I’m that mom who is always taking the kids somewhere on a Sunday. You will like these blog entries if you are looking for interesting stuff to do in and around Toronto with your family. (think conservation areas, fairs, special events etc).


Tel Aviv Suggestions!!

The other day I received the following message via facebook.

Hi Vicky- sounds like you are having a great trip… My parents are in Jerusalem now and are going to tel Aviv tomorrow to the Sheraton. Do u have any suggestions for them? where they should go… Different ideas than the regular .. Thx

Here’s a list of attractions that I’d visited over the last few days that I suggested to my Facebook friend:

1. Tel Aviv Museum of Art: I hadn’t been to this museum in over 3 decades and I’m so happy that I went. I must admit that one of the reasons I went was because a foodie friend of mine went a few months ago and his photos on facebook really impressed me. The building itself is stunning not to mention the exhibits themselves. It’s also a great way to escape the sunshine between 12 and 2 pm!!



2. Sarona Market: Even though I was in Tel Aviv in April 2015 – this market opened just after I left.


This market brings the “best” of the country to one place. The variety of food in this market was perfect – restaurants, beer, wine, candy, fresh fruit, halva, bakeries, paletas, etc. My tummy was in heaven. I must add that I was lucky enough to have a “tour of Sarona Market” with a well respected Israeli Food Writer. Highlights of my tour included: Captain Curry and Forela Fish Bar.

Here’s a photo of my delicious Smoked Trout Shawarma from Forela Fish Bar!


Seriously, how pretty are these olives?


I couldn’t bring back the olives with me on the plane, but I certainly did buy  Rusty’s Almond Butter (with Halva) which is made here in Israel! #supportlocal


3. Carmel Market: This market is a true Israeli Experience. Its crowded, busy and so much fun! I visit this market every time I’m in Tel Aviv. It’s a must.

4. The Old Tel Aviv Port:  A great area to stroll around as it’s on the water and this adds to the atmosphere.  There’s plenty of restaurants, retail stores, cafes and ice cream to keep Israelis and tourists very happy!!

5. Delicious IsraelThey offer unique food tours and food experiences. I was able to participate on a food tour of Levinsky Market and it was certainly a highlight of my trip. Read more about my tour by clicking here.

6. Nahalat Binyamin: I love this outdoor arts & crafts fair that is held every Tuesday and Friday. I always find gifts here and happy to support Israeli artisans. Not to mention it’s a fun scene.

Sadly I only took a photo of this piece of jewellery and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy one. #nexttime.


Attractions I didn’t have time to visit:

Old Jaffa Port: Such a gorgeous place to walk around but I just didn’t have time.

A Cocktail Bar; Apparently Tel Aviv has some pretty swanky cocktail bars (click on the link – pretty please)  and after googling “Cocktail Bars in Tel Aviv” – it’s evident that I need to go on a “cocktail crawl” on my next visit.

Jewish Diaspora Museum: I haven’t been in decades but it was always one of my favourite museums.

Tel Aviv is a beautiful cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer. I was fortunate enough to stay in Tel Aviv for 7 full days and can’t wait to visit next year!!

For more information about Israel – please click here.

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Last month, I took a personal day so I could preview the movie “Bad Moms’ and get spoiled at the beautiful Chateau des Charmes!

The invitation looked like this and I had a feeling it would be a fun event and I was right!!

moms - invite

I knew immediately that I had made the right decision to take a personal day off, when I was served a mimosa on the bus.

moms - drink

When we arrived at the theatre, we grabbed our seats and then proceeded to laugh our way through the movie. The cast is stellar and there are a few scenes that are nothing but hysterical.

moms - cast

I loved the characters, the acting and even the music!!

After the movie, we went directly to  Chateau des Charmes. (1025 York Rd, Niagara -on-the-Lake). When we arrived, there was staff greeting us with more drinks. Again, I knew I made the right decision!

moms - bus

Then we headed to their beautiful new tent for a delicious lunch.

moms - lunch

The movie indeed brought back a lot of memories for me as I’ve had my “moments” as a “Bad Mom” over the years! For example:

moms - sign:vicky2

As  I write this, I’m reminding myself that I MUST submit the bus form this week. See what I mean? LOL

I liked this movie so much that I gathered few friends and we all went to see the movie together at Yorkdale. Indeed everyone enjoyed the movie. (including me despite the fact that I had seen it).

