Archive for Things I like

These Are a Few of My Favourite Teas!

So lately I’ve had a bit of a writer’s block. Then I realized, I just wasn’t writing!

The first step to get over a writer’s block is just WRITE.

That’s when everything starts to flow!

So what will this post be about you ask?

Well as I sit here, writing this, I am drinking tea.

So tea it is.

I recently got a part-time job at Teavana.

And I love it!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work in the service industry again. (I’m not crazy about being a waitress again.) And of course, the first part-time job that comes to mind for an actress? Waitress.

But I LOVE TEA.

I’ve never liked coffee so I don’t drink it, but tea? I’ve been drinking tea for years and think that tea has tonnes of benefits for everyone.

I’ve been collecting tea and now that I’ve started to work at Teavana, my collection has grown considerably.

It used to take up a shelf in our cupboard but it got so big that we had to buy a whole new shelving unit for it.

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Lots of room for tea now!

Now before I go on, THIS IS JUST A BLOG!

What I post on here are my favourite teas and what I find helps me with sickness, detoxing etc.

Feel free to try these teas out but this is my opinion and preference.

To start:

Sick Teas.

Before I moved into my new apartment I was constantly sick. I had teas and tricks that I would use daily to help me and keep the symptoms at bay.

Sick Tea #1!

Citrus Lavender Sage & Silver Yin Zhen Pearls

It’s a fruity/citrus tea that makes my throat feel great. (Especially if I add a little bit of honey.) It also smells SO good. The pearls are a white tea which are filled with good antioxidants, perfect for getting rid of a cold.

Sick Tea #2

Maharaja Chai Oolong & Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos

This one is spicy and goes right to the sinuses, opening them up. It’s also got a lot of cinnamon and ginger which are good for colds too.

Trick #1

Oregano Oil

I take two drops of this morning and night when I feel a cold coming on. Make sure you have a glass of water nearby to chase it down with! I also put the drops under my tongue.

Trick #2

Liquorice Root Extract

At first, this taste is really hard to do but after a while you get used to it.

I take a 1/4 teaspoon of the liquorice and mix it in a small cup of water. Then chug it! Or better, gurgle some in your throat, then swallow it. It really helps with a sore throat. You can also put this in tea!

My Favourite Teas as of November 2015:

White Chocolate Peppermint

I put a teaspoon of the Teavana’s Rock Sugar in it to bring out more of the chocolate flavours. Then as a dessert, I make this a a latte with two pumps of chocolate (without the sugar) and coconut milk. It’s SO GOOD. I have it after dinner so I don’t crave any cake or actual dessert.

Best part about this tea? Matt likes it! I have been trying to get Matt to like ANY tea for years so I was so happy when he finally admitted he liked it. Point Cassie!

Matcha Tea

I’ve recently become a HUGE fan of matcha. it Has so many benefits. It has the highest amount of caffeine and antioxidants because the whole green tea leaf is ground into a fine powder. I find I can’t drink it on its own so I add some honey to it to sweeten it a little. Even better, I make this into a latte with coconut milk.

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I think matcha in my Harry Potter mug is a perfect Halloween tea 😀

For added benefits, I make the matcha, then add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and liquorice. Then add Boathouse Vanilla Chai Milk. It’s a great metabolism and immune booster and the chai milk is super tasty.

Caramel Almond Amaretti

There is no almonds in this! (All of Teavana’s teas are nut and gluten-free.) This tea is tasty on its own but is also really good in a latte. It kind of reminds of having a caramel cookie.

Snow Geisha

This one is a white tea with some caffeine. It has cherries in it and needs no sweeteners. It’s like a cherry, fruity delicious tea. It also smells heavenly. White tea also has lots of antioxidants!

Rasberry Riot Lemon Mate & Strawberry Slender Pu-Erh

This is a nice detox tea, especially if you have it iced. It’s super fruity and I usually make a big pitcher of it at night and have it in the morning before I start the day! You need to drink it for at least 3 weeks (along with a good diet and exercise) to see any weight loss results but I have found that I have been feeling better since I started drinking it. (You need to flush out the toxins before you get to results right!?)

 

Needless to say, tea is pretty much my life now and I think there is a tea out there for everyone. If you have any questions about tea, let me know!

Enjoy my favourite teas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISNEY WORLD!!!

So as most people know, I LOVE Disney.

Like, A LOT.

 

So because Matt and I just put our deposit down on our Disney Honeymoon for next year, I decided to do a blog about my trips to Disney!

And I have been lucky enough to go to Disney World 3 times already.

The first time, I went with my family when I was 12.

It was fantastic!

Want to know why?

On the first day at the resort, my brother fell down a flight of stairs and sprained his ankle.

It was great.

Now most of you are thinking “This girl is insane. That’s awful!”

And I thought it was awful too. How were we supposed to have any fun when my brother was hurt?

