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Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Life in February: Poutineville, Valentine's Day, and The Casual Vacancy

February was a much quieter month for me than January... and I consider that a good thing. It was overall a very relaxing month spent indoors cozying up against the cold!


Earlier this month, I celebrated a friend's birthday at Poutineville, a gourmet poutine restaurant. Our party ordered a "Heart Attack," a 15-pound behemoth of poutine carried out by our waiter whilst wearing a lab coat:

OMG SO MUCH DELICIOUS POUTINE!! If you don't know, poutine is a Canadian dish that consists of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. It usually comes in fast-food-quality form - that is to say, nothing TOO special. But this restaurant, Poutineville, specializes in various different poutine dishes and really augments the quality of them too. DELISH!! Our party easily polished off a Heart Attack and had to order another one for the table. I would definitely go back to Poutineville sometime to try out what other varieties of poutine they have to offer!


In February, I also "celebrated" Valentine's Day. That's in quotes because I've never personally felt the need to do anything particularly special pertaining to the holiday before.
The card I gave my boyfriend for Valentine's Day this year, hee hee (source)
So yes, nothing super special for Valentine's Day this year (or any other prior Valentine's Day), but I DID get to spend the day with my boyfriend's grandparents, whom I haven't had the chance to visit with in a long time. It was so lovely to visit with them for the day and eat good food! For me, the important thing about Valentine's Day is that you spend it with loved ones or share your love with them in some way. So I call this Valentine's Day a success!


And finally, I also took in the first two episodes of The Casual Vacancy, the BBC adaptation of the J.K. Rowling book with the same name:



When approaching book-to-movie/TV adaptations, I always try my darnedest not to get TOO caught up in the details of the book and everything the show is getting wrong. The important thing is that the overall tone and message are captured from the book. And I think this BBC adaptation accomplishes that. But. There are definitely a few changes that were made in the transition that niggle at me. For the most part, the changes that were made were necessary ones - things that wouldn't have translated well to the TV medium from the book. But I'm not quite sold on this adaptation to be honest. The Casual Vacancy, the book, moved me in SUCH powerfully meaningful ways. I have yet to experience the same depth of feeling from the TV show (though there is still one more episode to go, so fingers crossed!). In addition to which, in the book Jo's political views are on full display, and yet weaved in so expertly and subtly into the novel's storyline and themes. The TV Show on the other hand is definitely more on the nose. BUT enough nitpicking: this BBC adaptation of The Casual Vacancy really IS pretty dang good (some quibbles aside) and I'm enjoying it so far.


Blog Posts in February:

Waiting On Wednesday: Penguin Spring 2015 Catalog
Waiting On Wednesday: Random House Spring 2015 Catalog
Review: Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman - 5 Stars
Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare - 2 Stars
Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - 5 Stars
Series Review: The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan - 4 Stars
My Life in January: O.Noir, Potted Potter, and Dino Hunts
Also: I guest posted over at Random Ramblings' Show and Tell feature - three other bloggers and I showed off a special book in our lives and talked about why we loved it!


Best Book Read in February:


In preparation for the TV adaptation, I reread The Casual Vacancy (via audiobook) this month and was again reminded of what a masterpiece it is. Even though it's a completely different book from Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling's stamp is still clearly all over it - from the intricate characters, to the clever writing, to the insightful and politically-charged themes and messages. This book is EVERYTHING and it is BRILLIANT! I know, I KNOW I'm definitely in the minority with this one as most people were either bored to tears by it or outright hated it, but what can I say? I loved every minute of it! Definite all-time fave.

33 comments :

  1. I will read The casual vacancy for my book club next month and I'm pretty excited (and still a little scared) for it. I might go and see the TV show afterwards, but I want to experience the book first.

    What an AWESOME Valentine's card :D

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    1. Eeep I hope you love it!!! You'll have to be patient with it though...

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  2. i haven't read the casual vacancy so i haven't been keeping tabs on the show. Omg that Heart attack! I must check if there's a poutineville here in ontario. I hope they have a vegetarian options XD. That valentines card is so cute and so you!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. Yup, I went to one in Toronto! I think it originated in Montreal though. They definitely have veg options!

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  3. I was wondering if you were watching the Casual Vacancy which I admit I only know about because it promos right after Call the Midwife in the BBC channels and I looove call the midwife.

    Poutine sounds delicious, actually, I love fries and cheese at least, lol, but I know we are talking about fancy poutine here.

    That card was lovely and I'm with you on the nothing to special V-day, though it was fun to watch the kids at my school haul these 4 feet-tall teddy bears up and down four flights of stairs. Corny yes, but they are 16 so I guess corny is all they are right now.

    Hope March is even better, dear!!

