contest: toronto festival of beers!

It’s that time of year again, the Toronto Festival of Beers is just around the corner.

This year, the Toronto Festival of Beers is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, because well beer in Canada is amazing. There will be a #Canada150 pavilion with award winning beers, mashups and Canadian eats. I’m excited for this year’s event because there are a number of breweries on the list that I’ve never heard of, I love using festivals as a way to find out about new breweries and new beers that I might not be able to get in the city.

And this year, the Toronto Festival of Beer is expanding on their food offerings, with their #TasteTFOB Grilling Tent, featuring chefs from some of Toronto’s hottest restaurants.

And now for the real fun! I’m giving away two pairs of tickets for Sunday, July 30th. Enter below for your chance to bring your beer-loving-bestie to the biggest beer festival in the city!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

read: the other einstein

So, for my birthday last month, I got a present that I had been majorly hinting at – the kobo aura. I had wanted it so I could read books in bed without having to get up when I was done to turn off the light, or keep the lights on when my fiance was trying to sleep #firstworldproblems.
The first book I borrowed from the library was ‘the other einstein’, a historical fiction novel about Albert Einstein’s wife, Mileva Maric. A brilliant women, they met in university at a time when it was thought to be foolish for women to go to university. The story follows them throughout their marriage and her struggle with her desire to remain in the world of science while supporting her husband and children.
A very interesting novel, I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of historical fiction.
What’s on your summer reading list?

getaway to kingston

I know, you’re probably thinking, Kingston? Why Kingston?

Well, there was a number a reasons. I wanted a little getaway, a short enough drive away and wanted to stay in Canada. We’ve done Niagara a bunch so this seemed like a fun way to mix it up. We were celebrating my fiance’s 30th, he likes history, waterfronts and eating, so Kingston was perfect.

We arrived around 10am, we knew we were too early to check in so we hopped on the hop-on-hop-off tour. Unfortunately it was pretty chilly in the morning so we didn’t hop-off but did the bus tour around Kingston. The tour was a little cheesy but it took us to all the sites we wanted to see, like the Royal Military College and the Kingston Penitentiary.

 

After the tour, we were hungry so we went to Harper’s Burger Bar, recommended by the hotel front desk (and later endorsed by many Queen’s alum on my Facebook). The burger was amazing, the bun was so good, like melt in your mouth good. I had the waffle fries, which were ok, I wish I had of just had the burger, but I’m usually weird like that.

We walked around Princess St, going in to lots of non-sense stores and bakeries. Once we were done there, we headed to city hall, where they were offering tours for free. It’s a neat building with a lot of history, and well, I can’t turn down a free tour. By this time, it was time to check in. We checked in to our beautiful (but pricey) room for the night. Since it was a special occasion, I splurged on a room at the Delta with a view. The city was very busy with convocations so I don’t think that helped the price tag. But the bed was lovely, the view was beautiful and the location was amazing.

After check-in, we headed to the oldest brewery in Ontario, the Kingston Brewing Company. I had the dark lager, which I loved and my fiance had their ale, which was also quite good. I also had their sangria which was made with the cider, and while it was no Cuban Sangria, it was also delicious.

Birthday brews at Ontario’s oldest brewery. #darklarger #ktown #kingston #ladiesdrinkcraft

We then went to an Irish pub to listen to jazz music (as you do). This was much more of a thing for my fiance but it was his birthday, the band was good, I just didn’t really know the music, whereas my fiance knew all the words. It was then time for our late night dinner. I made the reservations late, because I thought it was Kingston and it would be no big deal but apparently it gets really busy so we had to wait until 9pm to eat. A friend recommended the place, Wooden Heads and it got lots of great reviews online. From the website, I thought it was a more casual place but I figured it would be fine since the reviews were so good and it did not disappoint. It was also much nicer inside than the restaurant’s website would lead you to believe.


I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, the food was great. We ended the evening as we do at least one on every trip at the lobby bar of our hotel with old fashioned. They were out of their regular bourbon so we had the made a little fancier and they were so good. The perfect way to cap off the day.


