thirsty thursday: waterloo blueberry weizenbier

This week’s beer was my absolute favourite from the festival. If you’ve read past “thirsty thursday”, you may know that I have a thing for blueberry flavoured drinks. It’s very tough to find a good blueberry beer, sometimes you can’t really taste the blueberries, other times it doesn’t go with the beer but this one has been my favourite so far!

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It is a seasonal beer so I will definitely be buying as much beer as I can drink within its 3 month shelf life (probably more than anyone should drink). It is one of my favourite beers to date, and if you’re a fan of fruit beer, I would definitely recommend picking some of these up from the beer store before they’re gone!

thirsty thursday: heroes

One beer I enjoyed at the Toronto Festival of Beer was the Heroes lager. I had seen posts about it on Facebook, a local beer that donates a portion of their proceeds to Wounded Warriors Canada. wp-1470433242658.jpg

This beer is super easy drinking, it is light but flavourful and could definitely be described as an “everyday” beer. I chatted with the staff at the booth and they told me that 10% goes back to an extremely worthy cause and I noticed the server was taking the tabs off of the beer cans. I asked her if she was collecting them for wheelchairs and she said she was. It was something I honestly didn’t think still happened, I remember doing it in school but she said the legion will still collect them (and through some googling, I found March of Dimes will also take them), so now I’ve been collecting them at my desk and in my kitchen. It definitely takes a lot of them but I figure if the charities still take them, I’ll start collecting them!

Have you tried the new Heroes beer? What did you think?

 

thirsty thursday: apple cranberry cider

I hope you’re all having a great summer and keeping as busy as I am! Last weekend I got to attend the Toronto Festival of Beer, keeping my annual tradition (I almost had to miss it for a wedding but I made it work).

For the next few “thirsty thursdays”, I’m going to be sharing with you some of my favourites for the festival. My first one is from a brand that had one of my favourites last year too. Ironwood cider from Niagara-On-The-Lake had a great cranberry apple cider this year (last year, I loved their peach). It was the perfect balance of tart and sweet and packed a punch at over 6%. It was so easy to drink and perfect on the hot day we were having!

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The only downside is their seasonals are only available in Niagara-On-The-Lake, I guess it’s a great excuse to get out to the great beer and cider region of NOTL!

What was your favourite at this year’s festival?

bendy for beer: henderson brewery

Is it bad that I’ve lost track of the number of Detox to Retoxes we’ve done? It’s amazing, and this past weekend was no different!

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Henderson Brewery is one of the newest breweries in the city and they are definitely becoming a neighbourhood favourite. Walking distance to Lansdowne Station, this brewery is on Sterling, between Bloor and Dundas. I first discovered Henderson Brewery at an event at Evergreen Brickworks and I couldn’t wait until they were ready to host their first Detox to Retox!

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This past Sunday, a group of over 30 participated in an hour of yoga followed by a beer tasting of Henderson’s brews! It was great to try the new beer from this very promising brewery in the west end!

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Missed out on Henderson Brewery? Not to worry! The next event is August 14th at Lansdowne Brewery! Tickets are available at www.detoxtoretox.ca!

thirsty thursday: smirnoff electric orange

Well, summer is more than officially here. It is so very hot out that all I want to do is sit on a patio or in a pool and drink ice cold drinks.

This week’s thirsty thursday is definitely a summer drink! Smirnoff recently released new coolers that are not carbonated, which can be great when you don’t want something heavy or fizzy. There are three new flavours, electric orange and two more you can expect to see on future thirsty thursdays! These drinks are definitely on the sweeter side, and if you’re a fan of orange freezies, these are right up your alley. They have a great flavour and are perfect served ice cold (I enjoyed mine over ice).

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If you’re looking for a fun new drink to bring out to the pool or beach this summer, check out these newest coolers from Smirnoff!

Have you tried the new coolers? What did you think?

saving money on grown-up stuff

People that know me, know that I love to save money. I may have made my boyfriend book and cancel a hotel room 3 times last year because I kept finding better deals. We ended up saving $400, he never made fun of me again.

I particularly love saving money when it’s on “grown-up” things like insurance. I was recently talking to some co-workers at work and they were telling me that they left their cars in their small towns with their parents because their insurance would be close to $300/month which is so crazy! That is actually more than what I pay to own my car, I don’t blame them for deciding to park it and take transit in the city. When it comes to insurance, I usually check it every time I get a renewal and will happily change if I’m not getting the lowest price. I recently made some changes to my insurance and THEN I found out about LowestRates.ca, which I will definitely be using when I’m next up for renewal.

This site  helps people compare rates for car insurance companies, in just a few minutes and a little information, you can get a quote from 10 companies. It is so much easier than having to fill out the forms or even worse, call someone to be asked the same questions over and over again (although, now I can tell you exactly when I got my G1, G2 and G license). I input my vehicle information, along with my driving history and within 5 minutes, I received a quote from 10  insurance companies, highlighting which was the best deal for me. I could also add additional cars and drivers if necessary. Once I received my quote, I was also able to recalculate it based on changes to the coverage, such as deductible amount and amount of coverage. I found out that the insurance I’m with now is giving me the best rate available, which makes me very happy. As soon as I get my next renewal, I’ll be checking the comparison site again to make sure I’m still getting the best deal.

Lowest Rates also allows you to compare rates for mortgages, credit cards, car loans as well as a variety of insurances (part of being a grown-up is having insurance on more than just your car!). It can be so tedious and annoying to compare but not comparing can cost you several hundred dollars a year, as it was with my home insurance.

Next time you need to get a quote on any financial services, I would definitely recommend using a comparison site to make sure you’re getting the best deal so you can spend that money on other important things, you know – like beer, trying new restaurants, make-up and clothing.

