Month: September 2013

T.O. Cocktail Week

Photo Credit: Michelle Yee

For the first time ever, Toronto is having a cocktail week! The Grid, SpiritHouse, and Toronto Institute of Bartending will be hosting this magical week on Oct.1st – Oct. 7th. Whether you want to mix em, drink em, or find tasty things to eat with them, this festival has you covered. Here’s what you can do.

Go on a Cocktail Crawl: Bars and restaurants will be serving  a special TCW13 cocktail and pairing it with a small food item for $10. Click here to see the list.

Seminars & Workshops: There’s a great list of free seminars (unfortunately, most are offered during the day) with awesome titles. Take the Cocktail Family Tree Seminar, Sherry It’s Complicated or maybe Ice Ice Baby. Click here to see the list.

Get Fancy!: Buy a Founders Pass and get unlimited access to all of the exclusive parties and events.  Click here to see the full schedule of events.

Get your brunch on! If you can wake up the next morning then you’re in for a treat! Mott’s Clamato will be hosting Caesar Brunches around the city. Snag brunch and a caesar for only $15 on Sunday. October 5th. Click here to see locations.



Rihanna Hearts MAC




If you haven’t tried Rihanna’s classic lipstick shade yet (RiRi Woo) here’s a chance to get your hands on it! The Rihanna Hearts MAC Fall collection is all dressed up in metallic rose tone packaging, and sultry fall shades. The collection includes eyeshadow, lipstick and mascara. The collection will be available on Sept. 26th.

Rihanna premieres her perfect palette of lavish fall colour – a range of decidedly daring yet classically gorgeous shades, finishes and tools, all encased in the metallic warmth of rose gold packaging. Lipstick in deep raisin, orange frost, creamy nude and the vivid red of RiRi Woo match gleaming Lipglass, while eyes in contrasting soft and smoky cocoas complement luminous skin highlighted with Diamonds Cream Colour Base and Powder Blush in Bad Girl Gone Good.


The Color Master by Aimee Bender


The Colour Master by Aimee Bender
Random House
Release Date: August 13th

When I read the Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, I knew that I had discovered something special. Who else would have written a book about a girl who can taste emotions in baked goods? I had high expectations for the Color Master, and I wasn’t disappointing.

The Color Master is a collection of short stories. Each story is vibrant and has its own colours, just like a painting. Aimee Bender is truly a master of colour and emotions. She paints you through fairy tales, remote villages, animals, ogres and apple orchards.

The stories revolve around relationships, love, sex and family. They aren’t always easy to read, but they are always utterly engaging. If you are looking for a different kind of read, are a fan of Andrew Kaufman or just love really good writing- then you need to read this.

In this collection, Bender’s unique talents sparkle brilliantly in stories about people searching for connection through love, sex, and family—while navigating the often painful realities of their lives. A traumatic event unfolds when a girl with flowing hair of golden wheat appears in an apple orchard, where a group of people await her. A woman plays out a prostitution fantasy with her husband and finds she cannot go back to her old sex life. An ugly woman marries an ogre and struggles to decide if she should stay with him after he mistakenly eats their children. Two sisters travel deep into Malaysia, where one learns the art of mending tigers who have been ripped to shreds.

In these deeply resonant stories—evocative, funny, beautiful, and sad—we see ourselves reflected as if in a funhouse mirror. Aimee Bender has once again proven herself to be among the most imaginative, exciting, and intelligent writers of our time.



oTENTik Camping at Thousand Islands National Park



Growing up, my family never went camping. We would take road trips, have barbeques, go to parks…but the thought of camping would never cross our minds. Much to the surprise of many, I’ve started to enjoy the outdoors! I wanted to find a way to share that with my family.

When I read about Parks Canada’s new oTENTiks, I knew I’d found my answer. An oTENTik is a cross between a cabin and a tent. Currently in Ontario, the only park that has these structures is Thousand Islands National Park..

Some of the oTENTiks are on land, but some are on McDonald and Gordon island. We stayed on McDonald island. You must have your own boat or you can call a water taxi to get to the islands.

The island was busier than I thought it would be, with many boaters hopping on and off of the island. The oTENiks were a few minutes apart, with ample space between them.




The oTENiks are well built with lots of space inside. Inside, there are bottom and top bunks. The structure can sleep 6. There were 4 of us, so there was plenty of room. Mattresses are included, but no bedding, so bring your own! There’s also a set of tables and chairs, and a handy solar light.



Outside you have a firepit with a beautiful view of the lake, deck chairs, a covered eating area, a picnic bench, coal grill and a metal storage container for food

It was a great camping experience. My family really liked it, and we were able to pack lighter because of all the things that were included. It was actually pouring rain one night, and the oTENTik did its job- no leaks!

Activities to do include hiking and swimming. There are no flush toilets, but the composting toilets are clean. You have to remember to bring your own drinking water, as there is none on the island.