The next morning we went for breakfast at Windmills, where my fiance had the apple pancake, which was almost like a full blown apple cake and I had the perogies and eggs, which came with home fries which was a bit of an overkill but it was very delicious. We walked around the farmer’s market and headed over to the Bellevue House, where Sir John A MacDonald lived for a year while he was in Kingston. We ended our trip with visiting his grave, closer to the highway, which was hard to find and not very well marked but my fiance was glad we made the trip.

So, TL:DR of this post is, if you’re looking for a quick getaway, love history, eating, drinking and/or waterfronts, Kingston is a great place to go!

contest: canadian sports film festival

It’s that time of year again! The Canadian Sports Film Festival is back for it’s 9th year, and I’m excited to be giving away passes again this year.

The festival takes place June 9th-11th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and will feature movies from all over the world, a number of them making their North American debut at the festival.

Tickets can be purchased online here but as I said, I’m giving away passes which gets you into every movie including opening and closing night!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! Contest closes next Wednesday night, the winner will be announced on Thursday, June 8th!

bloggers who drink lagers take cuba!!

I have been struggling with the blog lately! I’m sorry, the photos have not been cooperating but I think I got it figured out but forgive me, there aren’t tons of photos!

So, if you had of asked me when I started blogging almost 5 years ago if I thought I’d be going to Cuba with bloggers I met through blogging, I would have thought you were crazy! But that’s what’s happening. So our little jogging group ended up a couple of years later in Cuba and it was great!

We traveled to Cuba for Happy or Hungry’s wedding! We were known to her friends as the bloggers, which was cute. I had never been to Cuba and it had been almost two years since my last all-inclusive and so I was excited. We stayed at the Quatro Palmas in Varadero, which is right ‘downtown’ Varadero. It was a smaller, older resort but it was perfect for our group. For the price, it was pretty great – and the food was decent. That’s what I always heard about Cuba, that the food is terrible and this was usually edible (sometimes good, the bread was fresh baked and so good).

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But with views like this, who cares what the food is like! We had varying degrees of good food, there was good-good, cuba-good and terrible. We did discover something we called a Cuban sangria. They asked us if we wanted sangria, and you never say no to sangria so we ordered a round. I could see from my seat the lady mixing it and I told the table, you don’t know what’s about to happen. It was red wine and sprite and it was delicious. I will definitely have that this summer! I guess it’s a red wine spritzer but I don’t think that’s normally a thing.

A couple of us also took a day trip to Havana and it was breathtaking. I had heard about the beautiful old American cars but nothing can describe how beautiful the architecture of Havana is.

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If you want to see some amazing Havana photos, check out Happy or Hungry’s wedding photos. They’re straight out of a bridal magazine, they’re unbelievable.

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We had a great time in Cuba, the sunshine, the ocean and the good times is just what I needed, I think there’s even talks of reunion trips this summer.

Have you been to Cuba? What was your favourite part?

world cocktail day with wyborowa

It’s world cocktail day! As if we needed an excuse! It’s a Saturday, the weather is tolerable and summer is just right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for a cocktail.

I had the opportunity to try Wyborowa, a rye based vodka from Poland. Canadian mixologist, Scott Barber from Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro created a number of cocktails with Wyborowa for world cocktail day.

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I tried Scott Barber’s Intrepid Spring:
1.5oz Wyborowa Vodka
1oz fresh lemon juice
.75oz lavender syrup
2 dashes of soda
4 muddled grapes

It was a refreshing drink and a smooth vodka, that can be paired with a great cocktail or sipped (if that’s your kind of thing). How are you celebrating world cocktail day?

brunchin’ – aviv

We all know that brunch can be an exhausting endeavour but sometimes you just don’t want to make breakfast and McDonald’s again would just mean things have gotten out of hand. 

