My Nautical 25th Birthday

Last week I celebrated my birthday and joined the quarter century club. Feeling old AF I figured the only appropriate way to celebrate would be a Nautical themed party with a sangria bar. Who plans their own birthday party? Obviously, I do. However, I have to give a huge shout out to my angelic friend Becca for hosting and helping to plan the night. Along with all my beautiful friends who so excellently followed themed.

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Sangria bar included red and white sangria with strawberry, raspberry, lemon and lime garnishes. I think almost all of us (k, mostly me) had some sort of red wine stain by the end of the night.

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The cupcakes were baked by yours truly, featuring a jello blue shot, because I just couldn’t bake something without making it boozy. Birthday cake cookies were baked by Becca, so yummy and a great alternative to a birthday cake.

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Our seafood bar featured cocktail shrimp, crab legs and smoked salmon. Naturally the serving plates were sea shells. The rest of the night was filled with eating, drinking, photo ops and a little bit of (very carefully) watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

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Special thanks to Anne for the pictures. I was super grateful that my future doctors from Ireland were able to make it and celebrate with me! (not joking, those two could save your life one day^^)

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Photo cred to Becca Kennedy’s concierge, thanks for putting up with us Taimur!

The party was a huge success and I couldn’t have been happier. All my friends that made it out were absolutely amazing! However the best birthday present of all is the 10 day cruise that I will spend with my honey in a couple weeks!

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Summerlicious: Frida

Summerlicious is an amazing two week long event put on by the City of Toronto every summer. Over 220 restaurants across Toronto participate creating 3 course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. This year my friend Becca and I decided to venture a little further out of the downtown core and go to Frida, an authentic Mexican restaurant in Midtown.IMG_3625.jpg

We sat out back on the cutest little patio, definitely something that we were not expecting. We split a pitcher of sangria and started off with the Ceviche. Both were delicious.

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For our main course I had the Tamal and Becca had the Chiles Rellenos. Both dishes reminded my of something that I would have eaten during my vacations in Yucatan, real authentic Mexican food.

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The real reason we chose to go to Frida… the churros.

Our meals were wonderful…especially the churros and the patio was definitely a plus. I would love to go back to try their tacos, something I may have to do before patio season is over!

Mini Watermelon Jello Shots


If you are anywhere as close to a Pinterest addict as am I, then I am sure you’ve seen these jello shots made in lime/lemons peels before. Usually when I see a Pinterest recipe I like I do a bit of research then make it my own. This time I got a little bit cocky and figured I did not need any instructions what so ever…oops. As I was making them they went from terrific success to disaster, back to success then failure and in the end they turned out just alright.

I was going to make little watermelons out of lime peels and watermelon jello. However, watermelon jello mix does not exist at my local grocery store, so now they were going to be strawberry jello shots in lime peels, that looked like little watermelons slices. I used the classic jello shot recipe used by university house parties far and wide; jello powder, one cups boiling water, one cup vodka. Let me just say, they do not taste great.

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I cut 5 limes in half and carefully pulled out all the sections. It’s kinda tricky and you have to make sure not to break the peel or the jello will leak out.

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I made my boozy jello concoction. Next is where I made a mistake. I should have left the jello to cool in the fridge, even thicken up a little bit, before pouring it into the limes. I also should have probably made sure that the lime we more stable, as a few took a tumble. Luckily there was still extra jello.

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After letting them sit all day I took them out and cut any extra peel off with scissors.

I tried to cut each half into 4. That was stupid. So I ended up just cutting them in half, so quarters of the whole lime.

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At this point I was really proud. They looked great, I thought it was a real success.

Traffic and an hour long car ride took a few of the shots down, luckily there was enough left in good shape. Really I should have just transported the halves and cut them there, but who likes to wait? Not this girl.

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We took our shots, celebrating one of my best honeys going off to work in Australia for three months. I also made her this little gift basket filled with Canadian goodies… and tampons because no one should have to deal with cardboard applicators.

 

Canada Day Long Weekend


For Canadians this past weekend was the Canada Day long weekend and the fourth of July is completely irrelevant. This weekend we celebrated Canada’s 149th birthday, it’s a pretty big deal.

The weekend was jam packed with fun activities and of course on theme Canada day treats. I started my long weekend a little bit earlier because after all I am unemployed and long weekends don’t really mean anything to me, by heading up to Muskoka to babysit. Just kidding. My friend Jenny has a beautiful cottage up on Lake of Bays, so we headed up Thursday morning to beat the traffic.

As soon as we arrived we got out the kayaks and headed out on the lake. Nothing says hardcore kayakers like a photo shoot on the closest island.

