April Showers Bring Bridal Ones!

More like May showers, considering how drizzly and gross it was out today. But despite the terrible weather, I had a great day!

My amazing, gorgeous friend, Monica is getting married in June and I get to be one of her bridesmaids!  In addition to taking a super fun trip to Vegas for her Bachelorette party in a month, I also got to help throw her Bridal Shower which was today. I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. We basically stole everything from Pinterest, but that’s ok because it’s so damn pretty!

Considering it was pouring rain outside and traffic was insane because of the Goodlife run,  I think we managed to pull it off and I think everyone had a good time hiding from the weather.

Monica’s sister, Dana made a whole bunch of delicious food, Gillian, Michelle and I pieced together the decor, drinks and treats and our extraordinarily talented friend, Sara made the Drake-themed “Hot Lime Bling” Cupcakes.

All around, it was a fun day to celebrate two people who are pretty awesome.

Ugly: SO MUCH RAIN. Grossy gross weather.

Awesome: SO MANY CUPCAKES. One lady said they were the best cupcakes she’s ever had.

 

 

Welcome to The Century Club!

Hey guys, guess what? This is my 100th Blog Post. No biggie. Just a life goal and landmark but you know, whatevs!!! (That’s what the title was about…not drinking 100 beer shots in 100 minutes…)

Being that this is my 100th Blog Post celebration day, I get to do whatever I want. Which means posting MORE CHRISTMAS PICTURES! Even though no one wants to see them anymore!

I promise, these are the last ones. It seems that everyone is now over it (Jamie wants to take down the tree tonight!) But I need to hang on for one more week. One more sparkly, happy, festive week and then it’s back to normal home decor colours and scents that are not “peppermint” or “gingerbread”. In all honesty, it won’t be so bad – I got lots of new non-Christmas Home decorations with my gift cards, so I get to play after the Christmas stuff comes down!

The first bunch of photos is from my annual “ladies only-ish” Christmas party where some lady troopers braved their way through the snow storm to come over and eat massive amounts of food, watch movies and exchange gifts. I look forward to this party every single year and this year it snuck it’s way in right before I got sick – very lucky.

The second bunch is from my Christmas in Kingston with my family! My parents got a new kitty named Inky, who is the best. She’s very cuddly and added even more excitement to the holiday. Even though I was a bit wobbly, I had a great time and it was nice to be home where my mommy could take care of me 🙂 So spoiled.

We had a fantastic Christmas dinner with my Grandparents and Uncle, his lady friend, Nancy and our family friend (and my old doctor), Roz! We also celebrated my Mom’s birthday and I spent New Year’s Eve with my parents. All in all, a TON of awesome family time which is a rare treat.

UGLY: Christmas is over, and I’m the only one hanging on to the holly for dear life. Also, I have to get up early tomorrow!

AWESOME: It’s been a really long time since I’ve spent so much time with the folks. It felt like University when you went home for a month! Also, new Inky and old Penny – I love visiting Kitties without having to actually take care of them 🙂

And here’s a special Christmas gift from me to you on this grand occasion!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

4 Little Piggies Went to Market

Hi strangers!

It’s been a while since my last post. Earlier in December I got to celebrate Christmas in several amazing and festive ways and then unfortunately, before I was able to blog about any of it, I got sick. First with a brutal cough, then just when I thought I was in the clear, I came down with Labyrinthitis. I won’t go into how crushing and debilitating this insane illness is, only that you literally lay on your side for a week and any time you move, you experience the most severe vertigo, dizziness and nausea. It’s like being very drunk and sick all day long. So looking at the computer for any amount of time was basically out of the question. Which resulted in the blog break! (And even more annoying, an unanticipated work break) But now I’m back! I’ve been moving around for a week and I can finally focus enough to read books, blogs and most importantly, Facebook!

So – lets jump into our one horse open sleigh time machine back to the start of December, when some special ladies and I hit up Toronto’s Christmas Market in Toronto. The market is set up in the Distillery district and is Christmas incarnate. It was so pretty and sparkly and fun, but like seemingly everything these days, it was just so busy and had such long lineups there were some things we just didn’t go for. Like the churros. Everybody said to get the churros. But the lineup would have taken us half an hour to get through! So instead, we drank delicious hot chocolate and had amazing creamy mac and cheese. We sang carols with the Victorian carollers and we danced the Little Women traditional Christmas dance made famous by Winona Ryder (Or more specifically, Kari did this whilst excitedly running into passersby).