It actually worked in our favour.

When we were at the parks, we were treated like royalty.

Because of my brother’s wheelchair, we were allowed to skip lines for rides and when we went to the night-time parade, we were given a spot at the front!

Unfortunately, my brother fell asleep during the parade, even though ALL of the characters would come over to see him because he looked so frail in his chair, but I got to see everyone!

Goes to show that the people at Disney will help make a broken kid’s day infinitely brighter.

My brother loves going on roller coasters and lucky for him, you don’t have to stand on those!

The only thing I wish we could have done during that trip was to see the princesses.

But everyone wanted to go on the rides and 12-year old me couldn’t go off on her own.

Ah well. It was a great trip!

—————

The second time I went to Disney World was with the Youth Singers of Calgary when I was in Grade 11.

We did a tour to Disney World and the Bahamas.

Nice right?

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Right.

(One of the pools at the resort we stayed at.)

We got to do a workshop behind the scenes at Disney and learn one of their numbers that they did in the parades.

We also got to perform in Downtown Disney!

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Just me being a giant butterfly in Downtown Disney.

I had great arms that year.

And we got free time on the parks!

So to sum up, I got to perform in Disney, then spend time at the parks with my friends.

That’s Youth Singers for you.

Although, I do remember one day we had at the park and the group I was with wanted to start on Tower of Terror.

I had never been on Tower of Terror and I’m a wuss when it comes to rides that drop.

So after we got off that ride, I was scared shitless and couldn’t stop shaking.

I don’t think I spoke for an hour.

But at least I know not to go on it again!

Unfortunately my group didn’t want to go see the princesses either and we had to stick together.

Sad day.

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I did get to meet Cowboy Goofy though!

Why was he a cowboy? No clue.

I still got to run around Disney World with my best friends and my boyfriend and nothing could beat that.

Matt and I also spent our first Valentines day together on that trip.

Get this:

We were on a cruise in the Bahamas.

We spent the day on a private island of the cruise ship.

Then we had a fancy ass dinner on the cruise ship.

And he bought me a rose.

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This was part of the private beach.

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This Matthew with my rose.

He looks so young!

 

So basically after that Valentines day, we haven’t really celebrated Valentines day because NOTHING could compete with that.

I don’t really want anything to beat it anyways.

————-

 

My third time at Disney was in 2012 and I went with Matt. We went at the end of August/ beginning of September so most kids were back in school which meant fewer people at the parks!

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This was our first big trip together by ourselves.

We planned and paid for it ourselves too.

And I think we did an awesome job at staying within our budget!

We stayed at a Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham on Lake Buena Vista. Visit their site here!

We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel. We originally chose it because it was a great price, offered shuttles to the parks and we got a refrigerator.

When we got to our room we were shocked that not only did we have a refrigerator, we had a fully stocked kitchen! We also had a living room separate to the bedroom! It was probably the same size as our condo right now, but with a king size bed. ( I miss that bed.)

The shuttles to the parks left at various times throughout the day but we made sure to always get on the earliest one so we could get to the parks early in the day.

The hotel was also a ten minute walk away from a grocery store so we were able to make our lunches to bring to the park. (I was gluten-free at the time so we were allowed to bring our own food.)

Being able to bring our own lunches brought down our food costs considerably.

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Our daily lunches! Sandwiches, Welches food snacks and juice boxes.

We let ourselves buy one treat at the park everyday. One day it was candy apples, one day was ice cream, but the one I remember the most was sharing one of those giant turkey legs together. (YUM)

We gave ourselves a budget for how much we would spend on souvenirs and we stayed well within it. (We were also doing Islands of Adventure/ Universal Studios on this trip and we wanted to spend the majority of our souvenir money at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.)

We got park hopper tickets but we made sure to plan each day carefully. We did a day at each park, then on our last day, we made a list of things we wanted to do/get and jumped from park to park checking off that list.

The first thing we did when we got to the park was get fast passes for the rides we really wanted to do. (Space Mountain, Everest, Rockin’ Roller Coaster etc.)

And no, we DID NOT go on Tower of Terror.

But I think the best part about this trip was what Matthew did.

Our first day was at Magic Kingdom. And even before we got our fast passes to Space Mountain, Matt beelined for the brochures on character greetings and said to me:

“Ok, so we can see Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel at 12:15 if we get fast passes for them, then we can go see Ariel at 2 and oh! We can see Merida at 10!”

I wanted to cry I was so happy.

He knew that I wanted to see the Princesses and he made it his mission that I saw all of them.

And we did!

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I have a costume just like hers now 😀

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I asked her where Tarzan was and she told me he was off getting into trouble with Turk.

I just wanted to see his abs.

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My favourite Princess is Pocahontas and she rarely has character greetings so when we saw she had one at the Animal Kingdom, Matt and I ran straight for her.