 

madison community services annual gala

I wanted to share an awesome event coming up next Thursday! Madison Community Services is hosting their first gala at The Chefs’ House on King St. The evening begins with drinks and networking with attendees and the board. Following that, there will be a 4-course meal prepared by students of George Brown College’s Chef School.

Madison Community Services is an organization that promotes the independence, health, recovery, and community integration of persons with mental health and/or addictions challenges through advocacy, education and a broad range of case management, supportive housing, and other specialized services.

The event takes place next Thursday night and tickets are available online now for $125 each. These tickets will help fund programs such as RISE, aimed at helping refugees from war-torn countries with services to address both their mental health and settlement challenges and The Equitable Bank-Madison Client Bursary Fund which has provided funding for 77 clients to pursue formal education and professional skills training, they hope to increase this number in years to come.

I’m looking forward to this exciting event for a great cause – hope to see you there!

thirsty thursday: tyskie

Happy Thursday folks! It’s been a while since I posted a Thirsty Thursday and I’ve got so many great ones to share with you. Expect to see some from my travels east in the coming weeks. But! This week, I have a new beer.

This beer is a light Polish pilsner, Tyskie. I had never had it and was offered a sample to try it out and I have to say I was presently surprised. I have to admit, I kind of expected it to taste like most “generic” beers but this one was a little different. Definitely on the lighter side but the flavour was much stronger than you’d get from a Canadian or Budweiser and had a great after taste. It was slightly sweet but also bitter, it was a great tasting beer.

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I would definitely recommend checking out Tyskie if you’re looking for a new beer now that patio weather is finally upon us!

Have you tried Tyskie? What did you think?

east coast life

I’m really excited to share my most recent trip with all of you! I spent a week in a car with my boyfriend driving across the eastern part of the country. Was it crazy? Yes. Are we still together? Surprisingly, yes!

We left last Thursday night and drove to Riviere-Du-Loup. It’s not a huge city (although much bigger than some of our stops) but it’s about the half way point between Toronto and Halifax. There’s a really nice Best Western Plus if you ever find yourself in need of a room there and there’s of course a St. Hubert’s in town so you can’t really go wrong.

The next day we were off to Halifax, we stopped in a camping area to visit some family but we were in Halifax. The next day, we ate at the fun Chicken Burger, walked 10,000 steps before lunch and had a good ol’ fashioned kitchen party at my aunt and uncle’s. We had lobster which I’ve decided is only amazing when it is that fresh – and cooked in ocean water. Spoiled, I know. The next day, we did pier 21, stopped in a Garrison Brewery and did the Keith’s tour which is very theatrical and ridiculous but also really fun. I realized now that I didn’t take a ton of pictures in Halifax. I apparently was saving all my picture taking for the Cabot Trail.

So Monday morning, we were off to Baddeck. There happened to be a brewery 10 minutes from our hotel so we had to stop in there. We went to the Bell Museum, which was really neat. I didn’t realize that Alexander Graham Bell was so into flight. The town of Baddeck is only 700 people (but 600 hotel rooms). It wasn’t really nice out so we had dinner at the hotel and watched the raptors game. The next morning was a true highlight of the trip when we did the Cabot Trail. The Cabot Trail takes about 6 hours to do, if you don’t walk any of the trails. We just did the drive and with all of our stops for pictures and lunch and to buy folk art, we did it in 6 hours. This is just a few of the photos I took, but honestly pictures don’t do it justice. We were so lucky with the weather, it was originally supposed to rain but the sun was shining all day. I will say though, if you’re not a fan of heights, it might be a long day for you – the trail goes up and down several mountains and there were so points that really freaked me out but it was totally worth it.

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The drive was amazing – I would recommend it as a must see in Canada. Our next day was super crazy. We got up at 5am to drive through the fog to catch the ferry to Prince Edward Island. We went to Charlottetown for a few hours, a friend of my boyfriend’s showed us around. I actually wish we did a night in Charlottetown instead of the second night in Cape Breton, after we finished the trail, there wasn’t much else for us to do. Charlottetown was absolutely charming. It is definitely a small town and seemed to have a great selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars. And of course, it’s on the water so it’s super cute.

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I apparently only have a photo of us from Charlottetown on my phone – there were more pictures. Now, for the crazier part, we were driving to Quebec City – a nine hour drive from where we were. We took the bridge which was very pricey but very neat. We ended up in Quebec City around 11, which with the time difference made it a 19 hour day. Thankfully the beds were heavenly at the Delta Quebec.

We spent Thursday walking around Quebec City. I hadn’t been since I was a kid so didn’t really remember much. It felt as if we were in a European city, it was very old and very hilly. It was beautiful. We also went to dinner at the “best restaurant in quebec city” according to trip advisor. A bistro called iX, which is run by two guys. They only have 9 tables and only do one seating a night. Although it was a fairly casual restaurant, the food was fantastic and the enthusiasm from the owners was contagious. If you’re in Quebec City, I would recommend checking it out but make reservations weeks in advance, it’s very limited. Get the fois gras poutine. Trust me.

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We drove back on Friday, which meant we put about 5000kms on the car in about a week. It was totally worth it and I’m glad we did a Canadian trip this time. Sometimes I forget how beautiful this place really is!

 

 

contest: canadian sport film festival

A couple of years ago, I heard about the Canadian Sport Film Festival and got to see some amazing movies about sports. The film festival is now in its 8th year, the festival tells stories of sport, not from high performance scorelines but from a different angle, grass-roots and of social justice. A number of the films will also include Q&A with the directors as well as panel discussions following the films. Movies this year include stories of human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, mental health and youth culture. I’m really excited to be giving away a pair of festival passes, a value of $120!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find a detailed schedule of the festival here. Can’t wait to find out if you won the contest? Tickets are available online now and are $12 with discounts for seniors and students.