We were lucky enough to have Ashley and Brodie staying with us that weekend, so after the girls and I had our fill of Christmas fun, we met up with the boys at C’est What on the Esplanade where we had drinks and dinner and good times. Very lucky to see this crowd as often as I do – especially when the Ottawa folk come to visit!

Ugly – Lineups! I wish I was a billionaire who could rent out markets and fairs for my own personal use like McDreamy did for Reese Witherspoon at Tiffany’s in Sweet Home Alabama…

Awesome – Despite the crowds and lineups, it’s really hard to squash my Christmas Spirit. Any place that’s so full of Christmas decorations, lights, sparkles trees, carollers etc. is OK in my book. Extra bonus for going with awesome ladies.

What Happens in Vegas Clearly Ends Up on This Blog. Sorry.

Last weekend, I participated in a time honoured rite of passage for modern women – a ladies weekend in Vegas.

I put on the heels, I squeezed into outfits too tight and my friends showed me how to do makeup properly (actually they just did my makeup for me…this man still can’t fish).

For one weekend, I transformed into “Toni with an I”. I was classy, put together and I liked to party. A lot. I learned so much about the underbelly of the Las Vegas club scene – for example, did you know that if you have breasts and know how to talk politely to strangers on the street, you can get into to all the clubs for free and also mostly drink for free too?! CRAZY, I KNOW! It all sounds very shady, but my lady friends were Grade A negotiators and knew how to make deals with the club promoters. The deal being, we show up – we get in for free. I bet you thought we’d have to do more, didn’t you? Nope. This is why I loved going with these girls – they knew the way. If I had been there alone, I would have payed full price for a “ticket to the club” like a chump, not knowing any better. (This reminds me of the time someone called in to my friend who works at TIFF and asked for “One ticket to Yorkville, please!”) Well, now I am experienced – a lady of the land, if you will. Let me take you through a brief (I’ll really try hard…) account of how I came to be such a wise and tenured Vegas soul.

On Halloween day, we arrived in beautiful Las Vegas, and we head over to our hotel, The Aria. I’ve stayed here before for work, so I feel like I’m getting to know my way around this part of the hood. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the pizza restaurant where we did an official Vegas cheers and Monica ate a pizza with clams on it. Then we set out to the strip to stock up on necessary items for the weekend: wine, pre-mixed margaritas, hard iced tea, bottle opener, cashews and gatorade. And a toothbrush. Back at the hotel, we twerked around to hip hop and started getting ready for what would be the first of many late night excursions to “the clubs”. Halloween night, donned in our costumes (my “Sexy Pizza” dress) we went to Hakkasan at the MGM Grand where Calvin Harris was playing. We also witnessed a costume contest with a $10,000 grand prize. This was my first time in a club of this epic-ness. It was big and crazy and the lighting was awesome and there were SO many people there, I felt like I was in a sardine can full of sardines at a costume party. We danced and danced and then cried cuz our feet hurt (or was that just me…) and then we stumbled back to the hotel for sleeps. By that time, with the time difference it would have been about 6am Toronto time. It’s a miracle I’m still alive. (Also, in my mind, I’m 90 years old).

The next day, we explored the Las Vegas strip – we walked up and down, stopping in to various fancy hotels (and not so fancy hotels…Pink Flamingo) and basically just took in all the giganticness and impressiveness that is Las Vegas. I think my favourite indoor parts of the strip are The Venetian for all it’s fun indoor gondola rides, etc. and the Bellagio fall display which had a talking tree for goodness sakes. That night, we had DJ’s Taco’s for dinner – a favourite of mine from the ole working days. Consistently delicious. We then prepared our faces and feet for another amazing evening. First we went to a Cirque Du Soleil show, “O” at the Bellagio. It was awesome, but (and I feel like a terrible person saying it) I was not as impressed as I was with KA. But people tell me it’s because Ka was my first Cirque show ever. Could be true. One of the promoters we met earlier in the day, got us into a club, “Surrender” at Encore for free and also set us up with a booth, bottle service and open bar for a couple hours. It was my favourite because there was sitting (I am 90). It was my favourite though, I think because it was easier to talk to each other and have fun with each other. There was a costume contest here as well, although I think the prize was a measly $5,000. Hardly even worth it. By this time, however, we were sick of Halloween and were dressed like normal night people, not zombie night people. That night was my most memorable and my favourite of the trip – We danced, we befriended a group of 21 year old cats, we met the Spice girls, I sat on a piano while a lounge singer serenaded a room. All in all, top Vegas memories all around.