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We got to have a long conversation with these two. It has just rained so a lot people left the park but Matt and I came across them under a gazebo, shielded from the rain. There was no one there! We talked about Canada and Prince Naveed had us laughing until our stomachs hurt.

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Being Merida would be the best. She pretty much gets to run around her area and act crazy (Because that’s who Merida is.) She has an archery station for kids to play at while they wait and her brother bears behind her move!

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I got to talk to Mary Poppins for a while too since no one else was there. After 2 minutes though I found myself using an English accent.

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After meeting Belle, Matt said he noticed that I acted like all the Princess I met. I would automatically go into Princess mode around them.

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While we were on this trip, we noticed something odd.

There was Star Wars merchandise everywhere.

And the Star Tours ride?

Fully Star Wars.

(We went before Disney announced that they bought the rights.)

Matt wasn’t complaining though. He LOVES Star Wars so he was a kid in a candy shop at Hollywood Studios.

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C-3P0 in the line up for the Star Wars ride!

Matt and I came to the conclusion that Disney made a deal with LucasFilm to have so much Star Wars stuff at the parks.

And sure enough, a week after we got back home they announced that Star Wars was part of Disney!

Kneeeewwwww it.

One of the best/worst things about this trip was that is rained everyday.

But only from 1-2 ish. We didn’t realize this on the first day and got SOAKED in the downpour, but stuck around afterwards because we’re Canadian and we’re not afraid of getting wet.

The second day though, around 12:45, it started to look like rain so we decided to get in line for an indoor ride with a long line up and a gift shop at the end. It rained while we were in there and was done by the time we got out!

From there on we made sure that we were either at an indoor show, ride, or event for the rest of the trip around that time.

Best part about it?

People would leave during the rain.

Everyone would head out and the park became empty!

Less line ups and more time with Characters!

That trip with Matt was amazing.

We got to do everything that we wanted thanks to our intensive planning, but hey, that’s how you get everything done at Disney!

We were also able to do Disney World and Universal for $5000. That included souvenir and food money too!

Not bad eh?

It’s all about finding discounts where you can and knowing what you want to splurge on.

Now our trip next year?

Splurge on everything. We are doing the Disney trip we’ve always wanted to do and best of all? Fantasy Land will be open!

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I could see it being built! So close but yet so far.

And there will probably be more Star Wars stuff for Matt.

I think we will need a bigger budget for our souvenir money.

Also, do you ever have a moment when you are looking back on old photos where you know at the time, you thought you were fat?

That is happening to me right now and I want to go back in time and slap myself for ever thinking that. I looked great!

I know, I’m so humble.

If you have any questions about how to save money on a Disney or Universal trip, just ask me, I’ve got a lot of aces up my sleeve 😉

Youth Singers of Calgary

This post is going to focus on one of my favourite things about Calgary.

But before I go on, I’m going to take you back to the time of Young Cassie.

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Going back in time!

I was very different when I was younger. (Sort of. I’m still addicted to reading. And I’m not stopping any time soon. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.)

I was a very shy, quiet kid.

I was terrified to talk to anyone that wasn’t my family or friends. I was scared of being made fun of for what I said.

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Who knew that this demented looking child would grow up to be so introverted?

What I was mostly scared to do, was to sing in front of others.

I loved to sing and I would sing at home or with my close friends but I was scared of what others would say if I sang in front of them.

I was also afraid to dance in front of anyone as well. (Well, anything physical really, I started pretty early with the whole “body consciousness” that every little girl unfortunately has.)

So when my mom took me to audition for the Youth Singers of Calgary when I was 11, I thought she was nuts.

But I was secretly very, very excited.

I started YS (Youth Singers) in my Grade 6 year. My mom also started a choir at my school that year as well. (She’s a music teacher. Yes, my mom was my teacher. I’m one of those kids. I have also called her “mom” by mistake in class as well.)

I was so nervous for my first day at YS. I knew absolutely no one and had never sung in front of other people who liked to sing as well.

I was surprised how easy it was for me to fit in.

Within a few minutes, I made a few friends who were just like me.

They liked to sing and dance and be creative!

Say whaaaaaat?

In my school, if you liked to sing and dance, you were weird. Sports was the way to go.

Unfortunately, I’m not so good at sports. (When I was in soccer I was the kid running after butterflies and making ant hills in the middle of the field.)

I loved that we got to learn about music theory and how to read music.

And choreography!

We were taught the basic moves of show choirs then we got to learn choreo!

I definitely didn’t want to run after butterflies when we were dancing.

I felt more confident in myself after a few rehearsals. And I was NEVER confidant before.

I even decided to help my mom with her choir.

Just imagine little (actually, not so little. I was a chubby kid.) me in front of my mom’s choir, helping them.

Crazy right?

Well, maybe not for you guys. You didn’t really know me then.

But I knew me!

And it was crazy. Believe me.

