Month: April 2014

happy anniversary!

Today is a very special anniversary. One that makes me reflect on my life, wonder where time has gone and feel very nostalgic. Today of course, is the tenth anniversary of Mean Girls.

I was in grade ten when the movie came out, right smack in the middle of my four years of high school. One of my good friend’s (still one of my good friend’s) and I decided we were going to see this movie. We were known for doing really random things, seeing strange movies, going to weird events so this seemed right up our alley. We actually thought Mean Girls was going to more of a kids movie so we didn’t tell anyone in our class we were going. That didn’t matter since our entire French class was there anyways. We all wanted to see the movie, but none of us wanted to admit it. We didn’t really know most of the people in it at the time, except for Lindsay Lohan so we were all expecting a Freaky Friday type movie (great movie by the way).

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Well, we watched it and we fell in love. The movie was so accurate, so clever and so funny it was hard not to fall in love with it. Not to mention, the movie is perfectly quotable. Like so many movies that did well at the time (think Anchorman, Napolean Dynamite or Borat), they all did so well because the scenes became part of your vocabulary. With Borat, I knew most of the lines before even seeing the movie. This was a time when the internet was very real but it was “pre-Facebook” (not technically, but before everyone had it), before Twitter and memes were everywhere, these quotes were our version of memes and to be honest, I still occasionally quote the movie and could probably recite it from beginning to end if I really tried. In fact, by grade twelve, we were quoting the movie so hard my friends and I used Mean Girl quotes as our grad quotes in the yearbook. If that doesn’t say something about the movie, I don’t know what could.

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I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve seen it and I’ll probably watch it again in the future. In fact, I had a girls night in and we watched the movie and some of the scenes still made us laugh out loud. I had read earlier in the year that this was the tenth anniversary, and lately have been seeing a lot of buzzfeed quizzes, memes and tweets about the anniversary so I’m glad I’m not the only one excited by it. What about you? Did Mean Girls play any role in your life?

cosimo tucci: just talking

It is unbelievable the amount of talent that is in this city, but being talented isn’t always enough. It’s not easy to make it performing (here or in any city) but Cosimo Tucci isn’t letting that stop him. And he’s bringing us along for the ride.

Cosimo Tucci is a comedian and film maker with the dream of having his own live special at a comedy club. He knows that you have to be responsible for your own dreams and after a successfully funded kickstarter, he is making a comedy documentary called “Just Talking”, about his journey to take matters into his own hands. His dream was to headline a show in a comedy club and this Thursday, that dream is becoming a reality.

Performing at Second City in Toronto, the show will feature Garrett Jamieson, Lwam Ghebrehariat and of course, Cosimo Tucci and will be included in the film. Once the documentary is complete, the team hopes to submit the film to TIFF for 2014. So, this Thursday is your opportunity to not only see great comedy, but also see a film in the making. The show starts at 10:30pm and is only $5.

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book v movie: we need to talk about kevin

It’s been said time and time again that the movie is never as good as the book. I think most of the time it’s just not possible to include all the details in the 120 minutes but also you’re viewing someone else’s interpretation of the text and may not include things you found important.

I started reading “we need to talk about kevin” about a week and a half ago. I enjoyed the novel but it definitely wasn’t my favourite. It had been a long time since I read an epistolary type novel so I found it a little hard to get into. I also found the main character Eva a little grating at times. Without given away too much, the story is basically about a couple constantly at odds over their son. The mother believes that he may be a sociopath whereas his father believes that she’s just being too hard on him and constantly takes their son’s side. It was an interesting concept because I’m sure this struggle happens everywhere, maybe not to this degree but the idea of good cop/bad cop is definitely not a foreign one. I also thought the way she planned to have a child was interesting, it also speaks a lot about the parent/child relationship. The novel is pretty haunting, although I had known that going into it so that didn’t surprise me. Although it deals with some dark scenes and ideas, the novel isn’t too gruesome, something I wouldn’t be able to read.

So, I finished the novel on Friday and I watched the movie on Saturday and to be honest, I thought the movie would be scarier. It could be because I read the novel so knew what to expect but I watched it during the day because I was so afraid of being afraid (so ridiculous, I’m sure). The movie did a fairly good job of capturing the details and the timelines, although  I think it would have been important to show Eva and her husband before Kevin, which is done in the novel and gives you a completely different sense of them. I also felt they left out a few details I found important at the end but I guess that’s what happens when someone else interprets it.

This novel presents some very interesting and troubling ideas and although some of the scenes dragged a bit, I would recommend this novel.

What’s everyone reading now? I’m currently on “I am Malala” – expect a review of that soon :)

April 25-27: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in toronto

Happy Friday! Hope you all had a nice week and none of you get blown away by the Wizard of Oz like winds out there. :)

Here’s a few things going on in the city this weekend.

Do: The Green Living show is taking place this weekend at the direct energy centre. The show will have a variety of exhibitors from food to transportation to fashion and more. There will also be presentations throughout the show focused on food, fitness, health and home. The show runs until Sunday.

