Activities


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).

Aug
17

The CNE has arrived and my stretch pants are ready! ! This year there’s another incredible line up of food at the CNE. and I was all too happy to snap a few photos and taste a few items as well.

Here’s just a few examples of what you can expect to indulge in!

  1. Bacon Nation has created a Canada 150 inspired ALL Canadian Red Hot Burger. (Location: Food Building)
  2. The King of Curds will be serving deep fried cheese curds sprinkled with icing sugar and served with pure Canadian Maple Syrup. YUM. YUM and more YUM.  (Location: Midway)
  3. This photo says it all (location: Food Building)
  4. Tim Hortons as always,introduced some tasty Canadian-themed treats.
  5. Yatai (a sister project of Kanpai snack bar) has created this pretty epic fried chicken burger that’s in between fried ramen (instead of a bun) along with two kinds of kewpie mayo. Loved it and you will too!6. Pizza Nova has introduced a Pizza made with Carbone Dough.  Basically this is their traditional dough infused with activated charcoal and I regret not tasting it!!7. The Lisa Marie food truck will be serving an enormous double lobster patty burger. Seriously this burger was bigger than my hand. 
  6. You can also find this deep fried goodness at this years CNE.

Seriously there’s no end to interesting food at the CNE: Deep Fried Chicken Feet, Cricket Cones, Peanut Butter Sriracha Bites, Spaghetti Donut Balls, and more!

There’s also the Midway and I couldn’t resist playing one of my all time favourite games….

Not to mention that this years’ CNE features OH Canada! Aerial Acrobatics & Ice Skating Show with internationally renowned skater Elvis Stojko. There’s two free performances every day (2 and 5 pm).

Details that you should know about the CNE 2017:

-The CNE opens from Aug 18 to Sept 4, 2017

-Gates are open daily from 10 am to 10 pm (rides and midway stay open until midnight)

-Labour Day Monday: Gates close at 5 pm. Buildings close at 7 pm, rides and ground open till 9 pm.

-General admission $19 (14 to 64 years)

-Children (5 to 13 years) $16 Children under 5: Free

-CNE Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children, or 1 adult and 3 children) $59

Specials:

-Opening Day Special $10 (Friday Aug 18 only)

-Kids Toonie Mondays

-$8 after 5 pm on Monday Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays

To learn more about the CNE and about special offers and discounts please visit www.theex.com or call the CNE info line at 416 263 3330

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May
24

I’ve recently returned from my first trip to Philadelphia and for the entire four days all I did was Tour and Eat, Tour and Eat…and Repeat. I’m not complaining as I wore the right shoes (my beloved Keen Uneeksand wore the right clothes (um, stretchy pants).

Let’s start with the touring part of my trip:

I used the Big Bus Tours as much as possible as it’s a great way to see a city. In fact, every time I visit a new city I will use these “hop and off” buses.

philly - bus map

I got off whenever I wanted to check out an attraction or museum, and then simply hopped back on after my visit. Their tour guides were cheerful, friendly and informative too.

Usually I’m not a museum person, however I took the time to check out the following museums/attractions and I’m really happy I made this decision.

Barnes Foundation

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Rodin Museum

National Museum of American Jewish History

The Franklin Institute

Independence Hall

-Liberty Bell Centre

-Rocky Steps & Statue

philly - touring

I walked, and walked and walked some more. In fact, my Samsung GearFit indicated that I walked 18,000 steps one day!

philly - tour 1

As for food:

I asked my cousin to send me a list of where I ate over my visit and this is what she sent me.  I was lucky enough to share a few meals with them which was the best idea as we cut up everything we ordered into thirds. Smart Move!

Tuesday
Carmen’s (cheese steak – lunch at Reading Market of course)
Fiesta Pizza (cheese steak – dinner)
Dalessandro’s (cheese steak – dinner)
Rita’s Italian Ices (dessert)

Wednesday

Dizengoff (inside the Whole Foods…this is unique to Philadelphia)
High Point Cafe @ Allens Lane Station (morning coffee)
Parks on Tap (to enjoy a beer in a beautiful park)
Vedge for a vegan dinner)
Big Gay Ice Cream

Thursday

The Franklin Fountain (rootbeer float)
Lennie’s (hoagie)
McNally’s (for their famous Schmitter®!)
Bredenbecks (ice cream)

Friday
Volo (coffee)
Insomnia Cookies
Monk’s Cafe (for unique beer that is hard to find)

Seriously, there was no shortage of good food to check out! I must say I tried hard to find foods that were unique to Philly and I’m pretty sure I can say “mission accomplished”. Now that I’ve returned to Toronto I’m back on track and eating more fruits and salad. LOL

I summed up Philadelphia like this: it’s bigger than Ottawa, but smaller than Montreal. I really did enjoy this city and do doubt will be returning seeing as the flight is only 1.5 hours from Toronto.

