Monday, August 24, 2015

7.294 The Last Weekend

So it's not as if I didn't do anything this Summer. Before the Mister started his new job, we embarked on our last weekend together because his new job is a bit unpredictable when it comes to having weekends off. We wanted to make the most of it, so we decided to go to the beach- plus he had promised me that we would go swimming this Summer.

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I thought we were going to go to the Toronto beach or something... but he suggested we go to Sauble Beach. He's been there but I haven't. We rented a car because it's about a 3 hour drive from Toronto. We were a bit rushed because we left a little late in the morning thus I totally forgot to take a picture of the exterior of the car (doh!). The car we rented was the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu in white, it was so new that there was only about 9000km on it. I'm not a fan of Chevrolet but the car turned out pretty nice.

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Having a car and traveling somewhere with it felt so good. I was surprised at how well we began to like the car. The interior was okay (I didn't like the center control dashboard, the lights were cool) but the exterior started to really grow on me (especially because it was white and it looks better in person).

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We stopped by a gas station to buy a car charger because we forgot to buy one when we were still in the city. It was cheap and flimsy but it still costed a whopping $20 (totally got ripped off but we needed it badly for the GPS on the phone). We also grabbed some lunch at the McDonald's next door.

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Finally after what seemed like forever, we made it to Sauble Beach. It was packed... but less packed than Wasaga Beach. We got lucky and found a nice parking spot.

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Our ghetto beach setup. The Hudson Bay Stripes Towel is a new purchase. One day when we get our own car, I'll be more comfortable to bring more things, such as food and extra towels.

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Going to the beach, I knew that the Mister didn't know how to swim. What I didn't know, however, was that he had a phobia of it. I didn't understand why he was so afraid of the water until he told me he never played in the bathtub as a child and his father never let him swim. I thought that when anyone said they didn't know how to swim, it meant that they didn't know the method of doing so... phobias never even came to mind. I also recently learned that a coworker feels the same way as him. I was very proud of him at the end of the day though because he challenged his fears by going deeper into the water.

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Sauble Dunes
11 Southampton Pkwy, Sauble Beach, ON N0H 2G0

Taken from the site: "Sauble Dunes Bar & Grill serves up delicious food in a relaxing beachy atmosphere with excellent service. Enjoy the Sauble sunshine on our licensed patio. Full bar with a large selection of liqueurs, wine and 10 beers on tap. Big screen TV's with all the current sports. Open for Breakfast on Sunday."

After a good day at the beach, we started to head home but I was in dire need of a washroom. The Mister spotted Sauble Dunes Bar & Grill and suggested we go to eat there as well. I forgot to take a picture of the place (I forgot to take a picture of a lot of things that day) but if you click here you'll see that the building is very... colourful.

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I liked how they had patio seating, we thoroughly enjoyed eating outside. Believe it or not, this was the first time the Mister and I ate outside at a restaurant before. I hope next Summer we'll take more advantage of the weather and eat outside on terraces/patios often.

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I liked their little condiments basket.

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The Mister got the 1/2 Rack Ribs with Wings combo which was nice and tender, and I got the Hamburger and Fries (added bacon and cheese) which was tender and juicy with a nice crispiness from the bacon.

Food and service was good, it's basically what you would expect from a restaurant of this kind.

Overall: Ambience A, Food A-, Service B+, Price B.

Then it was time for our long ride back home. You can see in the above pictures how cool the lights were in the car. When he returned the car the next day, we felt a bit empty inside. Having a car is a luxury, that's for sure.

At the time we thought the beach was going to be the last weekend, but his job got delayed so we were able to spend one more weekend together. Luckily the Taste of the Danforth was happening that weekend. First we stopped by the Winners on Bloor though because as I've mentioned before, I've been shopping around for kitchenware. Then we started walking all the way to Broadview from Bloor and Yonge lol. It was a bit of a stretch but it was a nice walk.

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This is the view of the Don Valley Parkway from the Bloor Viaduct bridge. The morning was a bit gloomy but the skies cleared and it was a beautiful day to be at an outdoor event.

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We were mentally prepared for the crowd, because we knew the place was going to be jam packed.

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First stop, lemonade. I was hella thirsty from our walk. This lacked a bit of flavour and it was a bit bitter.

And because we didn't have patience to wait in the very long lines for the more popular foods, we opted for the other foods, such Sher-E-Punjab. We got the Butter Chicken and it was pretty good.

