Month: December 2014

seemed like a good idea

I live in a very small condo, occasionally (often) space is an issue. My room never had space for a dresser, all I had was a closet. I decided a few months ago to buy a closet organizations and after months of procrastination, I finally decided that I had to put it up. I roped in (bribed with beer and meals) a building buddy and got to work.

yup...  it had to be done.
yup… it had to be done.

For the record, I hate those hanging t-shirt bags, maybe because I had to stuff them to the brink. So with pizza and beer in hand, we got to work (after a jeopardy break, of course). First we had to google how to take the existing system out. Once we had that done we thought it would be smooth sailing. Not so much, we needed a stud finder, which I’m not sure how well it worked and I hope this stuff is in studs. This took about two hours (including the trip to Canadian Tire) and we were exhausted. We decided best to regroup and try again the morning.

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In the morning it started to look like a closet, which really only took an hour, once we got the hang of it. I used the Rubbermaid system for 4′-8′ closets. I also purchased drawers to go with it but I don’t think I will use them – instead we made a quick trip to Ikea and got a Malm. I finally have a dresser again, it’s just in my closet this time.

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The photos aren’t spectacular, it’s been very dark the past couple of days – best time to take on a little reorganization project. Hopefully I will start 2015 a little more organized (by that I mean, my bedroom looks amazing – the rest of the place may take some time). Once we got into a flow of building, it went pretty smoothly. I would say it probably took us about 3-4 hours, not including taking out everything and putting it all back together. Don’t want to do it again anytime soon but I’m so happy with the results!

What’s your trick for starting 2015 more organized?

review: the gambler

I saw “The Gambler” this weekend starring Mark Walberg. I didn’t really have an interest in seeing the movie but there wasn’t much else I wanted to see (I do not care for the Hobbit stories). I do enjoy Mark Walberg and figured it could be pretty good.

The first 20-30 minutes of the movie were pretty slow. It was setting up the story line but I thought if it continued like this for the whole two hours, it was really going to be a long two hours. The story did start to pick up a bit, without giving too much away, the movie takes place over a week that a gambler is trying to catch up on debts and stay alive. I was really excited by some of the other cast members, like Michael Kenneth Williams from The Wire, Dean Norris from Breaking Bad and of course John Goodman.

“The Gambler” wasn’t quite a bad movie but it wasn’t a great movie. I don’t think it’s the type of movie you’d have to see in the theatres. There wasn’t crazy graphics or special effects that needed the big screen but since I had no plans for the day, it was a perfectly fine movie for a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Have you seen “The Gambler”? What did you think?

my christmas movie: night at the museum 3

My mom and I have a fun Christmas tradition that basically started as a joke (as many things do with us). We decided Christmas afternoon since it was just the two of us, we’d head out for Chinese food and a movie, several years later, we keep up the tradition. In recent years, the Mandarin has actually been busy, we thought last year was only because of the ice storm but this year the Durham Mandarins were packed, we know to make reservations for next year.

My rules for Christmas movies we see is they have to be light-hearted. I don’t want to see something sad, or scary on Christmas. I just want to have a good laugh and see a fun movie. We were struggling to find a movie that fit the bill this year and then we found Night at the Museum 3. I loved the first two, I may have seen the second one in IMAX… on opening weekend… Oh… and I may have gone to the Natural History Museum in New York to see the exhibits (spolier alert: they aren’t really like the movie). I had actually forgotten that they made a third movie, I remember people talking about it when Robin Williams died but it didn’t feel like it was heavily promoted, unlike some other movies that came out around Christmas.

Sometimes, once you get to the third movie in a series the story line is really thin. I thought the story was great (you know, for a kids movie about museum creatures coming to life). This story introduces a few new characters like Rebel Wilson as a British security guard and another museum exhibit played by Ben Stiller. It was sad to watch the movie with Robin Williams, it was his final live-action movie he appeared in before his death. The movie was also dedicated to Mickey Rooney who died this past year and it was his final movie as well. Robin Williams was in the entire movie, it didn’t need to be edited because of his death but a spin-off had to be cancelled because it featured Roosevelt. It was an excellent movie, particularly if you’re looking for something the whole family can enjoy. It was my perfect Christmas movie.