For complete tourism information please check out this website: www.visitphilly.com

Disclosure: A VIP pass was provided to me by the Philadelphia Tourism Office however all opinions are my own

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May
03

The month of May is going to wiz by. Here’s why.

May 4 to 14 – I will be seeing as many films as I can throughout the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. I’ve been been busy studying the guide and putting together a schedule! Can’t wait to help them celebrate their 25th anniversary.

tjff - guide

On May 4th – I will be walking thru the aisles of SIAL looking for new products to share with you. For example – Sugar Cubes that are available in three flavours : cardamom, cinnamon and saffron. Stay tuned for an entire blog post dedicated to this incredible trade show.

sial - flavor sugar

On May 6th – I’m heading to Oxford County to go on their Cheese Trail.  Every Saturday in May, you can head to Canada’s Dairy Capital in Oxford County and enjoy the day celebrating all things cheese. How can I NOT go? LOL

chees days

On May 8th at exactly 9:30 am you will find me and my cheque book at this fabulous Sample Sale. I will happily be shopping for my FALL wardrobe at wholesale prices. Love. Love. Love This Sample Sale.

sample sale

On May 10-11th – I will have the opportunity to drive the the 2018 Equinox on a beautiful drive through some of Niagara Region’s most charming towns. The route promises to include great food, activities and accommodations too.

I’ve been told that the 2018 Equinox is a fresh and modern SUV that’s sized and designed to meet the needs of the compact SUV customer. It will be the perfect balance of design and technology to keep me safe, comfortable and connected.

equinox

May 14th – Mother’s Day! Planning on meeting my mom in Kingston to celebrate this special day with her, and planning on spending the evening with my daughter.

May 16 to 19 – I’m heading to Philadelphia and I’m too excited for words as I’ve never been to this city and the food scene sounds amazing. (a priority – clearly).

philly

May 23rd – more good news to follow!!

My biggest challenge is how to get to Ottawa to see the Tulip Festival. ARGHHH.

Hopefully I will get a chance to rest in June.

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Feb
04

The company I work for has a policy that if you work overtime then you must take off that time within two weeks. I wanted to take full advantage of that day off but it was November and it wasn’t exactly ideal weather to fly somewhere for a for a long weekend.

I was racking my brains what to do – and then I came up with the idea to drive for an hour and a half so I could be pampered at  Ste. Anne’s Spa. Sometimes, I really do have great ideas!!

As you can see from the schedule, I was going to have a great day.

st annes - scheduleOf course, the day included some time in their outdoor hot tub.st annes - outdoor hot tubPlus I made sure to spend as much time as possible, hanging out in their robes.

st annes - robeI found out that there’s a new chef in the kitchen and I must say that I noticed the improvement, since my last visit a few years ago. My food not only was presented beautifully but it was cooked to perfection.

st annes - lunch

Not complaining that my day ended off with a gorgeous Afternoon Tea.

st annes - teaI would highly recommend Ste. Anne’s Spa but please note that they are a very busy destination so book as early as you can!! You will love their facilities, food, warm and welcoming service and attention to detail. Promise.

Please note that they offer many fantastic “packages”.  There’s a February package, a March Getaway Package and even a Yoga Retreat.

For more information:

Website www.steannes.com

Address: 1009 Massey Road, Grafton, ON, K0K 2G0

Reservations: 1.888.346.6772 or info@steannes.com

Disclosure: My visit was complimentary, however all opinions are my own

 

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Feb
01

Staying Healthy!


It’s now February 2017 and for many of us the Near Year is the start of developing the New You. However often we set unattainable health-related goals. (Um, far too often) Which is one of the reasons I’m not signing up for a 10k race.  I’m trying hard to have goals I can achieve!!

Plus there’s competing information out there, which makes it difficult to understand how to be the healthiest version of yourself or to know where to start.