Green Basil Thai restaurant. We got the Chicken Curry, it was okay.

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Pulled Pork sandwiches. This was also just okay. The guy gave us 2 for 1 at least.

Casa Sushi. We got Calamari and Takoyaki and it was tasty.

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And of course, Roasted Corn! The way it should be done! A lot of time I see signs for Roasted Corn but then when you buy it, it's not even the slightest bit charred. This is the right way in my opinion!

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Free yogurt. I'm sold on these Astro Athentikos Greek Yogurt. They tasted so good! We also got a couple useful coupons that I'll put to good use.

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Before heading into the subway, we saw this guy outside this grocery selling strawberries for 3 for $5. I kept debating on whether to get it or not, but I eventually decided to buy since it was super cheap. He was so high up and the stacks of strawberries were so high up that I couldn't see the strawberries he was giving me. I paid and looked into my bag to discover that that dirtbag gave me wet moldy almost-gone-bad strawberries (they were hidden within and at the bottom). I immediately went up to him and told him I wanted to exchange the strawberries because the ones he gave me were all bad. He took them back and instead of grabbing the strawberries from where he got them before, he reached further in the back to where the better strawberries were (albeit they were not the freshest of fresh either, but they were better than the moldy ones I got). The guy didn't think I would be smart enough huh? Trying to cheat me. Well guess what I'm Asian! I always double check!

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And if you really want true fresh fruit and veggies where you don't have to question whether or not you'll get cheated, A.J. Lanzarotta is the place to shop. They do wholesale and sell to restaurants all over, but they're open to the public as well. They have the most sweetest plums I've ever eaten in my life. The one I showed you in this post was the sweetest, so sweet that the skin wasn't even the slightest bit bitter. But now the stock is gone :( They have other black plums that are sweet and juicy too but not as sweet as the original one I tried.

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Popeye's
589 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z4

Taken from the site:"Forty years ago in New Orleans, Louisiana, a taste sensation was born. What began with one small restaurant and one big idea turned into a craze that swept the nation – and the world."

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And on an unrelated note, I never blogged about the time when we ate at Popeyes. This was the first time for me and it was delicious!! Although I like KFC's seasoning, their chicken is way too oily and salty at times. Popeye's is more crispy and less oily. Their chicken is so tender and juicy. They could work on their chicken tenders though because their tenders taste a little dry (Quik Chik's tenders are far superior).

Overall: Ambience A-, Food A-, Service N/A, Price A.

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I haven't visited Mac's Convenience store in a long time. Anyway, I used to go there with my cousin because she introduced me to this awesome milkshake. This time, however, the milkshake was kind of too thick and much too sweet. I felt like I was trying to sip ice cream lol!

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And lastly, the Mister and I finally got to watch Mad Max. I liked it, I would give it 8/10. Also, I love the Orville Pop Up Bowl Popcorn! It makes it so much easier!

"Your relationship with your spouse should come first. The children's foundation is your marriage. You can't grow up happy in a broken home or a home where parents argue all the time. Never be so focused on your children that you forget about the one who is helping you raise them." -Unknown

Saturday, August 15, 2015

7.293 Barrels and Kegs

So I told myself that this Summer will be different, that it'll be packed with fun activities and events...

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That, my friends, is the newly renovated men's floor at the Hudson Bay. Yes, I confess... we've been hitting the malls and stores even though we said that we would make the most of this Summer. Plans changed after the Mister changed jobs, plus we have errands and there's things that we need to buy. The men on the floor seemed very happy that they finally had a place (a full floor) to call their own. I'm happy too because it's hard to find things for the Mister when stores have a limited selection for men. Shopping this Christmas should be a little easier for me :)

And of course, I ventured into the jewelry department because I had an offer to get x amount of money when you spend x amount (I can't remember the actual numbers). There was nothing that interested me in the clothing department so I figured I would find something in jewelry.
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I had a look at the Kate Spade jewelry and fell in love with this rose gold bangle. It fits my wrist perfectly and the Mister really likes it too. He liked it so much that I was convinced I'd regret not getting it.

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Then I picked up these Marc Jacobs earrings that I've been eyeing for some time now. I finally had the perfect excuse to get them. I've always admired the daisies on the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfumes, so I was instantly sold when I saw these. The only thing that held me back was the price, but with the discount in hand, I was more than happy to get it.