Have you seen “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”?

retiring the red dragon

In September of 2007, in my second year at the University of Toronto, I decided that I wasn’t going to live downtown in residence again, instead I was going to move home to Pickering and buy a car for the commute. At the time, I was downtown almost 6 days a week and constantly visiting friends at other universities, I needed a car, public transit just wasn’t going to cut it for me.

That car, was the Red Dragon. A 2003 Hyundai Accent with 63000KMs on it, it would be the beginning of a beautiful and sometime tumultuous relationship. Although I wasn’t able to find any pictures of the actual car (and I was just so excited at the dealership, I forgot to take one) I thought the picture of me driving the dragon to a girls weekend was perfect.

564277_10100209497018995_2093818357_nAs the Dragon was starting to get up there in years and kilometres, it’s age was starting to show and I knew that it was time for an upgrade. But in true Doah style, my upgrade was actually to a 2014 Hyundai Accent, this one silver, name still pending (but will likely be Silver Bullet). As I started the exciting, tiring and occasionally frustrating task of looking for a new car, I reflected on what the Red Dragon meant to me. I’ve never really cared about cars, they were always just a way for me to get from A to B, when I was looking for a new one I explained to every dealer that I couldn’t care less which name was on the back of the car as long as it was reliable and at 0% financing. I did however think about how long I’ve had the Red Dragon, it was never the prettiest car and it was often the messiest car but for over 7 years the car was fairly reliable. It got me to job interviews, took me on road trips with friends and was a constant in my life. I realized that I had owned that car longer than I had lived in any one home, and I expect that to be the same over at least  the next decade. The car wasn’t always perfect, like when the windshield wipers just stopped working on my way home one day or when the power steering fluid was leaking and I was basically driving without power steering, the car was fairly reliable for a used car.

I didn’t photograph her often, but I will remember her fondly. The Red Dragon was my first car and as I start my new adventure in my new shiny car I think back on all my adventures with that car and smile. :)

What was your first car? Do you have the fond memories I have or are you glad to be rid of it?

December 19-21: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday! Hope you all had a lovely week. Christmas has made it pretty quiet on the blog but ’tis the season, right? Here’s some ideas on what’s going on this weekend.

Do: It’s Hip Hop Karaoke at the Revival tonight and it’s a special Holiday Edition. Cover is $10 and includes dinner and a portion of the proceeeds with go to the Daily Bread Food Bank, starts at 9pm (dinner is served until 11:30).

See: This weekend at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema there will be 10 classic holiday films. Tickets are free (with one exception) and there are limited ones available at the event. They will also be accepting healthy food items or cash donations in support of The Stop Community Food Centre.

Eat/Drink: Tomorrow is the Craft Beer Carnival at the Centre for Social Innovation. Tickets are $15 and it includes your glass and 2 sample tokens. There will be a gift market and festive entertainment and of course, beer.

Have a fabulous weekend!

December 12-14: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday everyone. Hope you all had a great week (and didn’t catch the cold I seem to be battling). Here’s a few things happening this weekend if you’re still looking for things to do.

Do: DJ Skate Nights are back at Harbourfront Centre. These skate nights take place every Saturday at the Natrel Rink until February 21st and best of all – they’re free!

See: Saturday Nights with Combo Royale is back at the Gladstone this Saturday night. Taking place after 12 Beers of Christmas (see below), the band is taking over the ballroom for a special after-party. This ‘swing’ party is hosted by ska/bluegrass/old jazz band Combo Royale.

Eat: Ok, this one is technically a drink but this weekend is so awesome it deserves two drinks. We’ve already seen our first snow, we can no longer deny that winter is here… unless of course you’re District 28. They’re hosting “where the beep is my margarita” this Saturday where they will transform their space into a tropical paradise. Sick of the Ugly Christmas sweater? Then this is your party – dress in beach wear and summer dresses and dream of a better time. Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.

Drink: It’s 12 Beers of Christmas tomorrow. I went to this event last year and had an amazing time. This year is going to be a bit bigger – the Gladstone is using the Melody Bar and the Ballroom for the event. Tickets are $10 and the event starts at 7pm, you can then sample to your heart’s content until 10pm!!

thirsty thursday: hot toddy

Happy snowy Thursday everyone. I wasn’t sure what drink to put up for this week but given the weather, I think this one is appropriate.