When it came time to do our Christmas concert at school, my mom gave me the biggest solo of the show.

Now, I know, I know, favouritism right?

Well, maybe a little.

The song was Breathe of Heaven and it’s a pretty hard song. ( Especially when you’re in elementary school.)

My mom had done this song in previous Christmas concerts and I’ve been to see ALL of her concerts so I knew it off by heart.

And with the help learning to sing better at Youth Singers, I could do it well for a Grade 6 kid. (I could probably ROCK it now. Just sayin’)

But all I remember of that solo is being scared out of my mind before I walked into the gym to sing it.

I remember one of the kids mom’s who was helping backstage, calm my nerves then tell me I was crazy for saying that I couldn’t do it. She knew I could.

I really wish I remembered her name.

Thank you whoever you are if you are reading this!!!

I remember walking down the aisle of people, a bright light, then walking back down the aisle of people.

That’s it.

Kind of like dying in a way.

Although, I guess I wouldn’t know that.

Or do I?

….

….

Anyway.

Did I sing?

I guess so.

Did people like it?

Yes.

My mom has this thing about no applause until the end of the show (it takes up too much time) so she gets the audience to wait.

But I guess they didn’t wait after my song.

AND I DIDN’T HEAR ANY OF IT.

I was so worried about what people would think that I didn’t listen to them.

The next day, everyone kept telling me how great I was and what a big round of applause I got and I remembered nothing.

Gaaaaaaaah.

I was then that I realized that this could be something I was actually good at.

And I liked it.

Later that year when I did my first spring show at the Jubilee Auditorium of the Youth Singers, I listened to the applause.

I stood there onstage at the end of the show, grinning my head off because the feeling you get when the audience leaps to their feet is such a rush.

It’s the best feeling in the world.

I was hooked.

I went on to do 10 more years with the Youth Singers of Calgary.

I got to travel the world with them. (Literally, they do tours around the world. It’s pretty awesome.)

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Us in Disney World/The Bahamas!

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Us in South America! (Rio de Janeiro to be exact for this picture.)

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Us in Costa Rica!

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A silly one of us in Costa Rica!

…That was an awesome tour.

I improved my skills of singing and dancing and I met life-long friends there, including my husband. (CHEEESSSSEEEYYYYY. I know. Suck it up.)

But most of all, I found myself there. (MORE CHEESE.)

I didn’t have to be afraid of who I was at Youth Singers because I knew that the staff and my friends would still love me no matter what.

I wasn’t afraid anymore.

Ok, maybe there are still some things that scared me, but I found myself taking more risks.

I honestly don’t know who I would be today if I didn’t have YS.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be writing a blog about my life for the world to see, that’s for sure.

And I don’t think I would be singing.

And that would be a very sad life for me.

(I’m a little sad writing this right now. I miss it! I hope to go back to it one day.)

So even if singing and dancing isn’t your thing, I challenge you to try something that scares you, you might just be surprised.

Sorry this post was so sappy.

Actually, I’m not.

Suck it up buttercup.

Paint Nite – The Second Round

So this Thanksgiving weekend has been very quiet and relaxing for Matt and I.

Which is great!

But I wanted to do something fun and actually go on a date with husband. (Say whaaaaat?)

So I decided that we were going to go to a Paint Nite!

Now Matthew doesn’t believe he’s creative at all. (And to a point, he is right!)

But I think he did really well painting for his first time.

I originally picked a Paint Nite at Shoeless Joe’s on King because it’s close to where we live. (We could save money by walking!)

But unfortunately, the Jay’s had a game last night and Joe’s wanted the space for people to go see the game. (Boo)

Good thing is, the Jays won! Woo!

Anyway.

So Paint Nite switched the location and ended up needing to do TWO paintings at the location because another bar had the same idea as Shoeless Joe’s.

Bad thing: we had to take transit.

Good thing: we could choose between the 2 paintings!

So of course, I stuck with my swirly love birds that I originally picked and Mat decided to do the tree with a tire swing. (He thought it would be easier and manlier.)

We ended up going to Bar Italia for our Paint Nite. It’s a beautiful bar and has an upstairs space that you can rent. And it has italian food! Yum! Check them out here!

Our artist for the night was John and he was great. It was obviously a lot of work going from one painting to the other but he did it well!

I didn’t take pictures of Matt’s painting in stages because he hates getting his picture taken (and I guess that includes his paintings?) so I just took pictures of mine.

We first did a big yellow circle.

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I know, hard right?

Then we added red around it.

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We overlapped some yellow on top of it to crate orange. Ooooo mixing!

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After adding some white and covering the entire canvas, we added dark red to the corners then light blue to the bottom. It kind of created a purple shade! Which I was totally fine with. (I LOVE PURPLE)

Then after letting is dry for a few minutes, we went on to add the birds and vines.

