There are many things I’m enjoying about my new single life and a couple of things I hate. One of the biggest, and lamest, changes has been my new found dependence on public transportation.

I hate taking the bus. I’d rather walk. But when that’s not an option I’m often left standing at the side of the road freezing my tail off wondering why I’ve seen 6 buses come the opposite direction while I’m still standing here.

Luckily in the past week I’ve been given two secret weapons to aid in this endeavour – which I am more than thankful for with the snowy weather just a couple months away.

Not so secret weapon 1 – GPS bus tracking

Just text 560-560 with the bus stop number and bus route number (example 7567 7) and you will get a text back right away with the next three times the #7 bus is supposed to stop at stop number 7567. The times with an *, are real time from the GPS on the bus.

Sometimes it backfires and the bus is delayed a little longer than you were told last time you checked, so you can re-text to check on it.

Invaluable when it comes to knowing if there is another bus coming shortly after that packed one, or if the bus is running 2 minutes early so shake a leg! It will also allow you to maximize your time in a warm sheltered spot before heading to the bus stop.

Not so secret weapon 2 – Cream of Fall Vegetable Soup

Quick and simple. Throw it in a pressure cooker and you’ll be warmed from the inside out in no time.

1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 sweet potato cut into large pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/2 a turnip, chopped
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup barley
3 cups broth
1/2 red onion
1/2 TBSP dried dill
1/4 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 TBSP dijon mustard

Combine first 9 ingredients into a pressure cooker, turn on high and lock lid. Once lid locks into place turn heat down to medium and allow to simmer away for 30 minutes until everything is nice and soft.

Add final ingredients and combine with an immersion blender or in a regular one. Check seasonings and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.