August 20131

You can also visit the visitors center (generally open until Labour Day) at Malloytown Landing. They have cool things to explore like exhibits, furs and animal skulls. During the summer, you can visit with their friendly snake, and other animals.

An oTENTik is the perfect camping experience for the first time camper, family camper, or just someone looking to experience something a little different. They are available to rent until Thanksgiving weekend for $90 a night. Rent one today!

Cool Shop: La Butte (Moncton)

La Butte, Arts de France, is a charming shop in downtown Moncton. Filled to the brim with delicate, hand painted porcelain, this shop is one of a kind.


Each peice is hand painted on Limoges china from France and kiln fired several times by artist Isabelle Lafargue. “You have to respect the colours,” she told me. If you don’t fire them in order, you can ruin the colours. If you mix red and yellow, but don’t fire it properly, you won’t get orange. Each colour has to be fired at a specific temperature. You start with the highest temperature and then work your way down. I love her work station! Isn’t it inspiring?


Isabelle Lafargue is from the French islands, and has been drawing and painting since she was little. She took an intesive course with a famous French porcelain artist to learn this ancient technique. Since then, she has moved to New Brunwsick and runs her studio with her husband.

The shop is filled with plates, mugs and platters. My favourite pieces were these beautiful fish made with paint and platinum.



You can visit the store in downtown Moncton, or you can order online. You can also order custom pieces!

La Butte is located at 886 Main St, in Moncton New Brunswick.


Mysteriously Yours: Uptown Abby

Uptown Abbey

Lord Upton (the Earl of Duke)
is running out of time… and money.

And, with no male heir, his American wife, Abbey, is desperately trying to marry off their daughters.

Things go from bad to worse when a body is discovered.


Was it one of the daughters? Lord or Lady Upton? The Dowager Countess? or… maybe the Butler did it!

Come and join the fun, and see if Lieutenant Carumbo can solve the case before everything is turned Upside Downton, in this classic Drawing Room Mystery!
A hilarious spoof of the popular British TV Drama.

I’ve always wanted to try a mystery dinner theatre, but just never got around to it. I was thrilled to be able to experience the new show at Mysteriously Yours, Uptown Abby.

In my head, I thought that a mystery theater would happen all around me, and that my dining partner may or may not end up dead between the first and second course.

I was only partially wrong. Although the room had a stage, it wasn’t used. Instead, the actors interacted with the audience and the performance took place all around us. Some people did end up dead…but they weren’t surprise actors acting as guests.

It was surprisingly lively and entertaining. It was especially hilarious, because my boyfriend unwittingly became the love interest of a main character. I’m laughing just thinking about it.

As someone whose never seen Dowton Abbey, I didn’t feel like I was missing out from any jokes. The cast was amazing- in particular, the Butler (actors name) was fantastic! And cute. 😉

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The food was also delicious! Above is daily soup, Stout Braised Beef, Chocolate Brownie and the Pulled Pork on crostini (Chef’s amuse-bouche).

I had a really fun night, go and check it out! Shows play every Friday and Saturday.

Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre
2026 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M4S 1Z9


Snack Box Review & Coupon!


Do you ever have moments where you miss getting sent to school with snacks packed by your mom? (Don’t lie. You totally do) one of the hard things about working is that if you don’t take the time to purchase and pack your own snacks at work, you’re left scarfing down vending machine food or hungry.

I’m terrible at packing snacks and we have no vending machines in my office so I just go hungry.

Enter Snackbox. They send you a delicious box filled with healthy and delicious snacks to enjoy and share. This is a subscription service, so the snacks come to you indefinitely!

I was lucky enough to receive a Snackbox last month. Here’s what was in it.

King Island: 100% pure coconut water
Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps
Mya’s Crunch: Organic Dark Chocolate Crunch
Alive & Radiant Foods ChocolateKalet Chip Crunch
Hippie Foods Granola
Surf Sweets Candy Rings
Lundberg Rice Chips
Ener-C packets
Harvest Snaps-Snapea Crisps
True to Nature granola bar
Rocket Oatmeal in a cool to-go container

That’s a lot of stuff! My favourite items were the True to Nature Granola Bar (it was crammed with cashews!) the Organic Dark Chocolate Crunch (I could have devoured the entire thing by myself!) and the Hippie Foods Granola (filled with grains and seeds).

You can choose from different packages to personalize your snack delivery.

Choose from a MONTHLY PLAN for $33 / box, 3 MONTH PLAN for $27 / box or the 6 MONTH PLAN for
$24 / box. Each box is filled with different treats.

To learn more about Snackbox, please visit:

Special Offer for Readers!  Use the code “HEARTLESSINK” and save $15 off your first Snackbox. Expires Oct. 31, 2013, and valid only for new customers.

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