rich and fit challenge

Happy New Years Eve, Eve! Again, not sure if it’s a thing, but I’m going with it! Also, I totally posted last week’s Thirsty Thursday a day early because I totally thought it was Thursday. The holidays always mess me up.

I’m sure many people are working on their new years resolutions. I don’t like to make resolutions exactly but I like to set goals every year. Most time I don’t achieve ALL of them but a few is a good start. I like writing them down and crossing them out. One of my goals this year is to walk 50,000 steps a week, I know it won’t be easy but I really want to be healthier – maybe you all will help me stick to it.

I’ve mentioned Jessica Moorhouse in the past. She’s the awesome personal finance blogger turned podcaster and now she’s got a challenge to help you keep a few of your resolutions. She’s teamed up with fitness coach Jaclyn Phillips to bring you the Rich & Fit 21-Day Challenge. Start the new year off right with this personal finance and fitness challenge. Who doesn’t love a little challenge and competition? Every day, starting on January 10th (give you a couple of days to get back into your routine after the holidays), they’ll send you a video for the challenge.

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Best of all, this challenge is FREE! It doesn’t get any better than that. I’ll be participating in the challenge so I’ll provide some updates as I go, hopefully it goes well!

You can find more information and sign up at www.richandfitchallenge.com!

thirsty thursday: flat rock

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve. Is that a thing? Probably not? But also, Happy Festivus (which is totally a thing).

This week’s Thirsty Thursday is a wine I first tried a couple of weeks ago at my work’s office party. I didn’t pick the wine for the event, you need someone to pick beer? I’m your girl but wine, I’m totally lost. I decided to have the red wine, since I was eating steak.

We had the 2013 flat rock pinot noir, a niagara wine. It is a very light red, if you’re like me and didn’t think you liked red wine, this would be a great one to start with. It’s fruity and spicy and so good. I actually drank wine instead of other drinks after I found out how good this wine is! And it’s local, which obviously means I love it even more!

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Have you tried the flat rock pinot noir? What did you think?

Have a great Christmas everyone!

teb: designing awesome crap for your home

This weekend, I had the chance to meet the guys behind teb at their space in the Design Republic at Queen and Bathurst. If you haven’t heard of these guys, they make awesome crap for your home.

wpid-img_20151212_125804.jpgBut beautiful, unique and exciting crap. These guys loathe beige and a quick tour of their site and instagram will show you this isn’t stuff you’d find in your grandmother’s house (unless your grandmother is super hardcore, in which case, I’d recommend the damask skeleton cushions).

it’s the lumber-sexual pillow, of course.

I met Terry and Matt, the masterminds behind teb. If you can dream it, chances are, they can make it for you. Both began as hobby designers, wanting to make unique things for themselves and friends and family. I guessed that they must always have the best halloween costumes and sure enough, Matt’s daughter was the best minion I’ve ever seen this year. They both started with smaller projects, including some work on real estate shows. Now their focus is on interior design. They showed me how they can 3D model your home so you know exactly what to expect, which is great, since as I mentioned, these guys are not vanilla and some people may be a little afraid to make such bold choices for their home but Terry and Matt want more edge in the world and are happy to help their customers find it.

They can also make custom furniture, like I said, if you can dream it, they can do it. They can get the fabric printed, something of course a non-designer like myself wouldn’t even consider. The day I was in, Terry’s daughter was working on a comic book bench for her home. The fabric was beautiful, black with subtle comic book detail, definitely nothing you’d find at Ikea. They love the challenge of designing something unique and fun for their customers.

But maybe you’re like me, and don’t have a knack for design, don’t worry, you can visit their space or their site to see the awesome things they’ve already created. On display, you can see some of their amazing pillows and headboards. Yet to come though, is their bondage bed, a project they are pretty excited about. They are creating a headboard that’s 50 Shades of Fun, but also tasteful, you know for when your family comes over and you don’t want them to know what you’re up to. The bed will feature secret compartments and removable buttons, you can -uh- screw other things in (remember, not vanilla). Not quite what you need? No problem, teb has you covered with these awesome bed designs.

So, if you’re looking for a very unique gift, something for yourself, something custom or a complete interior design of your home, go check out teb. Visit them at the Design Repuplic or give them a call, I promise you’ll be impressed.

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?