Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival

This September marked the 29th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival in Toronto and can you believe it was the first time I’ve ever gone?  I’ve been a vegetarian since 2007 and have always wanted to check it out, but for some reason I just couldn’t get my butt down there in time.

Jason the meat-a-tarian was nice enough to come with me.  He is really great at trying out my veggie meals so I was excited for him to try some new veggie/vegan delights!

We picked up our passes from the lovely ladies at Inked Communications and headed out to taste as much as we could.

The first stop was Sunflower Kitchen to taste some vegetarian soups.  They also make pesto and hummus, but I didn’t get a chance to taste either.  We both tried the Harira and Egyptian Lentil.  Surprisingly I liked the Harira the best of the two – expanding my flavour horizons and I also tried the Gazpatcho Summer Soup.  It was my first (intentionally) cold soup and I really liked it.  I love soup for lunch at work and would consider making this myself in the summertime.

Our next stop was the Peanut Butter & Co booth.  Jason and I LOVE peanut butter and we were pretty excited to sample the flavours.  We ended up buying 3 jars to take home of our favourites – Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, Mighty Maple & Crunch Time.  And someone might have kept his spoon and continued to snack on the jars throughout our day.

 

After all the peanut butter we needed a drink, so hit up the Tonica Kombucha booth.  I had never tried Kombucha before and to be honest, it wasn’t bad but a little too bitter for me.  Jason was not a fan but was a good sport and drank it anyway 🙂  We tried the Green Tea Revival and Vibrant Blueberry.

The next booth that spiked our interest was the Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Coffee Substitute.  I am not a big coffee drinker at all but Jason is and he was very skeptical of trying it.  Surprisingly it was very good and actually tasted like coffee.  I would definitely drink this at home and Jason even said that he would like to have some.  We didn’t purchase it at the festival but I think I’ll order him some.  You can find the drink in Barrie & Ottawa and it seems to be in quite a few locations in the US.

We walked around for about an hour, tasting, listening and learning.  We stopped again at the Grass Roots Bakery booth and they have just launched!  Website to come.  I tried their Chocolate Banana Cherry bar and it was sooo delicious I could have eaten all of them.

The last stop of the day was when I spotted fresh baked each and Strawberry Rhubarb Vegan & Gluten Free tarts.  The bakery is a local Toronto place but I’ve misplaced the name.  Please let me know if you remember who made these delectable desserts!  They were the best things I’d tried all day and I wanted to eat all of them (again).

We headed home after this with full and healthy bellies.  It was a really interesting day and I loved trying out the vegetarian and vegan foods.  I was in heaven not having to check labels and worry about getting animal by products that I don’t want to ingest.  I didn’t feel heavy after eating the sweets and had enough energy to take Finn for a long walk.

I can’t wait until next year’s Vegetarian Food Festival and thank you Inked Communications for the invite!

TIFF 2013 Disaronno, Thompson Hotel & Blue is the Warmest Colour

The party to attend at TIFF was the Blue Is The Warmest Colour afterparty at the Thompson Hotel Rooftop hosted by Disaronno.

My sis and I went to check out the event, had a delish prosecco & Disaronno cocktail, saw some babes and had our picture taken.

Blondetourage-ish

Me, Kristin & Casie

Apparently I tilt my head in photos now – which is evident in all photos from the last 2 weeks.

We had a blast!  Thanks for a great night!

 

Babes, Brews & BBQs

This weekend was fantastic.  My cousin Tanya was in town for the weekend from Florida and I got to leave early to pick her up at our Mugga’s on Friday afternoon and we drove back to the Beach to begin our whirlwind weekend of fun.  We got home just as Jason arrived and he jumped in the shower and we drove up to have birthday dinner for my brother at The Auld Spot.  Dinner was pretty good – I had the gourmet mac n’ cheese and everyone else had steak & southern fried chicken.  We drank beers and sang the Birthday Song twice – the first time with our Original Moule family version(and unless you’ve heard it IRL you can’t imagine how loud & long it is)!

 

We had a great time at dinner and then Tanya, Jason, Kyle and I went back to our house to play with Finn and have some more drinks on the back deck.

Tanya’s friend Ginger was in town from NYC for the night so Tanya & I picked up Rhi and went down to Betty’s to meet Ginger and her husband.  I hadn’t been to Betty’s in years and it seems the past couple months I’ve been going back.  I <3 Betty’s and it was great to hang out in my old watering hole 🙂  We left Betty’s pretty late to go home and I was EXHAUSTED!  I’m so not used to staying up late anymore.

Saturday morning we slept in and then got up to go have brunch at Whitlock’s, me, Jason, Tanya, Kyle & Kathryn.  After brunch we went back to the hose to get Finn and began our day of walking.  We took him to the park, to the dog beach & the people beach, had him swimming and playing fetch with the tennis ball.  Until we lost the ball in the lake because he was too tired to get it.

