Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ipsy Glam Bag - January 2019

My January Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • 4 to 5 beauty products in a collectible makeup bag 
  • Monthly videos showing you how to get the Look 
  • Win free products in contests and giveaways

Subscriptions are $10US a month or $110US for a year.  Shipping is free in the U.S. and $4.95US per month to Canada.


Here's what I received ...

Topbox - January 2019

My January Topbox arrived today.

For only $12 a month, you will receive a Topbox with 4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products. Then test the products in the comfort of your own home.


Here's what I received ...



Value:  $76.12

D'Arcy McGee's, Ottawa Airport, ON

I was heading home today and had lunch at D'Arcy McGee's at the airport.  I've been there a couple times over the years and it hadn't been a good experience.


I ordered Butter Chicken Curry.  It was just okay.  The sauce was tasty but there was a lot of it.  There wasn't a lot of chicken, though.  It definitely didn't look like the picture.  The naan was hard.  It definitely wasn't worth $18.


Reynaldo was my server.  He was friendly and took good care of me.

D'Arcy McGee's - YOW Airport Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, Ottawa, ON

My home away from home last night was the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel.


Here was the lobby ...


Here was my room ...

My king bed was comfy

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Sasha's Bar, Ottawa, ON

I had supper this evening at Sasha's Bar ... it's in the Sheraton Hotel.  It's been a long tiring day, I was hungry and I didn't feel like going too far.

It's off the lobby and there isn't a lot of ambiance.


I ordered a 10 inch pizza and built my own with pepperoni, ham and tomatoes.  It was a good pizza (cheesy!) and I wasn't able to finish it.  I would get it again.


Micco was my server and he took good care of me.

Sasha's Lounge - Sheraton Ottawa Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, Toronto, ON (Harbourfront)

I had an early lunch today at Swiss Chalet at Harbourfront on Queens Quay.


I ordered what I usually order at Swiss Chalet ... a half chicken dinner with corn.  It's Weight Watcher friendly (just seven points!).  It came out really quickly and was okay.  The corn was obviously frozen and warm.  The chicken was warm and a bit burnt and dry in spots.  The roll was warm and the sauce was hot and had a tasty bite (it was the best part of the meal).


The host/server was sitting in a booth on the phone when I arrived so I had to wait a bit to be seated.  That seemed to be his spot as he was there when I left too.

Swiss Chalet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Book ~ "Alfie and George" (2016) Rachel Wells

From Goodreads ~ As the residents of Edgar Road know, Alfie is no ordinary cat. Since his arrival in the street, he's made every house his home, helping this group of neighbours to become friends for life. 

But now there's a new cat on Alfie's turf - a tiny ball of fur called George. With no home to call his own, this little kitten is in desperate need. And little does Alfie know that they’ve got quite an adventure ahead of them to get him through this most difficult of times.

Alfie is a doorstep cat who has three families.  He lives with Claire and Jonathan on Edgar Road.  Polly, Matt and their children are their neighbours and Franceska and Tomasz and their children are former neighbours and visit weekly.  All three families are very good friends with each other, thanks for Alfie.

Alfie is in love with Snowball, a neighbour cat, and that love is returned.  Both are heartbroken, though, when Snowball's family moves away and they know they will never see each other again.  Seeing how depressed Alfie is, Jonathan and Claire get a kitten named George hoping to distract him.  Alfie takes to George right away and becomes his  adopted father, teaching him how to be a cat.  Tiger, Alfie's best friend, becomes George's adopted mom and the rest of the cats in the neighbourhood dote on George.

Posters of cats are turning up on lamp posts which have the neighbourhood cats wondering what's going on ... is it a beauty contest?  In addition to figuring out what this is all about, each of Alfie's families have troubles that he is determined to fix.

This is the third in Alfie series (there are currently five in the series) and I enjoyed it.  It is written in first person perspective in Alfie's voice.  We can see the conversations he has with other cats.  Plus he understands the conversations of humans around him (rather than "blah blah blah blah blah Alfie blah blah blah).  Though he can't talk back to them in their language, he does try to communicate in cat-talk and expressions.  As a head's up, though the story is about a cat, it does have mature themes.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the others in this series.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Book ~ "A Cat Named Alfie" (2015) Rachel Wells

From Goodreads ~ Edgar Road used to be your typical London street: a road full of people who barely said a word to one another. Then Alfie came along - a big grey ball of fur who changed the lives of every family he met and brought a community together. 

But now a new family has moved into Edgar Road and they, more than anyone else, need Alfie’s help. Can he bring light to their darkest times? Or is it already too late to stop them from falling apart?