I’m not a movie critic, but I can tell you that this film is certainly entertaining.
So grab your mom or your friends and go have a laugh!

PS Thank you eOne for inviting me to this event.

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In the event that you don’t have a cottage or you aren’t taking a summer vacation – DON’T WORRY.  I swear to you, that there’s no shortage of events and festivals right here in Toronto.

BlogTO recently posted: Top 54 Festivals in Toronto this summer. Click here to read that list. It’s quite impressive.

BlogTO also posted: Top Ten Food Festivals near Toronto this Summer. Click here to read that list. Again – quite impressive.

I love BlogTO. Don’t you? May I suggest that you subscribe to them or download their app so you can stay on top of all the fabulous events/restaurant openings, etc that are taking place? #hint.

There’s also neighbourhood events like the Mount Pleasant Village Shop, Dine and Wine on June 16th.


My Summer Bucket list includes:

Camping: Went last year to Elora. As you can see from this photo we picked a pretty quiet spot. #score

festival - camping

-Hiking in the Hamilton area to see waterfalls. Specifically Webster Waterfalls. (which I keep seeing photos of on the internet)


-Learning to row. (I say this ever summer)

-Biking along the lake shore and on county roads. Believe it or not I bought this used bike in the Spring of 2015 and have never used it. ARGGHH

festival - bike

-Visiting a pick-your-own- cherry farm.

Let’s see what I can accomplish. Time will tell.

Have a wonderful summer everyone!

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I’m a big fan of community events and love to support them. Therefore I’m blogging about a community event called Shop Wine and Dine, that I thought I might share BEFORE the event takes place. I know how much you hate when I blog about something AFTER an event.

So mark your calendars for the Mount Pleasant Village Shop Wine & Dine event on June 16th from 5 to 9 pm. FYI – Mount Pleasant Rd is located between Eglinton and Davisville. RAIN OR SHINE.

Retailers and restaurateurs will “roll out the red carpet” for local residents, people who work in the neighbourhood, shoppers, and commuters heading home. Guests will be entertained by live bands,    shopping sales, and order from specialty restaurant menus created exclusively for this event.


The event will feature 4 to 6 live bands along the street which will certainly create a festive environment. Plus many retailers will be offering specials. For example: Manor Hair Salon will be offering FREE braids and Healthwinds Spa will be delighting visitors with free hand massages. You can even drop into Saati Fine Jewellery for an inspection and cleaning. Please note that parents can leave their kids for $5 at Kidnasium  (limited space – call ahead to book) while they walk along Mount Pleasant. Click here for more information about this great service.

Trust me, the whole street gets involved and it’s a lot of fun.

I encourage you to spend some time on their fabulous website so you get acquainted with the shops and services along Mount Pleasant. It truly is a fabulous community with lots to offer.


Twitter: @Mt_Pleasant_BIA


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post however all opinions are my own



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Here’s a few ideas for you and I hope you like them. I really tried to be creative. #justsayin

1. Give mom the gift of a one-on -one computer lesson.

Here’s a photo of my mom using my old iPhone 5. Bye Bye Flip Phone! She had one on one lessons with a friend who specializes in teaching seniors how to use smartphones/facebook/tablets etc. BEST GIFT.

mom - phone

2. Give Mom a calendar with 12 of your favourite photos.

I’m in the process of doing this RIGHT now using the new Kodak App. Oh how I love technology.

mom - photos

3. Give mom a new appliance from Breville.

I’m in love with all my Breville appliances and she will be too!

mom - breville

4. Give mom the gift of Technology. Take a peek at what Samsung has to offer these days. See this wireless charger? I know I would be one happy mom if I got one of these. LOL

samsung charger


5.. Give mom a subscription: May I suggest a subscription to Netflix, or Texture? (I’m a fan of both)

6..  If you have old letters that she sent to you at camp…. bring them out and read them to her. Seriously, this is so much fun.

mom - letters

7. Head over to Etsy. There’s no shortage of unique gifts on this website.

Hope these ideas were useful and have a wonderful day.

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Toronto has no shortage of fabulous events. Here’s a few that are on my radar for the month of May!

1 Massey Centre invites the community to attend its first “Cook for New Lives” gala fundraiser. This event is taking place at George Brown College Hospitality and Culinary Arts Centre on Wednesday May 4th from 6 to 9 pm.  Tickets are available for $99 which includes a cocktail reception, gourmet cuisine, no-host bar and silent auction.


