dee snider’s rock and roll christmas

Wednesday night I was invited to the Winter Garden theatre to see the Christmas spectacular, Dee Snider’s Rock and Roll Christmas. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, was it a musical with a storyline or just a Christmas rock concert.

It was indeed the former. A story of a hairband trying to keep rock and roll alive, selling their souls in order to make their dreams come true. Doesn’t sound like your typical Christmas story, does it? It certainly was not, but had all the wonderful elements of a great Christmas story: a little cheesy humour, great music, glitter and Santa. The show was fun, funny and had people singing along and laughing out loud.

If you’re a fan of twisted sister, hairbands, rock and roll or Christmas spirit, you’ll have a great time at the show. Have you been to Dee Snider’s Rock and Roll Christmas?

thirsty thursday: honeymoon peach

About two weeks ago, I headed to Niagara for a little getaway. I’ve always loved Niagara, it’s so silly and cheesy, I like to get out there about once a year. I have not been in a long time, I hadn’t even been to the brewery on Clifton Hill. A really cute little brewery with lots of beer selections and a few snack options.

I tried the Honeymoon Peach, named because Niagara is the honeymoon capital of the world. The Honeymoon Peach is a refreshing and light beer. It’s only about 3.5% but it’s not quite a radler, definitely has more of a beer taste than a typical radler. If you’re out in Niagara, I would definitely recommend checking out the brewery and having a little Honeymoon Peach!

#thirstythursday: finca hispana

I mentioned last week that I was able to try two new-to-Canada wines at the iYellow Wine Club. The first one was Joiy, last week’s Thirsty Thursday. The second one was Finca Hispana Castrijo, an earthy Spanish wine.

Finca Hispana is a distributor of Spanish wines in Canada and the type of wine we tried was tempranillo. For all the money in the world, I would not have been able to tell you that before going to the club last week! Although an international brand, they want to put a face to the brand so every one of their bottles features a photo of the wine maker on the label.

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Finca Hispana wants to make wine more approachable and make it possible to buy a bottle of wine for under $20 and feel proud to bring it as a gift. The wine was delicious, I would love to have it with a steak dinner. I’d quite happily pick up this red in the future, at around $16 a bottle, you can’t go wrong!

Have you tried any of the Finca Hispana wines?

#thirstythursday: joiy wine

I was invited to the iYellow Wine Cave this week, if you haven’t been there, it is great. It is a cozy space dedicated to the love of wine. They host a variety of events and classes for wine lovers (and wanna be wine lovers). They were sharing with us two different wines, this week’s thirsty thursday is the first one.

Joiy wine is from New Zealand. This deliciously sweet sparkling wine comes in single serve bottles in beautiful packaging. They suggest drinking it with a little wedge of lemon, almost like a corona. I don’t think I’ve ever been told to put fruit in my wine (although I do it on occasion). This wine would of course be great in the summer but it will make a great sparkling wine to use in cocktails for the coming holiday seasons. I would use joiy for my sangria, with white cranberry juice and throw in some fresh cranberries, perfect for the holidays.wpid-img_20151124_184013.jpgwpid-img_20151124_183637.jpg

The packaging is so adorable, it makes the perfect hostess gift or that someone you’re not quite sure who to buy for. The 4 pack comes at the LCBO for $19.95, I was a little surprised by the price at first until I remembered, it’s pure wine, they aren’t coolers. It is definitely tasty. I can’t wait to see what people do with joiy over the holidays!

Have you seen it in your LCBO yet?

 

 

detox to retox: rainhard brewing

This weekend, it’s time for another detox to retox! We’re heading to a fairly new brewery this time, located in the Junction called Rainhard Brewing. The lovely Marnie Luck will once again be our teacher and I can’t wait to get bendy for beer in this beautiful space. In case you’ve never been to a detox to retox before, you can expect a fantastic (and relaxing) yoga class, delicious beer and awesome people! The first hour is a yoga class, followed by a beer tasting hosted by Rainhard brewing. Here’s some photos from past events. You can get tickets here, hope to see you there!

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relax: salt cave at the windsor arms

I am one of those people that is addicted to being busy. I need to feel like I’m constantly being productive. If I’m at home, it’s very easy for me to have three screens going (phone, tv and computer) like I do right now, I’m even one of those people who sleeps with the TV on to have the background noise. I find silence a little eerie. So, there is not many times when I just turn off everything, maybe at the occasional yoga class or massage but those are pretty infrequent occasions.

So, when I was asked by The Windsor Arms to try out their salt caves, I was curious and even a little anxious about it. Sit in a room for 45 minutes, without speaking to anyone, or checking my phone, or really doing anything? Seemed crazy. But that’s what I did on Saturday, for 45 minutes it was just going to be me and the salt cave.

I arrived at The Windsor Arms to be greeted by the loveliest lady at the front desk, she showed me to the change rooms where I got on my robe and flip flops (I also had called ahead to ask, what does one wear to the salt cave? appparently, just about anything you want is fine). She then showed me to the salt cave, a cool, dimly lit room with rock covered walls and salted floors.

Salt Cave

It had a very cozy feel, it is meant to mimic caves found in Europe. It is believed that regular use of the salt caves can help with allergies, to relieving stress, to helping skin conditions and more. On each of the chairs, there is a blanket as it does get pretty cool in the room. I got in to a lounger, reclined and cozied up with the blanket and did, nothing. It was crazy! Absolutely nothing. If I was someone who napped, I definitely would have fallen asleep, I even came pretty close but I’m just not a napper. It was relaxing to just shut everything off and just listen to the white noise of the room.