So we were happy when we found a place called Aviv, just steps from Dupont station that accepted open table reservations. I already liked this place, it means I wouldn’t have to stand in some ridiculous line for eggs. 

The menu is a middle eastern style but still with classics like bacon and eggs and pancakes. The place wasn’t very busy when we got there at 10:45am so if reservations aren’t your style, you likely won’t have to wait too long for a table anyways. 

While we waited for friends, we started with dessert, which seems to be our thing these days. 

It was banana bread pudding with Nutella so it was of course delicious, you can’t go wrong. 

For my main, I had the beef brisket hash and it was also very good. 

Cheese, meat, potatoes – how can you go wrong?

The service was great and it was reasonably priced. They have a small patio for those so inclined. I’d recommend aviv if you’re looking for a casual and easy brunch on the subway! 

the corsage project

It’s prom season. It’s something that doesn’t really dawn on me now that I’m many years out of high school…

But I was pretty prom obsessed. I was the treasurer on my prom committee so basically the nerd of the prom committee but it basically launched my career. And I often forget how stressful it was, the hair, the make up, the shoes, the dress and all the other little details. 

So I was excited to hear about The Corsage Project, a charity that helps girls from underserved parts of the city have one less stress in high school, how they’ll be able to afford their prom outfit. I went to see the selection process today and it was truly exciting. This year, 250 deserving girls had the opportunity to select a brand new prom dress as well as jewelery, shoes, and accessories. 

This morning at the TRL, the Bluma Appel Salon was turned into a prom paradise. Rows and rows of dresses and shoes perfectly organized, by size and colour. Each girl got matched with a “fairy godmother” that helps her find everything she needs. 

It was awesome to see all the girls trying on their dresses, taking piles of them to try on and then matching them to everything else. 

It’s a fun project that is always looking for support, either by monetary donation or items such as new formal wear, accessories, new make up or services such as hair, make up and nail services. 

galaxy photoz: uber for photographers

 

Looking for a photographer can be a daunting task. I’m constantly seeing people looking for recommendations on my Facebook for photographers for weddings, newborn photos and headshots and a new app is looking to make that search easier.

Galaxy Photoz is a platform where you can find professional photographers for future events or for last minute shoots. You choose where, when, and how much you want to pay and then let the app work for you, this means no searching for locations or calling around for prices.

Leanne FergusonIt will also allow photographers the opportunity to manage their capacity. With requests coming in on-demand, photographers can fill gaps in their schedule with last-minute requests.   

Galaxy Photoz has launched a campaign on Indiegogo here. There’s lots of great products that you can buy to support them coming to market. Choose from, perks including drones, selfie sticks, photo shoots starting at $100 and more (if you’ve ever hired a photographer, you know that’s a great price). The app will be launching in June 2017 in Toronto with plans to expand worldwide!

chubby stick lipstick

Now, as someone who has been in marketing a few years, I don’t know that I’d name a make up product chubby but clinique is sticking with it. For Christmas, I got a gift set that I think contains every chubby stick ever made, and while I haven’t tried all of the colours, I am powering through them.

If you haven’t seen them before, they look like a giant chubby crayon (hence the name) and come in a variety of colours. I find that they are not consistently pigmented, so some are bolder than others but for the most part I’ve been happy with the coverage. Now, they don’t stay on as well as a stain of course but they feel a lot nicer on the lips than a stain. They are moisturizing and the colour wears pretty well, not great if you’re eating and drinking but stays on better than some other glosses I’ve had in the past.

The one thing I absolutely hate about the chubby sticks are the lids. I don’t know if it’s because I have the smaller size, but the lid does not stay on, so I’ve had quite a bit of my stuff covered in lipstick. I now keep it in it’s own little bag, which is really a lot of effort for a lipstick but I do like the colour and variety (since I have about 25 of them), I just wish the lids would stay on.

I would recommend the chubby sticks if you’re looking for a moisturizing colour and I’d recommend colour testing in store just to make sure you get the coverage you’re looking for.

Have you tried the chubby sticks? What did you think?