I tried this for the first time at the Christmas Market a couple of weeks ago. Upon first sip, I wasn’t quite sure I liked the Hot Toddy (the warm lemon made me think of swiss chalet) but it started to grow on me. It was warm and not sweet, almost like an apple cider. At the market they made it with Drambuie but there’s tons of recipes online using different alcohol.

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From the Drambuie site:

Ingredients

Drambuie
apple juice
cinnamon stick
fresh lemon

Method

1 part Drambuie, 3 parts hot apple juice. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon wedge, add a cinnamon stick and serve in a coffee glass.

This drink is perfect for snuggling up under a big blanket on the couch, watching Christmas movies as the snow falls. Enjoy this snowy day!

Have you tried a hot toddy before? What did you think?

Blogging Broads Brunch ‘N Brew

How’s that for a mouthful? A mouthful of a delicious afternoon is what it meant. The lovely ladies over at Schoolhouse Booze invited me and some other bloggers for an afternoon of brunching and beer making and it was as delightful as it sounds.

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I think these girls had out like 9 spreads for the croissants and bagels… at least… I wish I had counted. So after eating (read: stuff my face) with delicious cheese, spreads and meat – we were actually going to do it. We were going to make beer! I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was glad we had our expert Beth to guide us through the process.

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It was not as overwhelming as I thought it would be (probably because Beth is amazing). The awesome guys over at Sawdust City Brewery lent us their recipe! Their actual recipe for their seasonal favourite Princess Wears Girl Pants. It took us about 4 hours to complete most of the process. This photo is from the final stages, when we wrapped in a warming belt (thanks to Noble Hops, for sponsoring the supplies) to ferment for the next few weeks. I really enjoyed being able to taste the beer all along the way from barley to wart. It was neat how over a few hours we made something taste like beer (you know, without the alcohol and carbonation). I think this session was great because it showed us that making beer is not impossible. I would only want to do it with at least one other person because its time-consuming so it’s nice to have a buddy and it’s a lot of heavy lifting of containers of water, also good to have a buddy for that. We’ll get to taste it sometime in the new year, I’m really looking forward to it.

Check out the Tipsy Teachers and their adventures over at SchoolHouse Booze and look for our event coming in January. I don’t want to give too much away but it promises to be awesome and it promises to have beer.

December 5-7: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday. Here’s what’s going on this first weekend in December.

Do: Union Station Holiday Market runs until Sunday. There’s over 30 artisans and gourmet food shops from the GTA. Admission is free and the schedule is available on their site.

See: A classic family story, A Christmas Carol is playing this weekend at the Papermill Theatre at Fantasy Farm. This is the final days of the show and should put you in the holiday spirit (unless of course you’re one of those people who has been in it since Halloween).

Eat/Drink: The Holy Grill will be hosting a pop-up until January 5th at Midpoint on Queen West. The inspiring Chef Aleem Syed’s preview of his food truck that will be opening in April. Food will include tacos, pountine and butter chicken, staying within the theme of late-night eats.

Have a fabulous weekend!

 

thirsty thursday: hooper’s cloudy lemonade

Happy Thursday! Hope you’re all enjoying your first week of December. This week’s Thirsty Thursday concludes my LCBO adventure.

This may be the strangest of them all, maybe not but it’s hard to say. I thought this one was so unusual because I couldn’t quite define it. Was it a cooler? Was it a cider? Was it a malt beverage? I never really found out. What is cloudy lemonade? Cloudy lemonade is exactly what is sounds like, it isn’t very sweet so this drink is a good choice if you want a lemon flavour but can’t do a smirnoff ice. I also found this so strange because it didn’t indicate what type of alcohol it was, my guess is vodka but in the ingredients it just said liquor.

wpid-20141115_210911.jpgI prefer things a little sweeter normally but I did enjoy it and my friend who hates things that are too sweet loved it. It’s available at the LCBO for $3.65 a bottle.

Have you tried Hooper’s? What did you think?