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    1. I will have to take you out for poutine if you ever visit me in Canada :D:D

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  4. It looks like you had such a relaxing month, and I've definitely been noticing more of your posts in my Bloglovin' feed (YAY!)! Omg, I'm not a Canadian so I didn't know what poutine was, but the way you described it makes me want to try some SO BAD. mmmm. And woah I totally didn't know The Casual Vacancy is going on-screen!

    And I really love those Harry Potter Valentine's Day cards. I really do.

    Lovely month, Aylee! Here's to a fantastic month of March!

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    1. It's yummy! You must visit me here if you want to try it :)

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  5. Poutine <3 Yeah haha, I am living in Québec, so you get poutine WHEREVER you go. Seriously, it is everywhere. Not complaining, just facting hehe ^^ It's pretty good, glad you like it too :) and, omg, I never saw that big of a poutine plate!!!

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    1. Heh, that doesn't sound so bad to me!

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  6. I did not know The Casual Vacancy was a TV show already. I remember something about knowing it would be, but it’s moved along so fast (it seems). I didn’t actually read the book, only a chapter or two, because I didn’t like it much, but I would be interested in seeing the TV adaptation, as I think that would work more easily for me. I hope it becomes available here!

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    1. Maybe it would work better for you... though I have to say I was super disappointed with the ending...

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  7. I really loved The Casual Vacancy; sorry you don't LOVE the TV show, but I'm glad you are trying to watch it with an open mind and I hope the next/last episode is good. I really want to watch it! I didn't realize it was out already. I wonder if BBC America will get it soon.

    Sounds like you had a nice February. I love the card you gave your boyfriend. Too funny.

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    1. I believe it will be airing on HBO instead of BBC America. I hope you love it! I was pretty disappointed with the ending...

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  8. I didn't know that they made Casual Vacancy into a tv show! huh

    That poutine looks delish. I just had cheese curds for the first time recently and they were yummy.

    You had an excellent February!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  9. That poutine dish is huge! I've only tried poutine once - way back in high school after my friends repeatedly told me how good it is - because I realized I don't like soggy fries nor am I crazy about cheese (unlike my siblings). Also, my poutine had halal gravy, which may or may not taste differently from regular gravy.

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    1. Hummm, I don't know. It might be worth trying again at a fancier establishment!

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  10. Woah, that is one epic poutine! I can't believe you guys finished it all AND went back for seconds! XD I'm the same as you on Valentine's Day, it's never been a big deal for me - but that card you got the BF is wonderful ♥ And it's a shame that the Casual Vacancy tv show didn't quite do the book justice - isn't it always the way though?! Sigh. I'll wait to watch the show until I actually read the book though hehe Here's to a wonderful March lady xx

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    1. Hee, of course! It was DELISH. And yes, sadly that is almost always the way...

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  11. Poutineville! So jealous. I tried poutine for the first time last summer and loved it. It's rare to find it in the US, which surprises me, because except for the cheese curds, it has flavors Americans love. The cheese curds would go over great in Wisconsin and Minnesota though, where cheese curds are a big cultural dish (so yummy fried!). But there is a local diner here in Montana that makes Poutine Waffles. I haven't tried them yet but it sounds delicious.

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    1. Poutine Waffles! Heh, I would like to try that. Come visit me in Toronto and I will take you out to Poutineville!

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  12. I’m pretty sure that’s the best valentine’s card ever :) I’ve never had poutine. If I did I would want to get a gourmet version - the fast food version sounds kind of bleh.

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    1. Isn't it though? :) The fast food version is mostly fine for a quick fix. It's just not anything special.

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  13. That looks amazing. I must try it some time!

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  14. I love that your waiter was wearing a lab coat when he brought out your Poutine, haha!
    I had no idea that the BBC was making a tv adaption of The Casual Vacancy, I really need to read that one, especially since you loved it so much!

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    1. Just remember to keep an open mind going into The Casual Vacancy because it can be a bit hard to get into!

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  15. How fun! I wish I was more of a mystery reader because I do enjoy JKR's writing.....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. Oh, well The Casual Vacancy isn't a mystery at all... maybe you're thinking of her Cormoran Strike series.

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  16. I am super late to comment on this, but oh well. On my God! I love Poutine! I had tried it in some local Canadian chain, and it was oh so delicious! Come to think of it, my mouth is already watering. I'm glad you loved it too! Next time I'm up there in Canada, we have a poutine date, my friend.

    I love those Valentine's Day and Harry Potter themed quotes. They are hilariously and sickeningly romantic, MuggleNet would share some on their Instagram, and I would die laughing! And yes!!! The Casual Vacancy... I, uh, am yet to read the book, but that trailer looks promising.

    You seem to have had a great month, and I cannot wait to see what you were up to in March. Happy reading!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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    1. haha, so glad you got to try some poutine while you were here!! And definitely, I would be totally down for a poutine date!!

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