If you look very carefully, the CN Tower is there (albeit very faintly) in the top left corner behind the other skyscrapers.

Anyway, a month to leave the city. And I’m a little under 4 weeks away from my first 5k race in ohhhh 4 years. What the heck race did I run in 2018? Oh yeah! A fundraising run for Shelter Movers – still an amazing organization.


First two weeks of #RedleafWalking

A couple of friends decided to come along for the run/walk thing so at least one of my runs each week has been with them. It’ll take me a bit I think to try and not be overly self-conscious / self-critical but I’ll try!

So this is the end of two weeks – I’ve done four of the six planned runs. I’m okay with this because it’s four more runs than I did in the prior two weeks, or two months for that matter πŸ˜‰

So stats:

19/11/2022RunrandomDefault3.7 km38:3610:30
17/11/2022RunTreadmillDefault3.0 km30:5910:18
12/11/2022RunrandomDefault2.8 km30:1010:38
8/11/2022RunrandomDefault3.0 km30:5310:29
I track on a website called

For a 2-week total of 12.5 km (ish). Note that the 19 November run included a whole extra 5 min warm up walk due to technical difficulties lol

Highway 2 seems to be my standard route out of the city going east so 12.5 km away from Nathan Philips Square along Dundas St. until it turns into Kingston Road and along Kingston Road until it almost meets up with Danforth Ave.

AND that means I’m just looking out over one of the prettiest most utilitarian buildings in the city:

Go to:
credit info: image by Randy Hoffmann via Flickr

Yep – a water treatment plant. More specifically the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant. It’s still functional despite being in use since 1941. It’s definitely an art deco delight.

From Atlas Obscura:

It’s often been used as a prison or evil genius headquarters – in tv and film πŸ˜‰ In everything from Strange Brew to Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic; from comedy to horror and a bunch of stuff in between.