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We also walked by this jewelry stand called Alex and Ani. I've seen this on the Hudson's Bay website before but knew nothing about it. After some research, I am intrigued by this brand and may possibly purchase something in the future.

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This gorgeous Valentino purse was at Marshalls, it retailed for about $1200 *__* I wish I had that kind of money to spend haha. It was a beautiful deep violet plum colour with beautiful statement studs running the length of the flap and had a chain strap.

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I found these tops at Marshalls too. I didn't buy any though because they were all too pricey for what they were. I've been wanting a denim top and I really want to find a top in the same exact red muted coral colour, it's absolutely gorgeous.

In the home section, I stumbled upon this beautiful full length mirror. This would've totally been mine if I didn't have a mirror already and had a means of carrying it home. I love the studs!

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After shopping, we decided to revisit Pickle Barrel since we haven't been there in ages.

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Our sides; I got the Caesar Salad while the Mister got the Mixed Greens.

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For the main part of our meal, I chose the Shiitake Mushroom and Chicken Penne (julienne vegetables, light cream sauce) and the Mister got the 8oz Top Sirloin with mashed potatoes (lean boneless cut, just the right marbling for a robust taste and texture). The food was good, albeit I didn't see or taste the shiitake mushroom in my pasta. I was expecting full on shiitake mushrooms... but I'm pretty sure I just got regular mushrooms.

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Then for dessert, we got Jenny's Homemade Tiramisu (shaved dark chocolate, espresso dipped ladyfingers, whipped cream, caramel, strawberry). This was a bit of a surprise because the dessert was huge and we were expecting it to be square in form lol. This was only okay. Pickle Barrel isn't the greatest when it comes to desserts in my experience.

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During another weekend we explored the Winners on Bloor St. I love coming here because it's both a Winners and a Homesense!

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I kid you not, I have found some of the most best things here so far (and that's just from a couple of visits). They have a wonderful selection of kitchen stuff. I'm really interested in the kitchen stuff these days because I've begun shopping for my future home. The Mister bought the saffron and some nice workout gear which he had difficulty finding before at other Winners locations and Marshalls.

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They also have a good selection of decor too.

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I found these sunglasses (Ray Ban and Kate Spade) at the Winners on College street. They were priced fairly and I almost got them... until I saw scratches on both of them. Oh well.

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Then we headed to Nathan Philips Square to take in the energy from all the Pan Am Games hype one last time.

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I love Toronto and I don't think I could ever part with it. My home. #416 #tdot #the6

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The Keg
26 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON M5E 1A7

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The Mister wanted to go eat at The Keg because we were celebrating how he got a new job. He also read about how the place serves up delicious food.

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Inside looked quite fancy. The photo above is the bar side.

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This is the dining room where we chose to eat.

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We weren't seated in the best spot (small table beside larger group table and the kitchen), but it wasn't so bad that we couldn't handle it.

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For our starter we got the Calamari (lightly fried and served with our spicy sweet ginger garlic sauce and Greek feta sauce). The calamari here was good. I liked it because there was a kick when you ate it with the red pepper and jalapeno slices. I found it unique and refreshing.

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I got the Top Sirloin (considered the most flavourful steak) and the Mister got the New York Striploin (the king of steaks). These steaks were the best we've ever had. I would have to compare them side by side to know for sure, but the steak here at The Keg is right up there with Milestone's. Their garlic mashed potatoes with the skin in it reminds me of the one at Milestone's as well!

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Then for dessert we got the Creme Brulee (silky and smooth, topped with a caramelized sugar crust). This creme brulee was also super delicious. It was as big as the one we ate at Holder when we visited Montreal. I would say it's just about equally as good as the one at Holder's (and that's one of the best I've had!).

We were seated right away and our server definitely knew his stuff. Service was superb, the workers worked as a team so that our server had more time on his hands to take others' orders while another worker served us our food. Our server was also quick and efficient. The place was a bit loud though, so sometimes I had to talk really loud in order for the Mister to hear what I was saying. Other than that, the low lighting set a nice setting to the place.

Overall: Ambience B, Food A+, Service A+, Price A-.

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It was rare to go home this late in the day. We usually go home early to catch the bus but this day we didn't need to. It was nice being downtown when the sun went down. It was a nice cool refreshing evening walk.

"My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me." -Unknown