I was terrified of doing the birds. And I kind of messed them up at first. But you know whats the best thing about paint? You can just go over it. I made my little birds bigger and covered up my mistake.

Just like Bob Ross. You make a mistake? Then it becomes a bird. Or a happy tree.

Then we added some black to the bottom and some white dots for the cherry blossoms…

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Et Viola!

My swirly love birds!

Pretty good if I say so myself.

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And this is Matt’s!

Very stylized.

John also gave us another voucher to go to another Paint Nite BlackHawkDown for $20 off!

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As I’ve said before, Paint Nite is not about doing exactly what the artist does, it’s about doing your own thing.

John also said something very interesting. “This is NOT a paint class. This is about having fun.”

Very true.

It’s also a great date night idea.

I can’t wait to hang these up!

If I keep doing these, our entire apartment is going to be filled with paintings… I’ll have to take a picture and show you guys sometime.

Seriously guys, go to one! So relaxing and fun, even Matt could do it!

Paint Nite!

Richmond Station

So I think I’ve been putting off writing this post because I don’t know if I could ever do this restaurant justice.

Seriously guys, it’s that good.

Plus the people who work there are so amazing.

This restaurant is owned and operated by Top Chef Canada’s Season 2 winner, Carl Heinrich.

Chef Carl Heinrich photographed at his restaurant Richmond Station in downtown Toronto, December 12 2012. Photo by: Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail.

Photo by: Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail.

Probably one of the cutest Top Chef’s right?

He opened his restaurant in 2012 and it’s been flourishing ever since. Check out their website Here!

When we moved to Toronto, Matt was lucky enough to stage at Richmond Station and he was hired afterward. (Yay Matt!)

Before we moved to Toronto, I went out early to search for an apartment with my friend Melissa. We stopped by the restaurant and luckily got seats at the bar for dinner.

I was in love with the place even before I took a first bite of my steak.

Everyone there was kind, outgoing and honestly just wanted you to have a good time.

And my food.

Dear Lord.

It was AMAZING.

The food they get for the restaurant is all local food from farms around the city and they make everything in-house. They even do their own butchering!

So our food was perfection.

They also change their menu every few months and they have a Chalkboard menu.

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The chalkboard menu changes every day! So there is always something new to try there.

Since Matt started working there, I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve gone. And I kid you not, there has been zero dishes that I have not liked.

Some of the food they put together don’t make much sense, but as soon as you bite into them you think “Why has no one put this together before!?”

Geniuses.

As I’ve said, the people who work there are great too. They all encourage each other and they are all there to create delicious food. And joke around a little of course.

They are also so kind to me. I get treated like royalty every time I go in.

And when I was in the hospital months ago, they made sure that Matt had time to come see me and they would send me food. (The hospital food was disgusting and I was allergic to half of it. Doesn’t anyone read the allergy sheets?) I was the best fed girl in the place.

Anyway.

During my awesome weekend with Kristen, we had dinner at the Station after our Paint Nite.

Now, I love this restaurant, but Kristen?

If she could marry this restaurant she would do it.

Seriously. She came into town to see Taylor Swift and she was 10 times more excited about our dinner than her.

Sorry T-Swift.

So we decided to do a tasting menu.

What’s that you ask?

It’s where they bring you courses of food from the menu (or something they just whip up if they feel like it) so you can ‘taste’ different parts of the menu!

I’ve done this a few times and I’m always waddling home afterwards because I am so full and happy.

Matt was the one creating our menu that night and he was kind enough not to send us giant plates of food.

Because he knew we would eat all of it and then explode.

And then he wouldn’t have a wife anymore.

Sad day for Matthew.

We were sent perfect sized plates and did a wine pairing with each of them.

Want to see what we ate?

Of course you do!

Let’s start with our first course.

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This is a Swordfish Conserva with cabbage, salsa, lime crema on a jicama taco.

Jicama taco sounds like Hakuna Matata.

Haha Hakuna Matata.

Next is Kristen’s favourite (aside from the burger of course.)

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Polenta Fries! With a garlic aoli.

We could eat these all day.

Mmmm polenta fries.

Next is charcuterie and house baked bread.

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I couldn’t tell you what each meat was except for the Duck Liver Pate.

They were all SO good.

But the Duck Liver Pate was the best.

Mmmm Duck Liver Pate.

The next course ruined Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup for me.

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Roasted Tomato Soup! With garlic crouton and basil with toasted bread and aged cheese.

I’ll never be able to have a grilled cheese and tomato soup ever again.

It will never be as good as this.

Even if I don’t screw anything up.

This next one sent me into ecstasy with every bite.

I’m not even kidding.

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A scallop with pork belly and corn succotash.

Seriously.

Ecstasy.

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Venison with fingerling potatoes, kale and concord grapes.

Say what?

But SO good.

This was where Kristen and I started feeling a little full.

Usually by this course I’m ready to hibernate.

