Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Aug
22


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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Jul
11


Seeing as I did a blog post about eating my way thru Toronto, I thought it would only be fair to write a blog post about the variety of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that I’ve discovered in the last few months.

1. SoCIAL Lite

This new drink is right up my alley as it’s the first ever ready-to-drink sparkling vodka cocktail that has no sugar, no sweetener and no artificial ingredients. It’s made with a blend of premium Canadian vodka, soda and 100% Natural Flavours. What’s most impressive, each 355mL can is a mere 80 calories and is gluten-free. Hello Summer!

I love the story behind the drink: Theses entrepreneurs wanted to drink on a Saturday night and still be able to run on Sunday mornings.

drnking - sociallite

2. Root Beer is the latest trend with alcoholic drinks these days and finally I scored these two products at the LCBO on Yonge Street/Summerhill. The brand on the left (Crazy Uncle) disappeared from the fridge before I got a chance to try it, and the brand on the right (Dusty Boots) is Root Beer with Beer and produced by Crazy Beard Brewing Co. right here in Toronto. I tried the Dusty Boots and I liked it…A LOT. Then again I’m a root beer fan so I was pretty sure I was going to like it. Read more about the guys behind Crazy Beard Brewing Co. here!

drinking - hard root beer

3. Fresh – This apple glow ginger is beyond refreshing. Had a sample of it at an event and will certainly be buying this in the future.

eating - apple ginger glow

4. The Iced Aroma or Lemon Mint at Aroma Espresso Bar is another summer time favourite.

drinks - aroma

Aroma Espresso Bar is also running a cool summer time contest (with Simon & Schuster Canada) where you can win free coffee for a year as well as some great books. Enter soon as the contest closes July 15th … K? Ps the name of the contest is Read, Chill, Repeat – LOVE IT.

drink - aroma contest

6; Smoothies!

This weekend I enjoyed the Wimbledon finals while sipping Smoothies made with Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yogurt Protein +. This Canadian product has no GMO, vegan, soy and gluten free.

drinks - protein

I grabbed some Almond Milk Breeze and some berries – added the Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+ and before you know it, I had a satisfying Smoothie. I’m also a fan of the Fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ Cherry Almond Vanilla bar. Check out all their products here.

drinks - smoothie

Here’s to Staying Hydrated over the Summer!!

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Jun
17


I made Gazpacho the other night for the first time in a long time. I truly forgot how refreshing this soup is.

Seriously it took about 10 minutes to chop the veggies and in no time at all you will be enjoying a fabulous summer time soup.

This weekend is going to be H-O-T, so this soup would be ideal.  In fact I purposely didn’t post this recipe till today! (there is a reason behind my madness. LOL)

See these ingredients? Simply wash them and start dicing.

gazpacho - ingredients

Soon you will have gazpacho once you add those diced veggies into the tomato juice! (plus some spices and other goodies)

gazpacho - veggies

My Favourite Gazpacho recipe is from Moosewood Cookbook. 

Ingredients:

4 cups tomato juice (I use V-8)
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 medium clove garlic, crushed
1 medium bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon honey
1 medium cucumber, finely diced
2 scallions, minced (I didn’t have any and my gazpacho was just fine)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup minced parsley or cilantro.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced fresh, ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded)
Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

Directions:

1. Finely dice the onion, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, garlic

2. Add vegetables into the tomato juice

3. Add lemon juice, lime juice, honey, oil and spices.

*you could puree all the ingredients but I like my gazpacho chunky

4. CHILL and enjoy

Final Result

gazpacho - final

Happy Summer Cooking!!

 

 

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Jun
14


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.

shop

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)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

-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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Jun
06


Remember the roasted cauliflower recipe that I blogged about a few weeks ago? Well, there was no way I was going to eat that whole cauliflower by myself. Therefore I needed to figure out what to do with it.

So I went on Pinterest and found a Cauliflower Potato Salad – without the Potatos!! I thought to myself – PERFECT.