Saturday – This day was reserved for shopping. We went to the Fashion Show mall and perused the sparkly things until I found the one and only souvenir I bought for myself – a pair of Kate Spade sparkly, gold Keds. I love them. When I look at them, they cry Vegas. And my feet cry with happiness because they’re super comfy too. That night was all about STK. It’s a steakhouse at The Cosmopolitan hotel. We had read really things about it, and we were not disappointed. It has a very young vibe – a DJ was playing and everyone was kind of half sitting/half dancing at their tables. The atmosphere was great and the service was great. Especially one very attractive employee in particular who had no real reason for coming to our table so many times except to flirt with everybody and dance to N Sync. But none of that compared to the food which was heavenly. I got the beef carpaccio, skirt steak with truffle butter and a side of carrots which I could only eat 4 of because everything was GIGANTIC. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. I definitely want to go back there again. At 10:30, the DJ announced that since it was 10:30, that meant free shots for everyone at the restaurant! The girls and I think this should be implemented at all restaurants and will now be celebrating “10:30” on a regular basis. And then it was off for our last night of rambunctiousness at Marquee at the Cosmopolitan. This club had kind of an indoor/outdoor thing going on. There were heaters outside by the pools so you could hang out there, or you could go inside to dance and generally get pushed around by all the people who are bigger than you (I stayed outside most of the evening). On our way there, a guy on the street had told us DJ Pauly D from The Jersey Shore would be at our hotel that night, so we left Marquee early to fist pump and get spray tans. The spray tans was a lie, but we did fist pump to DJ Pauly D like a true Italian American. And to be honest, I really liked the set he played – it was diverse and I had a great time there. Although, that also could have been my delusional euphoria after having removed my heels in favour of flats I hid in my purse, but who’s qualifying?

On our very last day, we took advantage of our hotels’ gorgeous spa, complete with outdoor hot tub overlooking the “common people” pools, indoor hot tubs plus a “cold dip” pool to refresh yourself. It had a steam room, a sauna, a hot stone room and a Himalayan salt room. I really have no idea what most of it’s supposed to do for you, but it doesn’t really matter – we stayed there most of the day and became utterly relaxed. Then we hopped on a red-eye to return to chilly Canadia. I slept most of the morning we returned, worked from home for a bit in the afternoon and then did what all people must do when they belatedly appear in Canada after November 1st – I went to Starbucks to order a Cranberry Bliss bar and a Peppermint Mocha in a red cup …WINTER IS COMING.

Ugly: My feet look like someone stabbed them several times and then sewed them back together only to slowly crush them in a pasta maker.

Awesome: This weekend fulfilled my annual quota for partying. It was exhausting, but it was so much fun. It was such rare treat that I could only have done with these special ladies who lead me through the looking glass to a strange world of House Beats and Body Shots. Thanks girls.

P.S. There are 4 galleries below, plus videos! Don’t accidentally get to the end of the first Gallery and stop. That would be a mistake.



I made this GIF to share my feelings:


And now, for the out of order Daytime photos!

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Delissio!

Since my last post was a literary extended journey through my hopes and dreams, I thought I’d give your eyeballs a break with this post. On the weekend, we celebrated Danica’s birthday as well as Halloween and fast food. (There were a strange number of greasy themed costumes this year).

We had a grand ole time hanging out at Danica and Chris’ place and then ventured to Queen for their friend’s Halloween party. We’ve been to this party before and it is so epic. I’ve proven my lack of photography skills with this post because the pictures below don’t do this place any justice at all, whatsoever. They plaster their walls with Halloween decorations, their bathroom is spattered with fake blood (and a torn up shower curtain complete with victim in the bathtub), and the place is always completely packed with the best costumes you’ll see all year. Unfortunately I captured 4% of this mania with my camera. I guess I was having too much fun Pizza dancing on the dance floor.

I hope that this will motivate me to take a million pictures in Vegas (where I’m going on Thursday!!!). I swear to capture as much generic and non-personally identifiable shenanigans as is allowed by “What Happens in Vegas” law.

UGLY: My photo journalism skills.

AWESOME: I get to wear my Sexy Pizza dress again in Vegas!!!

I Dreamed a Dream of Apples and Horses.