Good job Matt!

But we aren’t done yet…

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BAM!

Dessert.

The first one is a Sweet Potato Pie with frozen kool-whip, butter cookie, cooked apple, scotch molasses, graham cracker, and salty pumpkin seeds.

The second is called Salt Lovers Anonymous. It has dolce du leche ice cream (I could eat a whole tub of it.) crunchy stuff, smoked maldon, smashed raspberries, and goat yogurt.

There wasn’t anything left on those plates when we were through.

And that was our meal!

Every time I go to the Station is an experience. And I always walk out feeling full and happy.

That night I was on a food high with a food baby.

It was glorious.

I hope I did this restaurant justice.

Maybe I should go in for dinner to do more research to make this post better.

Yes. Good plan Cassie.

Paint Nite Fun!

So it’s been a busy week for me! I started working (Yay money!) And my cousin came in to the city to see to see me and Taylor Swift. (But let’s be real, I’m way more exciting than T-Swift.)

We’ve been planing this weekend for a while and I have to say, it was a huge success!

One of the things we planned was going to Paint Nite.

What is Paint Nite you ask?

It’s an event where you go to a restaurant, order drinks and follow step by step instructions on creating a beautiful painting!

I have had a lot of friends go to these events and their pictures are all over Facebook. And all of their paintings look SO GOOD. (And some of these friends are faaaaar from being imaginative, haha)

So since I am creative, masterful artist, I needed to try one out. (Just kidding, I haven’t painted since I was 14. But I was pretty good at it!)

I picked one event where the painting looked a lot like the floating lanterns in Disney’s Tangled. (Rapunzel) It was purple and gold as so pretty 😀 Also, the restaurant wasn’t too far from my place. (We could walk!)

But unfortunately, not enough people signed up for it 🙁 Who wouldn’t want to have a painting that looks like Rapunzel’s Castle???

So Paint Nite was awesome enough to let me switch our reservation to another event on the same day.

So on Saturday, my friend Sarah, my cousin Kristen, and I braved the cold, windy weather to go painting at Richtree Market.

It was only the afternoon (yes, they have afternoon sessions too!) so I only ended up getting an orange juice and a very tasty muffin. (We had a big dinner to go to that night so we didn’t want to spoil it.) But you could get beer and wine if you wanted to be a little more “uninhibited” in your painting style.

Our artist’s name was Julie and she was AMAZING.

She made a joke every 5 minutes and made sure we understood that we were free to do whatever we wanted with our paintings. (Want to paint a white line across the canvas and spend the rest of the time drinking? Sure! Did you want to paint a dinosaur where the people were supposed to be? That’s awesome!)

I have to say, I was SO tempted to paint a T-Rex in the middle of my park.

She brought us through every step of the painting, showing us different ways to use the brushes and what would give us the best outcome.

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It started with a white canvas and some paint.

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Then we painted 2/3 of the canvas a light blue (She showed us how to make certain colours too) and the bottom black.

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Make sure you paint the sides too!

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This was the hard part, painting the people. She showed us how to paint them as well and encouraged us to paint whatever we wanted. I decided to add a puppy. (Because I want a puppy. HINT HINT MATTHEW)

We also started the trees by painting spots of a darker blue.

I should have taken more pictures of the transformation with all of the spots I did. But once you start this process, you don’t want to stop! Seriously, Julie’s helper kept coming by to tell me, “That’s enough.”

Sigh.

It is really relaxing.

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This is half through my spots and we added “land” to the black part. Looking good right?

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Et Voila! Once you add some trees (And a few chubby street lamps on my part.) you have a beautiful painting! I chose to do more purple colours because I LOVE purple.

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This is how it’s “supposed” to look. Again, Julie encouraged us for it to not look like hers. Make it yours! Also, if you use the voucher code Julie20, you get 20 dollars off your Paint Nite ticket!

That’s another thing I love about Paint Nite, they are always giving out voucher codes so it’s more affordable for people to go. (It also means they have more people going to their events!)

Paint nite

Sarah on the left, me in the middle and Kristen on the right. Flattering picture right? We were very serious about our paintings. (As you can tell. blood sweat and tears went into these.) But look how different all of ours are!

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Yay Paint Nite! We did it!

Silly Kristen.

After spending 2 hours creating our lovely paintings, we got outside and it was RAINING.

NOOOOOO.

We were walking home!

So we tilted our paintings away from the rain so it was hitting the back and ran home. We didn’t even care about us and if we looked like drowned rats, the mission was to get home without ruining our paintings. We did get some compliments on our paintings as we made our way home!

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We did it! Back home safe and sound. We can always fix our hair and clothes, but we can’t fix our art!

Now I’m addicted to Paint Nite. It’s so relaxing and when you’re done, you feel so proud of what you accomplished. And anyone can do it!