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The weather on Canada Day was pretty miserable with rain most of the day, so we decided to spend our day inside.  We made a pavlova and decorated with strawberries in the shape of a Canadian flag. We also made Canadian flag popsicles which were made from blended raspberries and coconut milk.

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The next day was better popsicle weather, so we went for a quick swim in the morning before heading back to Toronto.  Jenny had a flight to catch later that evening to Halifax where she was going to be working in the hospital.  Not joking this time, she could save your life one day.

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Back in Toronto my little cousins came for a visit the next day. They spent the entire day splashing around in the pool, only getting out to eat.  It’s weird I didn’t even see them go for a bathroom break. Floggle tourneys and snapchat were the other activities of the day. Our new friend who was visiting for the weekend really stole the show though, Mr. Beans.

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My grandpa even got out there and at 90 years old kicked some butt.

I hope everyone’s long weekend was amazing!

My goal for July is to swim everyday, no matter where I am… we’ll see how that goes, really shouldn’t be too difficult.

Homecoming, Housewarming and Mojito pops


So I had an absolutely amazing time in Italy and France (more posts to come), but now sadly, I am home.  To keep my mind off the fact that I am no longer on vacation in Cote d’Azur with my boyfriend I’ve gotten into popsicling (the art of making popsicles, did that sound dirty?!?).  Two of my dear honeys were having housewarming party this past weekend and I could think of no better housewarming gift then some boozy Mojito popsicles.

Mojitos are one of my favourite summer drinks and are always better when made yourself. Freezing Mojitos into popsicles could only make them that much more refreshing and they were super easy to make.

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I picked a ton of mint leaves from the garden, washed, dried and ripped them up into little pieces.

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I made simple syrup by boiling water and little bit too much sugar than I’m comfortable letting my friends know.

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Next I added the mint and lime juice to the simple syrup once it was off the heat.


And of course the last ingredient… rum. I did a little research and looked at some other Mojito pops recipes before I made these, I wanted to make sure they were actually going to freeze… and most called for about 1/4 of rum.  So I put in 1/4 cup, then I put in another 1/4 cup… and then one more, just for taste.

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I poured the Mojito mix into the popsicle molds, which were garnished with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint. TBH all of my friends later complained about this, saying they didn’t know what to do with the lime…one friend said she ate the whole thing… But honestly it makes them look so much prettier, so make your friends suck it up. Or give them plates.

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SO PRETTY, RIGHT?!?!?!

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I was super thrilled that they thoroughly froze, and froze on time, they took about 4 hours. Next it was time to bring them to the housewarming and let the honeys enjoy!

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Not a bad view, with the CN tower in the background!

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This is the one who ate her entire lime ^^, thanks for the support Kels!

But seriously, the popsicles were a huge success! Even though they melted almost immediately, but that may have been due to the excessive amounts of alcohol in them or the photo shoot before eating them.

Here’s an accurate and less boozy recipe if you are interested in making them yourself!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and are staying refreshed!

Cinco de Mayo

When my friends asked me what I did last year for Cinco de Mayo: “Nothing, I was in Mexico”. So Mexicans (living in Mexico) really don’t care about Cinco de Mayo and don’t celebrate it. But that doesn’t mean that a bunch of Canadians who are really into tacos can’t have a good time.

Of course I found it necessary to make a piñata. I used the classic balloon and paper mâché techniques. I painted the outside white and used an image of a Calavera or “Sugar Skull” that I googled to sketch the outline.IMG_1924.jpgIMG_1927.JPGIMG_1935.JPG

I painted the rest of the design with colours and then it was ready to be filled with candy. Seems pretty simply but the entire process took me about 2 days with drying time.

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I made my classic 7-layer bean dip and a smaller not-so-classic vegan bean dip.

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I’ll use any excuse to make Micheladas, basically beer with clamato juice. I even found the mexican candy on straws that you put in them.

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One of our favourite treats of the night was the spiked watermelon. I cut 1-inch thick watermelon slices and lay them flat in a tupperware container. In a saucepan I boiled tequila, triple sec, water and sugar, let it cool a little and poured it over the watermelon. I let the watermelon sit in the fridge all afternoon. Before we served it we squeezed some lime juice and sprinkled some salt on top. It was delicious and a huge hit. Full recipe here if you want to try it out yourself.IMG_2242.jpg

Our host, Elysia, was in charge of the tacos. She made slow-cooker beef tacos and shrimp tacos just for me. Bless her soul for putting up with my dietary restrictions.

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The fun part began when it was time to hit the piñata. Unfortunately piñatas are not as popular here as they are in Mexico and we had to improvise with our bat and blind fold. We were unintentionally extremely Canadian and used a hockey stick and a toque instead. After a little bit of damage and a few close calls the piñata cracked.

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I hope everyone enjoyed there Cinco de Mayo as much as we did!