Heres’ some interesting stats:

  • Half of Canadians find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle yet 73 per cent wish they were healthier;
  • 62 percent of Canadians make New Year’s Resolutions and the most common resolution, according to 80 per cent of the country, is to live a healthier lifestyle;
    Yet, the majority of the country (86 per cent) agree they never stick to their New Year’s resolutions and many do not even attempt making health related resolutions stating it is too hard to stay on track.
  • Over one third (34 per cent) of Canadians are unaware of how to tackle resolutions

I’ve made an effort to use this Yoga App to help me improve my flexibility. I’m a disaster when it comes to flexibility and it’s time to address this issue.

yoga - app

I’m also enjoying this app because it has a calendar embedded in it so that I can keep track how many days I actually did the 10 exercises. Here’s what January looked like. Not bad eh? As you can see I started off strong and then got distracted with “vacation mode”.

yoga - january

I’m also aware that I need some vitamins in my life!! With nearly 100 years of experience, Jamieson’s team of experts have done the work for you and identified Multivitamin, Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D as the four products Canadians should take every day as a foundation for healthier living.

jamieson - 4 bottles

These four essential supplements provide me with a perfect foundation to baseline health, which targets my digestive system, heart, bone and whole body health.

I’m a big believer in the whole picture; exercising regularly, good food choices (I’m trying), getting enough sleep, and taking Jamieson vitamins. 

I’m also a huge fan of meatless Mondays. There’s nothing like starting off your week with a lot of colourful healthy food.

jamieson -meatless monday

Here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year that includes a Healthy New You and Jamieson Essentials too!

For more information on Jamieson Essentials visit jamiesonvitamins.com.

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

 

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Dec
30

I’m ending 2016 with some serious splurging. Splurging is generally not a word in my vocabulary but for some reason I really needed to “splurge”.

It all started with a overnight get away to Millcroft Inn where I hung out in their heated outdoor hot tubs. What a treat. (ps there will be another blog post about my stay at the Millcroft Inn – don’t you worry!)

new-years-millcroft

When I returned to Toronto I still felt like relaxing, so I went to the Korean Family Spa. It doesn’t compare to being in Mexico but I welcomed the opportunity to enjoy their 8 different saunas and their wet steam room.

new-years-korean

Then I did some shopping at Fluevog. Can’t wait to wear these two pairs of shoes! It’s a good thing that I have a few events in January because I certainly want to wear them and not have to just look at them in my cupboard.

new-years-shoes

new-years-shoes-2

Oh ya – I treated myself to my very first Le Creuset. I have facebook to blame for this splurge as one of my facebook friends told me about a Le Creuset sale at the Bay!! Before you know it, I was doing some online shopping. I haven’t used it yet but I know I’m going to enjoy these dish. I just hope I don’t keep buying more!!

le-creuset

I didn’t splurge on a fancy dinner or fancy food because I’m perfectly content these days to cook at home plus I’m trying to eat “healthier”. Here’s my version of a healthy banana split. Basically it’s a banana, stuffed with Plain SKYR. topped with strawberries and chocolate covered quinoa puffs. If you haven’t tried SKYR yet, you should. It’s got 22 percent more protein than Greek Yogurt.

new-years-ingredients

My healthy banana split looked like this:

new-years-banana

I’m looking forward to 2017. …more travelling, more friendships, more fantastic food and more adventures. Naturally I will try to share this experiences with you via my blog, facebook and Instagram too!!

Wishing you a fabulous New Years too.

 

 

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Nov
29

Back in the Gym!!


Once again, Momwhoruns hasn’t been running. Truth be told, I didn’t go to the gym once throughout the entire year. That’s right – not even once.

I wanted to go to the gym but simply didn’t have the physical time or the emotional strength. Since my dad passed away, I decided to go to synagogue on a daily basis (for either morning services or evening services) for an entire year. Going to services daily was something I had never done before and was a huge commitment. It certainly wasn’t easy but it felt like the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

gym-candle

My year of mourning has now ended and decided that going back to the gym would also be right thing to do. Guess what? I’m loving it.

gym-vicky

My sister was getting great results (Yay Mandy) with a trainer and I decided to take the plunge as well and ask her trainer for some assistance.

Erin has a company called “30 In 30 Fitness.Which means $30 for 30 minutes of Fitness. LOVE IT. This concept fits my schedule and my budget. What’s not to love?