You do have to be over the age of majority to attend. (Drinks are encouraged, remember!) But don’t be afraid that you’re not a great artist or have never painted in your life. You will walk out with something that is uniquely yours.

They also provide different levels of paintings. (Easy, moderate and hard) So if it’s your first time, maybe pick one that is easy.

This is also a good idea for part of a Bachlorette party! We were sitting by one and they were having lots of fun.

If you want to attend a Paint Nite click Here! You can choose different locations so see if there is one close to you if you do not live in Toronto.

Also! I got my tickets on LivingSocial so they were cheaper than the regular price. If that intrigues you click Here!

I’m going to try an evening session next time I go and see how my painting style differs once I have a few drinks. (Maybe it might get better! Or worse! Who cares!)

I encourage you to try Paint Nite at least once. And if you don’t like it, then you are crazy.

That is all.

The Little Town of Wawa (Yes, that’s right. Wawa)

Sorry about the lack of posts lately friends.

My Grandmother got really sick earlier this week so I dropped everything and got on a plane to northern Ontario to see her. And there is not much in the way of WiFi or cell service in the little town of Wawa.

It may be a small, run down town, but man, do they have some talented people who live here.

 

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First on this talented list is my cousin Kristen (I may be biased, but she can see the beauty in the most common grey rock and capture it with her camera.)

She does everything from weddings, portraits, landscapes, maternity to even head shots. (Guess where I had mine done?) If you want a picture of something and have it look amazing, she can do it.

Michigan

Lake louise

Kristen photo

Amazing right? And these are just a few of her best work.

You can find her Facebook page Here and her new photography page Here She’s still getting that page up and going so be patient!

 

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Next on the list is Tracy. She is the go-to cake maker in Wawa.

Now I’m sure you all have a bakery you go o in town to get your fix of cakes but let me tell you, this lady can beat them all.

Not only are they beautiful, they are delicious!

Cake 3

Cake 4

This is my nieces birthday cake. Not bad for a 3-year-old right?

mystery machine

And who wouldn’t want a Mystery Machine Birthday cake? (I WANT ONE SO BAD.)

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Rainbow

This is my other nieces Birthday Cake. So cool right??

Pretty much all of my nieces birthday cakes have been made by her and have looked just as good as the ones above.

If you want to see more of her cakes check out her page Here!

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Next on the list is Tara. (Lashes by Tara)

I’m usually not one for getting something like my lashes done but Kristen had her done before my wedding and man oh man. I wish I had mine done for the wedding too.

I picked her up from the airport and the first thing I though was, “Why does she look like a model coming off of a plane? I wear my sweat pants.”

Her eyelashes were so long (but not weirdly long) and looked perfect. And all she had on was a bit of eyeliner on the outer corners of her eyes!

She also didn’t need to do much at all when we were getting ready for the wedding. (She actually helped Melissa and I do our make up because she had so much time.)

And now, seeing her three weeks later, they still look perfect.

So I thought, “I’m going to get some!”

Then I looked at the prices in Toronto for a set thought: “Nevermind!”

So when I got to Wawa this past week, I decided I might as well get some!

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And I love them. I haven’t worn make up since I got them done!

She does every eyelash separately, so they look real, unlike some salons out there that just glue a bunch on.

She does her work at the Chick and Swell Salon in Wawa, check her out!

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Another talented person in Wawa is Spike Mills. He carves art out of wood. He focuses on Gitchee Goomee’s and the wonders of Lake Superior. If you walk around Wawa, you will see his work everywhere.

For years I would go to Wawa and wonder where all of these art pieces were from that were around town.  Little did I know that it was Spike Mill’s who also teaches Wado Kai to my cousin. Man of many talents!

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This is just one of his pieces at the Wawa arena.

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This is actually in my cousin’s house! It is Lake Superior!

If you want to see more of his work, check out his Facebook page Here

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The Fall Fair was on in Wawa while I was there. So I had to check that out right?

There were tons of vendors there! There were people selling home-baked goods (YUM), hand knit or crocheted clothes and accessories, hand-made jewellery, vitamins, vintage clothing, a twist on the Beaver Tail (YUM), and fresh vegetables and fruit. (I had a peach and it was SO GOOD.)

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I swear, the whole town must have been there that day. It was so cool.

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One thing I’ve noticed after making these photos bigger is that my aunt and uncle seem to have gotten in almost all of them somehow… I’ve become their personal photographer.

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There was one booth there I particularly drawn to while I was there (It was teal and had sparkly things on it… I couldn’t help myself.)

It was Christy Reid’s Origami Owl booth.

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Sparkles!!!

I had never heard of Origami Owl, but I had seen some women around Wawa and Toronto wearing this jewellery.

You can customize your own jewellery and add charms to mark special moments in your life or just create something that says YOU.

It’s also a great gift giver! Lots of Brides are giving these to their wedding party as their gift.