2. Toronto Jewish Film Festival. (May 5th to May 15th).  I’ve been attending this festival for a few years now and every year I attend a few films that leave a huge impression on me. Can’t wait.


3. My favourite Sample Sale is coming up. This sale will feature Fall/Winter clothes for the upcoming season and it should NOT be missed. TRUST ME.

May - sample

4. Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.(May 1- 31, 2016) Did you know that CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world and features over 1500 artists in 200 exhibitions? I’ve never gone (believe it or not) but I’m really going to try this year and attend one of the many exhibits across the city.

5. Appleseed Cider FestivalNeed I say more?


6.  The Canadian Tulip Festival. I know it’s not in Toronto but I just had to include this festival. It’s well worth the drive to see this spectacular event which features over a million tulips in 50 varieties blooming in public spaces across the National Capital Region.


Like I said, there’s no shortage of things to do in May.




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I like celebrating so I decided to celebrate my birthday the entire week.

Here’s how I celebrated:

Saturday: I went to Bruce Mill’s for one of my all time favourite activities that I have been attending since I was a child. Best pancake experience ever!

birthday - bruce

Sunday: I can’t remember. (this is what happens when you are about to turn 51)

Monday: Had some gal pals over for sushi. I used this 4 ft wooden serving board that I recently purchased at Farmhouse Artisan Cheese(345 Kerr St. Oakville). What a great purchase and what a fun night!

birthday - gals

Tuesday: Went out for dinner to a newly opened restaurant/lounge called Entice (1036 Queen St W). The decor was inviting, the food was flavourful and beautifully plated. I liked the whole vibe of this restaurant – especially the bar. I’ve never seen anything like it before and it really made an impression on me.

birthday - entice

Take a peek at this video which will give you an idea about the cool bar top.

Wednesday: Went to the Giant Tiger #SharetheSecret event and truly had a blast. This event thought of everything. Not to mention, I was able to go home with the cutest shoes.

birthday - giant

Thursday: Birthday drinks at Bar RavalMy friend knows me well!

Friday: Weekend getaway to Niagara Falls! When I checked into my gorgeous room at the Sheraton on the Falls and looked at the view, I said to myself “why have I not done this before”. Believe it or not, I’ve never stayed overnight in Niagara Falls before, so this was a real treat. Plus the inner child in me, had a blast in their massive arcade.

birthday - view

I did some research on line before heading to Niagara Falls and Taps on Queen Brewhouse and Grill appealed to me. (4680 Queen St, Niagara Falls) Any menu that has deep fried pickles and vegetable curry poutine has my attention. Not to mention they serve beer and I’m a huge fan of that refreshment. I also liked this restaurant as they had vegan options and vegetarian options as well.

birthday - taps

Saturday: April 2nd is my official birthday and naturally my celebrations included a wonderful massage at the Chistienne Fallsview Spa in the hotel, a beautiful cheese plate at the Niagara Brewing Co. and dinner at IHOP. What a great combo of activities, don’t you think? By the way, my dinner at IHOP was really special for me as it brought back so many childhood memories. I didn’t hold back and ordered from the kids menu!

birthday - saturday

My birthday week is now behind me. Now I can relax. LOL

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When I received an invitation from the founder of Aquamermaid to try a class, I immediately said “YES”.

Seriously, how often does one get a chance to become a mermaid? LOL

The class started off by picking out our “mermaid tails”.

mermaid - picking

Then everyone introduced themselves with their real name, their mermaid name, and their favourite stretch.

Following the introductions, we got into the water and everyone swam a length.

Then the fun started, as we wiggled into our our respective mermaid tails.

mermaid - wiggling

We did some drills in the water – front, back, side. Trust me, everyone was smiling and having fun.
mermaid - final

As you can see from this next photo, being a mermaid is harder than it looks!

mermaid - touching

Then we got a chance to take more photos. LOL.

mermaid - vicky

Things you should know:

-guys can participate and in fact there was a guy in our class.

-this is a super fun party idea for kids AND adults.

-the Mermaid school exists in Ottawa and Montreal as well

-you can actually buy the mermaid tail!

For more information:

Instagram: Aquamermaid


Youtube; Aquamermaid (please oh please click on this link to really get a sense how cool this class is)

Phone: 1 866 279 2767

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I seem to have a lot of friends who have gone back to school as mature students these days. They took courses to become ESL teachers or Certified Financial Advisors and some have even taken part-time classes in the culinary field (baking or bread-making).