A single session in the cave is $50 for 45 minutes, 5 sessions are $200 and 10 sessions are $350. The Windsor Arms hotel also currently has a promotion until the end of the year if you spend $150 on spa treatments or products (exclusions apply), you receive a free 45 minute session in the salt cave. It would be a nice addition to a well-deserved day at the spa, it’s a busy time of year so it’s nice to just unplug and relax.

Have you been to the Windsor Arms Hotel?

evening at the market

This past Thursday, I went to Evening at the Market at St. Lawrence Market. I bought the tickets as an anniversary gift for my boyfriend because I know how much he loves St. Lawrence Market.wpid-img_20151112_223213.jpgThe event was in support for FoodShare Toronto and essentially the market was transformed into a tasting market, with virtually every vendor offering something delicious to try. I realized that I didn’t take a ton of photos of the actual venue, it was just the things I ate (and only a portion of them) but they had circus performers walking throughout the event and in the middle of the market, they had an aerial artist performing. The event was busy but not insane, and line ups weren’t too long to get food or drink..

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Our first stop was Paddingtons, where they were sampling a few drinks they offer all the time, including Hogtown and Waterloo (I did not know you could get beer at the market!) and delicious cheese pies and baklava.

Throughout the rest of venue, Amsterdam beer and Union wines were on offer, some of my favourites.

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As I mentioned, I ate a lot of stuff, mostly cheese and pasta things (of course). I had fresh ravioli, fondue and risotto out of the parm wheel. The parm wheel!!

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I think my favourite dessert I had was the french macarons from the lower level. They also came with little chocolate nuggets.

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I didn’t take photos of everything I ate because it would just look excessive but I promise it was all great. It was actually one of those times I wish I liked more food because there was a huge seafood section that was basically wasted on us. It was a great event, that I hope they run again next year (this was the first year they hosted it, this way). It also reminded me how much I love the St. Lawrence Market, I’ve been a little more often (again, because my boyfriend is in love with it) but it makes me want to come back and buy more cheese, pasta and fresh meats!

Did anyone else go to the Evening at the Market? What was your favourite part?

#thistythursday: stalk & barrel whiskey

So over the past year, I’ve been really getting into the whisky/bourbon thing (not to be confused with the awesome bourbon thing podcast and blog). When I was at the Gentlemen’s Expo (yes, I sampled quite a bit that day, all in the name of the blog of course), I got to try Stalk & Barrel Whisky. This whiskey is distilled locally (which I love of course). I was afraid it was going to be really strong, which don’t get me wrong, it was but it didn’t have that burn that some whiskeys do.

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Stalk & Barrel also makes a rye whisky, which is quite strong at 46% and a strong single malt which they sampled at the show but their website offers a huge selection of locally made spirits. I’d definitely recommend Stalk & Barrel if you’re looking to try a new whisky or rye, and of course, want to shop local.

what is tsu?

You may have seen articles about Tsu recently, I first came across it on Facebook. Articles like: Facebook is Blacking Out a Small Social Network Rival that Pays People for Posts. Now, there is some debate on whether facebook legitimately thought it was spam or if they were just afraid of the competition, but regardless.

Tsu’s philosophy is that it can share it’s ad revenue with the content creators, the people that actually make a social network worthwhile, and that’s its users. Now, obviously this isn’t a place to make quick cash online but it is an interesting concept – I share my photos and thoughts on social platforms and I’m fine with them making money but to share it with the users. Most articles claim Tsu is invite only, but I managed to sign up but you can use my link to sign up as well. It’s like other sites like swagbucks and dailyrewards that reward you for subscribers.

I’ve been using Tsu for about a week, I like it as another way to share my blog with the world. It is definitely the world, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of users in Canada (yet) but I assume that was the case with all social media sites, they had to start somewhere. The design of it feels like facebook, twitter and instagram mashed into one platform. You can also post from Tsu to other networks, although I don’t really use that function. You can use hashtags but most tend to start with tsu. There is “friends” and “followers” but since I plan on using it more like Twitter, rather than Facebook which is a little more private and geared towards my friends and family, I accept most friend requests that come my way but some people like to keep it separate. If they’re a follower, they can see your public stuff like on Twitter and friends is for things you choose to share privately.

I think there’s an opportunity for people who take tons of food photos, or diy bloggers or great lifestyle bloggers to find their niche. I think it will be interesting to see how the site develops over the next few months, it is already very popular in India and South America (just based on the users I’ve seen) but there is definitely a use for it in North America. Is it just another social media platform to have to learn? Perhaps, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

If you’d like to sign up, you can use my invite. And if you’re already on Tsu, let me know – I’m always looking for more people to follow.

pretty sweet: bakery in toronto

I had the chance to visit Pretty Sweet in Toronto, on Bathurst, just south of St. Clair this weekend. This adorable bakery offers everything from macaroons to brownies to donuts to cookies and custom orders, so basically anything your sweet tooth can conjure up.

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I tried some of the confetti biscottis, I think they were my favourite. We also picked up some brownies and macaroons to share at a party we were going to. The bakery is only open for walk-ins on Saturdays but Jen offers up delicious samples and hot coffee.

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Pretty Sweet offers delivery in the GTA with lots of options for events and even high tea (for those super fancy afternoons). They are also offering delivery for Christmas gifts, which would be great for teachers, family, neighbours or to bring in to be the holiday-office-hero! They can also make great birthday, wedding or everyday cakes.

If you’re in the neighbourhood, be sure to check out this delightful bakery or place your orders for all your sweet needs!