It’s kind of like Pandora, except it is way more affordable. You can make bracelets, watches, necklaces, lanyard’s, and you can even get beautiful earrings! As well, a lot of their charms and lockets have Swarovski crystals. (I ordered a locket with crystals on it, I can’t wait to get it!)

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The possibilities of making this jewellery unique to you is endless.

Best of all, Christy was so helpful and kind and had answers to all of my questions. Even when I was back in Toronto!

I’ll have to post a picture of my locket when it comes in, I just ordered it today. I can’t wait!

If you want to order some for yourself, or for friend or family member, go to her online shop Here!

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These are just a few of the wonderful people of Wawa, Ontario that I know about. (And I don’t even live there!) There are way more that I hope to meet.

On top of the great people in this town, the scenery is hard to beat. It’s right on Wawa Lake and right next to Lake Superior. It surrounded by trees and nature and the air is SO fresh compared to the air in Toronto.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach, photo by Kristen Sabourin Photography

Wawa Lake

Wawa Lake

Wawa is probably my favourite little town in the whole world.

Socacize – I Can’t Feel My Legs

Hello friends.

As I am typing this, my arms and legs are shaking.

Am I cold? Am I scared?

No friends.

My muscles are simply FREAKING THE HELL OUT.

I just got back from a class at my new gym called Socacize.

When I joined my new gym last week, and the staff there found out I was a dancer they all said “You need to do to the Socacize classes! It’s like Caribbean dance for fitness!

And I was like “Hell yes! I love it when dance is incorporated into fitness!”

Like Zumba! Who doesn’t like Zumba? No one, that’s who.

So I get to the class today and I’m the only one there for a while and I’m thinking to myself, “I should take the stairs up to my apartment when I get home today. I haven’t done that in a while.”

Then we start the class.

It’s starts off good. A lot of hip swivels, which I thankfully can do.

Then the butt pumping starts. And we have to do it to the beat.

Thank God for my big butt that moves wherever it wants to, or else I’d be the whitest girl there, desperately trying to get my butt to shake like the other girls.

Now, I consider myself a pretty fit person, but about 20 minutes of full blast cardio and no stopping I was thinking, “WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?”

I was sweating like crazy and breathing so hard, I thought my lungs would burst.

SO MANY SQUATS.

And don’t eat 2 hours before the class. Bad idea.

Thankfully, a lot of the regulars looked to be in around the same shape as me. Just the instructor and some of the trainers there were beasts. (They just KEPT GOING)

And just when I thought the squats were over, she made us grab these weight bars, hold them over our heads… and DO MORE SQUATS. THEN MOVING SQUATS. THEN LOWER SQUATS.

By the end of the class, I was a puddle of sweat on the floor.

And as I waddled my way home, I found myself thinking:

“That was fun. I’m going to go to the next class!”

I suppose it’s kind of like that childbirth thing. You forget about how much pain you were in at the time but that great burn you feel afterwards is like this high I can’t get off of.

And I’m sure it’s going to be hard getting off of this couch in a few minutes.

So I’m going back. It might be hard, but it was fun, challenging and a fantastic workout for an hour-long class.

To find a Socacize class near you click Here

Needless to say, I took the elevator when I got home.

 

DUTCH BLITZ!

DUTCH BLITZ!

On the night before my wedding, I was so nervous and full of joy. I was humming while I stared at my dress and brushed my hair. Doves flew around me singing along with me.

Not.

The night before my wedding was full of screaming, alcohol (although not as much as you would think), swearing and most of all…Dutch Blitz.

My maid of honour, Melissa, suggested we have a mini bachelorette party since my other bridesmaid (and cousin) Kristen, couldn’t come to my actual bachelorette party. We bought lots of chocolate, popcorn and a bottle of wine and decided to play board games.

Callie (my third bridesmaid) suggested we play Dutch Blitz.

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Looks Lame.

 

The rest of us were unsure if we wanted to play it. It looks like a children’s card game. Which it kind of is.

Except that by the time you understand the game fully, you want to rip off everyone’s heads that got in your way of putting that last card down before you blitzed.

It becomes a war.

Society parishes because of this game.

I wanted to kick all of my bridesmaids out of my wedding party and out of the country.

But it is SO MUCH FUN.

It’s also addictive. My bridesmaids brought it with us to the reception just in case there was time to play it, and they almost did! (Until I told them to get their ass’s in the car so we could take some pictures… ah, the power of being a bride.)

I played it every night with my husband and cousin while she was staying with us.

Just to show you how high and emotional this game is, here is a video of me winning for the first time one night while playing with Matt and Kristen. (My husband is very competitive and doesn’t let anyone win if he can help it. Not even children. Not even me. Not once. So I think my reaction is understandable.)

Blitz!

As you can see, it’s a pretty intense game.

But it’s AWESOME!

DUTCH BLITZ!

 

Seriously.