In the last two weeks, I’ve seen 2 concerts and 1 musical. To active members of society, this may seem like nothing, but to me, it was a big deal! I felt like a cultural participant. I enjoy reminding myself that I am inspired by performance and theatrics. Spend too many nights at home, excitedly watching back to back episodes of Pretty Little Liars and you can forget that you get just as excited (OK, MORE excited) by actually leaving your house and watching people put themselves out there, sharing their talents for your entertainment.

On Thursday of last week, I went to see Fiona Apple with my lady friends, Danica and Kari. We had a delicious dinner at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village and head over to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to watch a short-haired Fiona play herself like a drum and belt out emotionally distressing ballads with a young cowboy called Blake Mills. I loved it all. Here’s a video, so you can pretend you were there with us. (Just think of us as the unidentified elderly woman sitting on the couch).

The next night, my parents rolled into town to see the Ian Anderson concert at Massey Hall. Ian Anderson is the lead singer, flautist and merry man of Jethro Tull, everyone’s favourite 1960’s British progressive rock group. Jethro Tull has been a constant staple in my musical upbringing- My Dad has been playing Jethro Tull in our house since I was a wee lass and my love for them has gone from childhood ignorance to teenaged, eye-rolling, reluctant head bobbing to a completely shame-free love for not only the band but also the warm and fuzzy nostalgia they come with. Listening to them is like watching a personal performance in my head of my dad galloping across the living room on an invisible steed bellowing “Heavy Horses” at the top of his lungs. So, it reminds me of home and our own personal Cameron brand of theatrics that runs in my blood.

Then, this past Friday, Jamie and I went to see Les Misérables at The Princess of Wales Theatre. As a theatre kid, I have been listening to the Les Mis soundtrack practically my whole life, but had never ever seen it live. I recently, saw the movie, enjoyed it, but knew the live performance had to be better. I was right. I cried in the first 5 minutes from the sheer intensity of the performance coming out of the gate. Then I got a hold of myself and only cried when it was absolutely necessary and unavoidable – so 4 more times during the show. And if you know me, you know that normally, I’m a stone of emotionless objectivity…just kidding, that’s a complete and total lie. But in this case, it really was totally warranted. Jean Valjean and Éponine were my favourites. Everyone was great, but those two punched me in the face with theatrical intensity.

Every time I see someone on stage, baring their souls, I get inspired to put a little more effort into my own life. I ride on the wave of those shows for weeks afterwards, always a little bit jealous that they’re the ones on stage…

UGLY: The legroom in the wings of the Massey Hall balconies. SERIOUSLY.

AWESOME: Getting pumped to maybe jump back on the stage myself…scaaaary. Also getting pumped for my Halloween Vegas trip!! So soon!

Nuit Blanche Toronto: A Review

Hello art lovers! This weekend was Nuit Blanche in Toronto and I have to tell you, if you’re looking for a great blog post regarding all the incredible art that was displayed last night, then you have come to exactly the wrong place. I’m sorry. You’ve been led astray. My life’s happiness relies on higher view counts on my blog stats page, so I will really say absolutely anything to get you to read this thing, including lying to you in the title.

I did attend Nuit Blanche last night and had a great time! But for me, Nuit Blanche is about walking around the city in amongst the other wide-eyed, mostly inebriated crazies. I like stumbling across the odd occurrence you would’t see on a regular night downtown, but I find for the most part, I don’t have the patience for many of the larger exhibits. You line up for an hour and whatever you end up seeing at the end of it never meets your expectations. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, but I’ve never lined up long enough to see those ones.

My Nuit Blanche consists of drinking ciders in the street, with my best lady friends, hugging unicorns and people made of beanie babies. It’s singing techno music and parking for a couple hours on a picnic table in the middle of the street supplied by a mystery picnic table donor. It’s eating savoury AND sweet crepes at 2am complimented by ice cream and a SEPARATE milkshake (didn’t think that order through) while a 7ft tall Batman and several of his masked friends eat at the table across from us. It’s spending an hour playing a rousing game of “catch the cab” with fellow art lovers at 3am. This is why you wear comfy shoes to Nuit Blanche.

For better or worse, I don’t see a lot of art at Nuit Blanche, but there is something special and social and communal about wandering around your city with all the other wanderers in the middle of the night… where the roads are closed and your hearts are open… (WINK).

UGLY: That sentence up there. The one I just wrote.

AWESOME:
The fact that Nuit Blanche was not completely freezing this year! Made it much more enjoyable.