She’s got me doing a whole bunch of exercises that don’t require a gym or fancy equipment.

shoes-3

Not to mention I’m being more “mindful” of what I’m eating. Which is half the battle ..in my humble opinion.

I was so inspired that I even created a Pinterest Board with more exercise suggestions. Take a minute and check it out by clicking here!

I haven’t weighed myself but after two weeks I know that I’m less bloated. There’s something about getting off  NETFLIX or off of my computer and moving my body that actually feels good.

Not sure I’m signing up for a 10 km race this year but I’m definitely signing up to “get off the couch”. Know what I mean?

Looking forward to a healthier 2017.

Cheers!

 

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Nov
07

I said “bye bye” to my Versa for a week and happily accepted the keys to a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze. This is clearly evident in this photo.

cruze-vicky

This beautiful car has so many cool features but here’s three features that really were my favourites.

1. This tiny pocket that cools down your phone, when the car is running!

cruze-phone

2. The fact that the steering wheel will heat up. This is certainly a very cool feature when you live in Canada! Bye bye frozen fingers.

cruze-wheel

3. The BOSE sound system. OMG!! I generally do not care about such upgrades but this certainly caught my attention….immediately.

cruze-bose

4. The technology features- certainly appealed to me. (especially seeing as Im in my car all day long as a sales rep and use way too much data).

cruze-tech

5. The fact that I didn’t have to push a button to open the gas tank. I just had to push it and it opened…OLD SCHOOL. This made me smile.

cruze-gas

Just in case you want to know the new features for 2016 – here you go:

-a larger lighter design

-all new standard 1.4L turbo engine. Fuel consumption ration of 5.6 L/100 Km

-stop/start technology with automatic transmission enhances fuel efficiency in stop-and-go driving (the story of my life as a sales rep who is on the roads in GTA traffic)

-available Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatibility allows smartphone features to integrate apps wth Chevrolet MyLink (yay..yay..yay)

I will be honest, I have only driven used cars since I started driving at the age of 30. However after driving this car, I swear I would I consider buying a new car. I was totally in love with all these features.

This car certainly is on my radar.

cruze-car

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

For more information:

Website: http://www.chevrolet.ca/2016-cruze-compact-car.html

Twitter and Instagram: @ChevroletCanada

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Oct
31

Can’t believe it’s already November. However despite the shorter hours of daylight – there’s some incredible events taking place in November. Here’s my round up!

1. Eat to The Beat:

The countdown is on to one of the hottest food events in Toronto! The 21st annual Eat to the Beat presented by KitchenAid® is a fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) that features 60 female chefs supporting people living with breast cancer on Tuesday, November 1 from 7 pm – 10 pm at Roy Thomson Hall. General Admission Tickets are $189. Please click here for more information

eat-to-the-beat

2. 6th Annual Toronto Luxury Chocolate Festival

 

chocoloate

This delicious event is taking place on Sunday, November 6, 2016
from 11 am to 6 pm at Roy Thomson Hall. There’s chocolate making classes, chocolate eating contests and of course, chocolates to sample and to purchase! Please click here for further info.

3. Nosh Fest – Nov 13, 2016, Wychwood Barns.

nosh

Hosting its inaugural event at  Wychwood Barns (601 Christie)  NoshFest will welcome acclaimed food and drink vendors from across the city including Caplansky’s Deli, Schmaltz Appetizing, Sunflower Kitchen, Marty’s Pickles, Central Epicure and more..

Tickets are available through Eventbrite at http://noshfesttoronto.eventbrite.ca/ for $10 for one and $18 for two. Kids 12 and under are free.

The event runs Sunday, November 13 from 11am to 4pm at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Toronto.

4. Toronto Christmas Market – Distillery District – Nov 18th to Dec 22nd. Perfect Date Night or family activity. So pretty. So very pretty.

christmas

For more information, please click here!

Other November favourite events include the Royal Agricultural Fair (Nov 4 to 14) and the One of A Kind Christmas Show  (Nov 24 to Dec 4th)…especially late night shopping with free parking!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful November!

 

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Sep
19

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!!

tel-aviv-museum

tel-aviv-museum-2

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

tel-aviv-sarona

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!

tel-avivi-sandwich

Seriously, how pretty are these olives?

tel-aviv-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

tel-aviv-almond-butter

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.

tel-aviv-nahalat

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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