See: Hot Docs starts this weekend (and runs until May 4th. As always there are a ton of amazing documentaries screening. Films are being shown throughout downtown including the Hot Docs cinema on Bloor. There are so many films to choose from, there’s certainly one for everyone. Regular tickets are $14.60 and it is also possible to purchase 10 and 20 packs.

Eat/Drink: Do you like to drink for a good cause? I know I do! Tonight at the Gladstone, they’re hosting the F*CK WINTER, LET’S DANCE! event in support of the LGBT Yoth Line. This charity supports the LGBT Youth Line, a toll-free peer-support line for the LGBT community under 26 years old. The party starts at 9:30pm and goes until last call. Drink for a great cause! Don’t feel like cooking? I mean, it’s Friday! Hit up the Melody Bar before hand, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve had there in the past.

Have a great weekend.

Inspired by another blogpost I saw this week, NSYNC is my song of the week!

thirsty thursday: blue raspberry lemonade

I love summery drinks. Just something about the sun and an ice cold drink that just sounds like heaven. I love the drink menu at Jack Astor’s, and love hitting their patio in the summer so expect some of my favourites coming up in the near future.

This week, I decided to start with their blue raspberry lemonade, the name doesn’t leave much room for imagination but that’s ok, the drink is delicious and that’s what matters. The drink is a vodka mixed drink with lemonade and blue raspberry flavouring. It’s pretty tart so I can’t usually have more than one of them but one is enough for me to enjoy in the sun and then it’s on to the next one.

i also love their glasses!
I also love their glasses!

Have you tried the lemonade? What’s your favourite patio drink?

beerworking: combining the best with the necessary

We’ve heard it a thousand times, and now you’ll hear it again “your network is your networth”. Over the past year or so, I’ve realized how important networking is. One of my first posts on the blog was about a networking event I went to. I’ve been trying to grow that network ever since for so many reasons. Yes, it could possibly help you get a job someday, but it could also help you build side projects (like my blog), make friends, get new contacts because you never know when you’ll need to find a fire eater, and there may just be one in your network (this is a semi-true reference to my life). One of the best speakers I’ve ever seen is Bobby Umar, his line about networking is not about what I can get from you but it’s what I can do for you, which is great, maybe you can help a new local company, maybe you can make that connection that will land someone their dream job – wouldn’t that be an awesome feeling?

So anyways, back to the event. Although most of us have accepted that like booking our own dentist appointments or paying our bills, networking is part of being a grown-up. But that doesn’t make it fun or easy – until now. Beerworking is exactly what it sounds like, it combines the networking with beer. It’s designed for young professionals who know that this is an important part of our careers but hate being thrown into a room with a bunch of business cards, not knowing what to do. Even though I was going with a friend, I was still feeling nervous, until I read the event description and thought “no, this is going to be fun”.

My friend and I signed in and we were given a few beer tickets and some instructions. Our first beer ticket was for our first half pint and we would receive samples throughout the network-speed-dating and two tickets for after the session to enjoy two more half-pints while continuing conversations with people or starting new ones with people we hadn’t met.

My friend and I headed over to get our beers (the event was sponsored by Wellington Brewery, great beer by the way, definitely will come up in some thirsty thursdays in the next couple of weeks). We started talking to a few people, we arrived on time and it was a little empty. The event was in an open meeting room like space so it was easy to see and speak to people. About a 45 minutes later, the room had filled up nicely and an announcement was made and the speed-networking would begin.

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We stood 6 people to a table, one side of the table would rotate after about 5-7 minutes to the next table. The extremely lovely Crystal Luxmore, beer writer for the GridTO walked us through how to properly “taste” beer and each one of the beers we tasted. The table also had a list of talking points for each of the beers, in case you encountered that awkward networking silence, but to be honest, I didn’t have that problem at all.

my tasting cup and half-pint
my tasting cup and half-pint

I learned about some great events, great companies (some of which I hope to feature on the blog in the future) and met some great people. Although I was glad I came with a friend because that always makes things easier, we definitely did not stick together all night. We talked to different people and made different connections.The event wrapped up around 9pm, a perfectly reasonable hour and I went home with my clutch full of business cards (and myself, full with a little beer).

I would highly recommend this event in the future, in fact, I plan on attending the event on April 30th sponsored by Beau’s because, I love Beau’s and I really found some value in the event. Tickets are $25 for the event which includes the beer I mentioned and some snacks (popcorn, chips, pretzels). The last event had a 2 for $40 that I took advantage of, I don’t know if the same promotion will run again but the event is definitely worth the $25. I’ve even convinced a few friends to join me at the next one.

The next three events are April 30th, May 14th and May 28th. Check the website or their twitter for the brewery details and to follow along with this awesome event. If you know you need to start networking but the whole idea terrifies you, this is an event to try, everyone is so great, friendly and welcoming. If you’re someone is who is really comfortable with networking, you should still come because it’s a great way to meet young professionals doing some pretty remarkable things in this city. Hope to see you there!