I luckily stepped in the grossest dog poo in the park – it was NOT Finn’s – I ALWAYS pick up my dog’s poo and it is disgusting.  Luckily this poo smushed into my sandals and in between my toes.  I had to hop my way to the public restrooms to clean it off and when I got there the women’s side was closed for cleaning.  So I took my chances with the Men’s Room (eww) and got myself de-pooed.

Kathryn came down to meet us on the Boardwalk and we made our way back to the house – stopping by Woodbine Park to check out the Beaches BBQ & Brews Festival.  It was filled with people, puppies & BBQ’d food and Finn was a little too excited about the thought of someone dropping some BBQ for him, so Jason and I took him home and went back down to meet the girls.

Kathryn and Tanya had scoped out a perfect spot and when we came back they had a table beside the beer, facing the stage.  Jason and I spotted Pappy’s Olde Fashion Soda Pop that had huge, stainless steel mugs and made a beeline for them.  We had butter beer & birch been soda and then used them for our beers.  I drank Mill St Lemon Tea Beers (my favourite) and we watched a 90’s cover band.

Then a band called MidLife Crisis came on AND IT WASN’T MY DAD’S BAND!!!  They were definitely not as good as my dad’s band and it was too bad they didn’t have the real MLC perform.

Jason really lucked out because I bought him a t-shirt from Left Field Brewery AND a huge Grand Slam BBQ meal from Camp 31 out of Alabama, that was 1 of everything they were making at the festival.  He got BBQ’d ribs, brisket, pulled pork & chicken and said it was really delicious.  They also Oinked when you tipped, which was pretty funny.

  
We left the BBQ & Brews festival around 9pm and were a little tipsy and definitely sunburned.  Jason had a meat coma and went straight to bed, and Tanya, Kathryn & I went and got Indian food from New Haandi 2000 in  Gerrard Bazar/Little India.  We had chicken tikka masala, chana masala, matar paneer, garlic & regular naan bread and jasmine rice.  I love Indian food and New Haandi 2000 is really yummy.

We passed out around midnight and Sunday was super rainy and gloomy in the morning so I slept in til about 1100am.  I got up and the sun started to come out, so Tanya and I walked into the Beach to check out The Body Shop and to get me some sunscreen at Shoppers.  We came back, packed Finn & Kyle into the car and headed up to Mom & Dad’s for Father’s Day.  We spent a few hours playing with Finn in the pool and hanging out with the extended family.  Then everyone went over to our Aunt & Uncles for family Father’s Day dinner.

My family is huge and crazy and fun and it’s always a great time when we get together.  My cousins and I are all good friends and close-ish in age (20-32) and we had a blast together.

I finally packed Jason, Finn & Kyle back in the car and drove home to the city.  We crashed pretty soon after getting home and all in all it was a great weekend!  So happy to see you Tanya and I can’t wait to be back on your beach.

 

Buytopia’s $100 Million Celebration

As you guys might know I’ve been lucky to be a part of the Buytopia Affiliate Bloggers.  They’ve sent me on some fun adventures so far, like my Nailopolis Luxury Mani & Pedi; the yummy 4-course Cheesewerks Tasting Experience; and the High Tea Wedding Soiree (which I had to miss out on due to being sick forever!).

Well on March 7th we got to check out their offices and celebrate their $100 Million milestone!  Jason and I got to chat with some babes that I hadn’t seen in ages (hi Crystal, Casie & Val) and I got to finally meet Vanessa which was awesome.

My handsome date is none other than International Man of Leisure, Pony!  He cleans up really nice 🙂  I love when he comes to events with me (hint, hint)

 

I love the knife holder guy and should have bought him while he was one of the deals.  Hopefully I can find him in a store somewhere.

 

We drank, ate tons of yummy apps and met some of the ladies at Buytopia.  And I was given a gorgeous new bracelet from Anomoly!

Thanks so much to Buytopia for all the awesome deals that I’ve be able to try out.  It’s really nice to work with a company that values their bloggers.  It’s definitely in part to their fantastic partner, Val and Charming Media.  Love working with you guys!!!

 

 

 

 

Toronto’s First Annual Buddy Walk

My friend Val is on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto and they are hosting Toronto’s first ever annual Buddy Walk on May 11th.

 

Please consider walking to support the cause or making a donation and share this post to help spread awareness.

 

The Buddy Walk is an event for the whole family that helps raise awareness of people with Down syndrome. All you have to do is put on your walking shoes and have some fun! Participating in the Buddy Walk is a way to give people with Down syndrome in Toronto a chance for a better future.

 

Participants are encouraged to raise funds and create teams using Peer to Peer fundraising campaigns, a simple way to raise funds.

 

What Can You Do? 

 

There are various levels of participation:
  1. Join in the walk and make some new friends!
  2. Share information about the Buddy Walk amongst your communities, readerships and friends!
  3. Raise funds for a great cause

 

What is the Buddy Walk?
The Buddy Walk was started by the National Down Syndrome Society in New York City and has grown from 17 walks around the USA in 1995 to more than 300 around the world! The fact that this is Toronto’s first annual walk is a really big deal and a great feat!

 

All funds raised will go to the Down Syndrome Society of Toronto, supporting the associations various activities and support programs.