When my friends announced to me that they were taking these courses, I was extremely supportive because there’s no such thing as “it’s never too late to switch careers”. Plus education is always valuable and never goes out of style. EVER.

True story: I’ve been active on Social Media since 2009 and have really embraced it. I embraced it so much that I morphed into a social media consultant for 3 years.

Clients hired me to tweet and post on Facebook – seeing as they didn’t have the time or they didn’t know a thing about social media. I truly was passionate about it and over the years I’ve helped many restaurants get off the ground in the twitterverse.

vicky- desk

However I really know that there’s more to it than just tweeting. There’s strategy and content and metrics and more. I also know that I could benefit from a course. Even today.

I’m a huge believer in attending college and hope to actually sign up for a social media certificate at Seneca College one day soon.

I’m not kidding I’ve looked online as well as flipped through their printed course book. (so old school – I know).  A full-time course isn’t realistic for me however I know that a part-time course would be ideal. Even better – an online course really appeals to me so that I could study according to my (busy) schedule.

True Story #2: I am a disaster when it comes to SEO, plug ins, coding, rafflecopter and more. I often have to call a good friend of mine to help me out with these things. I know I would benefit from a basic “wordpress” course as well.

Now that I think about it – a creative writing course could help me out as well. Seems like there’s a few areas where I could do with some “improvement”!!

I’m confident that signing up at a college, would be the ideal place for me to reach more goals.

Going back to school part-time would help me out in more ways than one. There is no doubt about it. Stay tuned for more.

For more information:

Twitter: @senecacollege
Hashtag: #BecauseItMatters

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post, however all opinions are my own

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Many years ago, I bought a Garmin watch. Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed with my investment and actually blogged about how unhappy I was with it. I urge you to click here and read this blog  post that was written back in 2011.

Fast forward to 2016.

Fitness watches have changed. In. A. Big. Way.

First of all there is a huge range in fitness trackers and Best Buy carries a wide range of these fitness watches. Recently, I was lucky enough to check out the Garmin vivosmart HR Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor.

To be honest, I thought the best way to review this watch was to give it to a personal trainer at InsideOut Health and Fitness.

garmin - trainer

After wearing the watch for two weeks, I asked Weslely the following questions:

a) Did you like wearing the watch? What was the best feature?

Wesley: The best feature was the fact that you could track your heart rate throughout the day. Plus there’s a graph with your  average resting heart rate.
b) Have you ever worn a fitness watch before? How does this Garmin vivosmart compare?

Wesley: No, but I have a HR (heart rate) monitor watch. The vivosmart is much more convenient compared to the watch.  The HR is much more accessible compared to the watch’s press-hold-analyze for HR function.

c) Was it easy to figure out? i.e. was the watch USER friendly!

Wesley: Using the band itself is straightforward but using the connectivity functions w/ phone and Bluetooth and garmin activity app will require more tech knowledge

d) Would you recommend this watch to a friend or to any of your clients?

Wesley: The vivosmart is much better suited towards aerobic activity and it’s great to track and time your runs and bike rides. Its uses are limited in the gym environment as the lack of a stopwatch function means the client or trainer needs another means of precisely tracking times of rest or activity duration.

e) As a trainer, do you think these watches help your clients achieve their goals.

It really depends on the goals. HR (heart rate) is a good measure for intensity of aerobic activity. Using the measure of estimated max HR. one can gauge the intensity of their activity using their heart rate as a percentage of their max HR. The clients I would recommend this device to are ones who are looking to track and improve their aerobic/distance training, running, biking, marathons or participating in ironmans.

The vivosmart does have good functions for tracking aerobic exercise and calories burned when combined with their smartphone app. Users looking to lose weight and track their daily activities would also benefit from the vivosmart functions. There is also a neat function to remind users to engage in activity or exercise if they have been sedentary for too long. This will definitely keep some users more motivated.

I would like to thank Wesley for his amazing answers and for wearing the watch for two weeks!

Wish me luck on my journey to getting back into shape. I’m hoping the watch will help me. It’s my turn to wear it now!!  As you can see, Best Buy is a great source for fitness and hi tech trackers with lots of options available.


Twitter: @BestBuyCanada


Disclosure: I was compensated and provided product for the purpose of this blog, however all opinions are my own

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