Here’s the recipe: (adapted from www.nelliebellie.com)

Ingredients:

1 roasted cauliflower or steamed cauliflower

2 hard boiled eggs, grated

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

3 ribs of celery, diced

Fresh parsley or dill (fresh herbs will make a huge difference)

cauliflower -ingredients

Directions:

1. Roast or steam the cauliflower. Click here for the Roasted Cauliflower recipe)

2. Grate the cauliflower till you have 2 cups

cauliflower - grated 2 cups

3. Combine the grated cauliflower, grated hard boiled eggs and celery together with the mayo.

4. Add salt and pepper and fresh herbs – to your taste.

FINAL

cauliflower - final

This is a fantastic alternative to potato salad.

It’s also perfect for someone like me who is trying to cut down on carbs.

T’is the season to embrace salads, don’t you think?

 

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Apr
11


I’ve heard of a Man Cave before but I’ve never heard of a She-Shed till I attended the Lowes Spring/Summer Media Preview.

The concept of a She-Shed is nothing short of brilliant. A relaxing shed designed for women – complete with soothing colours, comfy pillows and magazines.

lowes - sheshed

It took me a nano second to jump into the she-shed and make myself comfortable.

lowes - vicky

At the preview I noticed a few other items that are now on my “dream-list”. For example, this rectangular fireplace caught my attention.

lowes - fireplace

Also, this fire pit which is perfect for making amores.  #want

lowes - smores

Not to mention this STUNNING cabana.

lowes - cabana

Patio trends for the 2016 season include: Nautical, Natural Beauty, Culture Trek and Recolonial. Please click on this link here to find out more about Patio Trends at Lowe’s.

Also feel free to follow them on social media!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lowes_Canada

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/lowes_canada/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LowesCanada/

Hashtag: #EscapetoLowes

 

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Jul
20


For many years, I went to summer camp and fondly remember many canoe trips and even a sailing trip! However as an adult I’ve only gone camping three times. Sad but true.

Last week this all changed, as I finally went camping again.

Here’s what was involved:

a) I googled “best camping spots near Toronto”. Found this great website  that inspired me to pick up the phone and call a  1 888 number to book a camp site at Elora Gorge Conservation Area. On a side note: I found it extremely interesting (?) to call an American Call Centre to book a Canadian Camp Site.

b) I sent out a tweet: “Going Camping. Need a recommendation for a tent”. My fellow lifestyle blogger friend (who goes camping regularly) suggested: Coleman.

I swear her camping blog posts inspire me and I encourage you to click here to read about her camping adventures.

c) Went to Canadian Tire to buy a tent, sleeping bag, cooler, lanterns and a bbq grill. The Coleman tent said it would go up in a minute and I swear it went up in a minute. It took less time to set up the tent than it does to make my bed!  As for the sleeping bag – it kept me warm and cozy and it was on sale! $39.99 ! (hooray). Actually the tent was on sale too. ($189)

camping - tent

d) As for food: I wanted to follow the rule: K.I.S.S (keep it simple) – so eggs, bread, hot dogs, jiffy pop corn, pancake mix, salami, bagged salad, oysters, tuna patties, muffins, blueberries, cheese, etc were on the menu!!

camping - cooking

e) The camp site we selected (area C number 166) was quiet, well shaded and included electricity (so I could charge my phone…I’m bad eh?). It wasn’t near the water or the quarry but I didn’t care  – it was QUIET and peaceful and truly beautiful to be surrounded by so many trees.

camping - trees Even though it rained and we left early, we did get a chance to hang out for a few hours at the Quarry.

camping - quarry

What did we learn?

-we forgot oven mitts and toilet paper. Oops!!

-we didn’t bring the right clothes and it rained an rained and rained. In fact it rained so much that we packed up our tent and left a day early.

However, we can’t wait to go camping again and trust me, I will be blogging about these experiences.

To book a campsite this summer:

Grand River Conservation Area: 1-877-558-GRCA (4722)

Reservations at Ontario Provincial Parks: 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

To buy camping equipment:

Head to www.canadiantire.ca for all your camping needs!

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Jul
19


It’s summer and the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. I don’t know about you but I cook a lot more in the winter.

Here’s a few things to make that will take no time at all so that you can spend more time enjoying the sunshine.

a) An appetizer with two ingredients: Piggies in a Blanket.

Not sure why I’ve never made these before. They are simple to make and simply delicious.

All you need is hot dogs (or Yves Veggie Dogs) and Pillsbury Croissant Dough.

