a day in pickering

I spent a lovely day in Pickering. We went to petticoat creek, at the bottom of whites road. The weather was perfect. It cost $6.50 a person to get in and we got a few picnic tables and bbqed in the park. We also went to the pool which is renovated since the last time I was there. It had cooled off too much for me to get in. It cost another $4.75 per person to get into the pool area. It was pretty costly to go the the park but it is well maintained.

I also went to the works for the first time after hearing about it for months. I got the sk8r, which had jack cheese, peanut butter and bacon on the burger. It was absolutely fabulous. I would definitely recommend it. I also had a small vanilla milkshake,  which was also great. I would recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different. 

the roundhouse craft beer festival

I’m pretty disappointed that I won’t be able to attend The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival this year. I went to this last year, I saw a few tweets about it beforehand but didn’t know what it was. I was at the Jays game one day so we decided to go after the game. All of the advanced tickets are sold out for this year. This is a much smaller festival than the Toronto Festival of Beers that many beer lovers enjoy but it is still a nice, smaller festival. There are plenty of local beer choices and a number of food trucks, which is great for anyone who is excited about the food truck revolution, beer and buying local. Tickets are $15 at the gate, so this festival is a little easier on the wallet. I hope lots of people are able to make it out to this because it is a great way to try beers you may not have heard of or may have been reluctant to buy an entire 6-pack of because you weren’t familiar with the brand or beer.

Just remember, the most of the subway is closed this weekend so give yourself lots of time to get down there and enjoy the festival! As for myself, I’ll be planning next year’s trip.

what i loved at taste of the danforth

It’s the 20th anniversary of the city staple, Taste of the Danforth. This annual festival along the Danforth has been a huge hit for years. I went on opening night, and here is what I loved.

I loved that it brought out so many different people to support local businesses. There were lots of freebies if you were willing to wait in line. I had delicious soulvlaki at detroit eatery.

The only downside was the crowds. Everywhere had a crazy line up. Its great for businesses, a little exhausting for visitors.

volunteering in toronto

I’m a huge fan of volunteering. I love planning, executing and being apart of events, that’s how I choose to volunteer my time. I’d call it my expertise. I do however sometimes find it hard to find volunteer opportunities. I think when I first started volunteering, I expected that non-profits would be so excited for volunteers that there would be tons of opportunities. The reality is, coordinators working at non-profits are extremely busy and don’t always have the time to find the perfect fit. I’ll start to feature opportunities I hear of, or may be participating in. Hopefully this will encourage others to help make a difference and make Toronto the best city it can be.

paid to shop online?

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it isn’t. Technically. 

Ebates gives you cash back for shopping online. I was pretty skeptical when I first heard about it, but I just had to give it a try. I’d say the average percentage back is 1-5%. I tend to use it for sites like Groupon, TeamBuy, Expedia, as well as other deal and travel sites but there is a great selection. If you do absolutely any shopping online, you should check to see if the site is there. They have a huge selection of stores, everything from Sephora, to Walmart, to Gilt and so many more.

I also recently used it to buy textbooks (because I’m a student-lifer) from BookMob. I received my books within two days and received 3.5% back. BookMob also buys back textbooks (so does Textbook Rental), which is great since trying to sell them back to the school is usually unbelievably complicated. 

I know that Toronto is a pricey city, and every little bit helps. Hopefully everyone can find something to get their cash back on. Happy Shopping!

For my American friends, use this link: Ebates USA

we’re the millers

A mildly offensive comedy about a fake family smuggling drugs from Mexico to the USA.

The film was a bit predictable but that can be expected with most comedies. This is the first film I’ve seen Jason Sudeikis star in so I wasn’t too sure going in how he would fair as a leading man, and he did a pretty good job. I’ve been an SNL fan for years so it was nice to see him taking the next step. I like Jennifer Aniston and really enjoyed her in this role.  Will Poulter was really funny as the awkward Kenny Rossmore. The fake daughter played by Emma Roberts was also entertaining.
The minor characters in this movie were cast absolutely perfectly. Ed Helms plays the perfect evil drug lord, Kathryn Hahn is a hilarious as the stereotypical mom and Nick Offerman, is well, Nick Offerman and requires no explanation. I think these minor characters really made the movie better.They supported the story perfectly. 
If you’re looking for a funny, uncomplicated movie, I would suggest “We’re the Millers”. It won’t be on the shortlist for the Oscars but it will make you laugh for an hour and a half. 

orange is the new black

So tonight, after a wonderful long weekend, I decided to check out this “orange is the new black” that people have been talking about. I had heard about it from friends, on the internet and even in a radio interview. It was made specifically for Netflix and I was skeptical but must say, it is impressive.