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I also grabbed dinner before the event next door at the chickery. My friend wanted to include his short review!

“The chicken finger sandwich was incredible. Hot sauce would have made it perfect. Don’t bother trying to fool yourself that you’re being healthy by getting the collard greens and get the mac instead.”

spring gala: the bay fairview

I know I keep saying it but Spring is here (maybe it’s because winter lasted forever!) and that means gives us a great reason to update our make-up collections. Time to update to the newest trends like orange (I think I found a lipstick that doesn’t make me look like a pumpkin) or nudes for the bohemian chic look and the bay fairview’s spring gala is a great way to update your look. The event is Friday, April 25th – from 2pm-9pm and tickets are available for purchase until April 24th.

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For $10, you get a ticket to the party, $8 of which can be put towards a purchase and $2 goes to “Look Good, Feel Better” a charity helping women living with cancer. All the counters will be doing demos to help you update your look and try out colours you might not normally consider. There will also be food, drinks, manicures, hair styling, eyebrow shaping, henna, an engraver and a DJ between 2pm-9pm. Also, each counter will have a gift with purchase over $75. There will also be a draw every hour, on the hour for great prizes from the cosmetic department. So, if you want to get your spring beauty products but don’t really know where to start, this is a great opportunity to get your look ready for the warmer weather..

 

April 18-20: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in the city of toronto

It’s the weekend! A long one at that (and for some a super long weekend) so even though the weekend has technically begun there is still plenty of time to make plans. Here’s some ideas if you’re not sure what to do.

Do: If Easter means eating as much sugar as humaly possible, Tasty Tours has you covered this weekend. They have a few different tours going on, two sweets tours on Sunday with space still available (there is a chocolate tour tomorrow that currently has a waitlist). If you’re looking to indulge your sweet tooth while finding some new local shops, this tour is for you.

See: Didn’t get tickets to the playoff game but still want to watch the Raptors ‘defend the north‘ as they start their series against the Nets? Well you can head down to the Square outside of the ACC tomorrow (and all the games throughout the playoffs) and watch it on the big screens. This is an all-ages event so everyone is welcome to go down and watch your Raptors try for victory.

Eat: Many people will be enjoying brunch for Easter Sunday this weekend and because I can’t choose one restaurant – it just seems unfair, I’m going to suggest the blogTO’s list. They have found the places open and offering what I assume will be delicious brunch on Sunday. Some places are taking reservations (usually unheard of for brunch) so best to try otherwise I expect you’ll be waiting a long time.

Drink: Did you forget that almost everything was closed today? Don’t worry, it does happen. And as such, you don’t have any beer to enjoy on your Friday off? Well not to worry, Amsterdam Brewery (maker of one of my favourite beers) has you covered! Both of their retail locations are open today, the one in Leaside until 9pm and the Brewhouse is open until 11pm to allow you to save the day – with beer of course.

thirsty thursday: galaxy hop

This week will be the last of my features from my Spring Beer Fest. This was a beer I had wanted to try for a while but was weary of committing to a whole case, even a 6-pack is a big commitment for me. The galaxy hop by Alexander Keith’s in part of their hop series. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge hop fan but promises of tropical fruit were calling my name.

And it did not disappoint. Although you could definitely taste the hops, there was definitely fruit flavours that made this hoppy beer easy to enjoy. I may purchase a case, just so I can get the infuser (I know, I’m a marketer’s dream but I really love flavoured beer). I don’t think I could drink a lot of this beer at one time but if you’re a fan of hops and like a little sweetness to your beer, this is the one for you.

Enjoy your Thursday evening and (hopefully) your day off tomorrow!

summer prep: body scrubs

Even though the weather has been all over the place lately, summer is actually coming. I promise (actually, I’m not even sure anymore, tomorrow is not looking so good). Assuming that summer is coming soon, that means there will be a lot more exposed skin, skirts, dressed, shorts, tanks are in our future, time to get that skin ready for that fresh air.

I love body scrubs, they just feel so great so I thought I’d share my thoughts on two popular brands – Golden Sugar from Bath and Body Works (Cashmere Glow) and The Body Shop’s Satsuma Body Polish. They’re both around the same price point, although both stores seem to have some sort of sale going on. The regular price for the Golden Sugar is $16 and the Body Polish is $20.

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Although I expected these products to be similar, I was surprised in how different these products were. I found the Golden Sugar Scrub to be thicker and had more of a texture. It was really like large grains of sugar in the scrub. I found the Body Polish to be more of a soap texture. It wouldn’t be possible to wash with the Golden Sugar Scrub whereas I think it would be possible with the Body Polish.

 

Golden Sugar Scrub & Body Polish
Golden Sugar Scrub & Body Polish

Both of these scrubs have a nice scent. I love the vanilla aspects of the cashmere glow but I don’t think anything can beat The Body Shop’s satsuma, I think a lot of their success must be attributed to that scent. Both stores have a bunch of scents to choose from so you’re likely to find something you like.

I’m really excited about the weather getting nicer, and about all my summer products, scents and colours. Are there any products you love for the summer?