2 ingredients - dough

Directions: Open up the tube of Pillsbury Croissant Dough. Cut into smaller strips. Wrap around a cut up hot dog. Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Could it get any simpler than this?

2 ingredients - piggies

b) Two ingredient dessert: Strawberry Galette. (sorry no photo)

Directions: Take any berry and boil it with a touch of sugar and a touch of water. Then take some PC butter pastry and put the berries in the middle and then fold it. Bingo – you’ve got yourself dessert.

c) Four ingredient desert: Ice Cream Cake

You will need; No Name Ice Cream Sandwiches, No Name Icing, a few cherries and a few PC chocolate chips.

dessert  - ice cream

Instructions: Place 4 ice cream sandwiches next to each other. Take the icing and spread it on top. (I’ve used the PC ice cream syrup for this and it worked as well). Basically you need something to act as “the glue”. LOL. Then take 4 more ice cream sandwiches and place it on top. Final step: more icing (or syrup) on top and then decorate with cherries and chocolate chips!! THIS DESSERT IS A WINNER. dessert - finalI love entertaining (as you know) and I love discovering recipes that are easy to make as well.

Do share your easy recipes with me!!

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Aug
11


Dear Readers…

I hope this blog post finds you well and enjoying your summer. I’ve had a SUPER busy sumer. In fact it’s been so busy that I haven’t blogged for an entire month. This is the first time I’ve taken a “blogging break” since 2009….when I first started to blog.

Heres’3 reasons why I took a “Blog Break”:

a) I went to my boyfriends’ cottage from July 12 to July 27 and for some reason Rogers (my internet provider) doesn’t work up there. A neighbour suggested that I buy a Bell  pay-as-you-go-package and indeed it worked. YAY. I used it to work and occasionally update facebook and to reply to emails. However I have to admit – I just wanted to sit on the dock and do NOTHING (which is what I did).

cottage-sunset1

b) I’m moving which means I’m drowning in boxes. It’s insane…. I have-so-much-stuff. I’m moving to a rental condo that is several hundred dollars cheaper and has 8 amenities. At the moment I live in an apartment with ZERO amenities and when my rent went up – I decided it was time to move. Despite the fact that I’m stressed with the move, I’m thrilled that I get to redecorate using CIL Paints. (stay tuned for a blog post)

CILpaint

c) I went to a family reunion in Ottawa from Aug 1-3. This meant I had ZERO time to blog. All we did was TALK and EAT. Repeat.

family

d) I also went to Montreal from Aug 3 to 13. See what I mean? I’ve been BUSY. I’ve never spent so much time in Montreal and can’t stop snapping photos ..this city is SO beautiful. (stay tuned for several blog posts..LOL).

montrealI look forward to sharing lots of summer adventures with you – starting NOW. It feels good to be back on track blogging again.

Cheers,

Vicky

 

 

 

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Jun
20


Here’s a few events that are on my radar:

a) The Niagara Integrated Film Festival (Thursday June 19 to Sunday 22, 2014). This is a great chance to see some wonderful films AND drink wine! Not a bad combo at all. There’s a wide range of films (Canadian, Animated, Documentaries and more) and you will be watching these movies in a truly unique setting. Please visit their website for more info www.niagarafilmfest.com

logo

 

b) Restaurantacular on Wed. June 25th from 4 – 9 pm. This is a great way to eat your way thru Mount Pleasant! There will be a variety of food from local restaurants that will only set you back a loonie or two or three!! LOVE IT. For more information please visit: www.mountpleasantvillage.ca

restaurantacular

c) Night It Up 2014 Night Market takes place this year on Friday July 11th to July 13th. I’ve gone for the last two years and always find something that I’ve never tried before. For more information please check out their website www.nightitup.com

night it up

d) Summerlicious will be taking place July 4- 20th and I’m sure I will be checking out a restaurant or two. I’ve already make plans to visit Pukka for a $15 lunch with a bunch of friends. What great value. For more information – please visit their website www.toronto.ca

Take a peek at how many festivals are going on…there’s no way one can be bored during the summer.

PS many thanks to my friend @sackman66 for sending me this list!

summerHave a wonderful summer everyone!

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