I settled in to bed, to watch the first episode, figured that would be enough seeing as it is almost an hour long and it was getting late. In the first scenes, I was captivated. I wasn’t familiar with this actress, but from the opening scenes, she was amazing. The only actors I recognized was Jason Biggs and Laura Prepon. Both of the stars got their starts in very light comedies so it was very interesting to see them in these darker roles. In the first episode, I laughed, I cried and I really cared about what happened to the characters. I got sucked in to a second episode and my love for this show has only grown. I wish it wasn’t so late or I would continue to watch this show. There is only 13 episodes, so chances are, I will finish it this week, even if that means missing out on sleep. I also need to finish it quickly because I don’t want to accidentally find a spoiler online like I did with “the wire”. Only being two episodes in, assuming it continues with this same level of excellence, I would say this show could easily rival an HBO show. I hope this show is successful enough to continue to another season and to have Netflix create other awesome programs. 

summer in toronto

It’s already August 2nd. That’s got some people in Toronto thinking summer is over, and the cooler weather isn’t really helping. I thought I’d remind everyone what is great about summer and the summer rules of Toronto girls.

  1. Toronto girls know it is key to know someone with a cottage – you don’t necessarily want to be that person but nothing spells Toronto in the Summer like sitting in traffic on the 400 or the 401 to try to get out of the city.
  2. Toronto girls know that you can’t wear heels (even wedges) to a jays game if you’re sitting in the 500 level – that ramp is long and steep.
  3. Toronto girls also know that the difference between the 500 level and 200 level is at least two beers (or 5 at the steamwhistle roundhouse).
  4. Toronto girls know the temperature is irrelevant, we only care about the humidex.
  5. Toronto girls know the only place to eat in the summer must have a patio. There is no eating indoors from May-September.
  6. Toronto girls know the need for this city to get on with food trucks!
  7. Toronto girls can spot the difference between a real summerlicious menu and a ripoff menu.
  8. Toronto girls know that you must eat something ridiculous at the Ex and you must post to Instragram.We also know the Ex means the end of summer. 
  9. Toronto girls base how good a festival is based on the free stuff they get.
  10. And finally, Toronto girls know that September isn’t too bad. There’s a great chance to meet your movie star husband in September. 

what I loved at beerfest

Yesterday was one of my favourite days of the year. It was my day at Beerfest in Toronto. It was a beautiful day in the city. There was a ton of vendors, I tried my best to try things I’ve never had before, here are a few of my favourites, oddly, none of them are actually just beers. 

1. Somersby Blackberry – I’ve been waiting for weeks to try this, since I first saw it in the LCBO magazine. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it in any stores, despite their ad campaign. It was refreshing and delicious. They also made beer cocktails, somersby and kronenberg blanc. It was absolutely fantastic. I’m a big fan of beer cocktails.

2. Coors Light – I know this is a beer but they were making beer cocktails at their booth. The one I liked was a cranberry drink, with just a hint of cinnamon. Mixed with the beer made it a great drink. Perfect for when you want a cocktail, but not a hard liquor.

3. Smirnoff Ice – They had two new flavours, the Fruit Punch Ice VII and the Raspberry. They were both really good. They weren’t overly sweet. I’m sure they would also taste great mixed with beer. 

4. Sully’s Hot Dogs – You can’t drink all day without food. We had great hot dogs from Sully’s. The best part had to be the bread. They butter-toast it. It tastes the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich. It was really great. 

Those are my top picks. As I mentioned, none of them are just beer, maybe that’s because I was trying new things and some of them I didn’t love. Sometimes with things like beer, you have to stick to what you know. I was really impressed with the items above. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to enjoy one on a patio before the summer is out. 

talking online

Dating is hard. Online dating is also hard. I don’t think it is any harder, it just happens much faster than regular dating. Today, I was enraged once again by someone on an online dating site. They told me I was fat.  And maybe I am, but really? That’s your opening line. Why do people think it is ok to just insult someone you’ve never met before. If you aren’t interested in someone, that is no reason to insult them. I wish people in the future would have better manners and realize there is another person on the other end of that computer. Someone you know nothing about, you don’t know that person’s history so you have no right to make any assumptions and most of all, you have no right to completely insult that person. 

I hope people would practice better manners in the future.