Alfie is a doorstep cat who has three families.  He lives with Claire and Jonathan on Edgar Road.  Polly, Matt and their children are their neighbours and Franceska and Tomasz and their children are former neighbours and visit weekly.  All three families are very good friends with each other, thanks for Alfie.

The Snells move onto the street and despite everyone's efforts, tend to keep to themselves.  The Goodwins run the Neighbourhood Watch and aren't going to tolerate it.  They suspect the Snells are up to no good so do all they can to get rid of them, including meetings, petitions and surveillance.  Alfie's families, though they do find the Snells odd,  just want the Goodwins to leave them alone.

Alfie is feeling something that puzzles him until he realizes he is in love with Snowball, the Snells' cat.  Unfortunately like the rest of the Snell family, Snowball makes it quite clear to Alfie that she wants him to leave her alone and she isn't very nice about it.  But Alfie is determined to win her heart.

This is the second in Alfie series (there are currently five in the series).  It is written in first person perspective in Alfie's voice.  We can see the conversations he has with other cats.  Plus he understands the conversations of humans around him (rather than "blah blah blah blah blah Alfie blah blah blah).  Though he can't talk back to them in their language, he does try to communicate in cat-talk and expressions.  As a head's up, though the story is about a cat, it does have mature themes.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the others in this series.

Cat Shelter Building Workshop, Toronto Street Cats, Toronto, ON

From 10am to 2pm, I was at a cat shelter building workshop organized by Toronto Street Cats.  The workshops are held every two weeks throughout the fall and winter season in the garage of the Toronto Humane Society  I've been going since November ... it's so nice helping the kitties in Toronto keep warm and dry during the cold winter.

Our mission: improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services, free for feral cats, and building overwintering shelters. We are also working to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return (TNR). 

We are part of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, working together to implement strategic TNR programs to sterilize Toronto’s feral cats, decrease shelter intake and reduce euthanasia rates.

There were 44 volunteers today and we broke a record ... we made 172 shelters (apparently the last record was 167 shelters built in December 2013)!  Wow!


Here were the bins which would soon be made into the cat shelters.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Book ~ "Alfie the Doorstep Cat" (2014) Rachel Wells

From Goodreads ~ Can a pet really change your life? 

Alfie is homeless, abandoned after his elderly owner passes away. But when he stumbles on to Edgar Road, Alfie knows he's found his new home. However, the street's residents don't agree - the last thing they need is another stray cat, and he is shooed away from many doorsteps. 

But as life throws its worst at the residents of Edgar Road, they soon realise how much they all need Alfie - a cat who brings hope to the darkest times, and who will always be a friend to those in need.

When Alfie's elderly owner passes away, her daughter and son-in-law plan on taking Alfie to a shelter.  Alfie has heard that shelters are not a good place for cats (he may be euthanized) so he decides to strike out on his own and find a new home.  But Alfie has been a well-cared for and well-loved cat so he's not sure what to do or where to go.

After wandering around for a long time, he ends up on Edgar Road, hungry and thin. Along the way, he had been given the advice by other cats to look for a family with children as he will have a good chance of being taken in. He finds a new home with Claire (a recent divorcée), Jonathan (who lost his job in Singapore and moved back to London,) a young Polish family with two children who recently moved to London and don't know anyone, and young couple who recently had a baby.   As Alfie spends time with his four new families (he splits his time with Claire and Jonathan at night and the families during the day), he discovers they are all sad and though it's time consuming and a lot of responsibility, it's up to him to make things right for them.

This is the first in Alfie series (there are currently five in the series) and I just discovered them this week.  It is written in first person perspective in Alfie's voice.  We can see the conversations he has with other cats.  Plus he understands the conversations of humans around him (rather than "blah blah blah blah blah Alfie blah blah blah).  Though he can't talk back to them in their language, he does try to communicate in cat-talk and expressions.

When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure who the target audience was since it was about a cat.  I quickly realized that it's for an adult reader as it deals with more mature themes.  I liked the writing style.  As I said, it's in Alfie's voice and I kind of forgot that he was a cat because he has so many human qualities.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the others in this series.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Book ~ "The Last Hockey Player" (2018) Bretton Loney

From Goodreads ~ After society crumbles, walking alone in the Canadian winter tempts death in a hundred ways. Epidemics have killed most of mankind, forcing people to flee the cities and live off the land. 

A professional hockey player travels across the wreckage of North America to find his mother and sister. He stumbles into a Nova Scotia village of survivors and finds family but not where he expected. 

"The Last Hockey Player" explores what remains when society collapses and is burned away, and what defines Canadians no matter what happens. 

About 20 years ago, a couple viruses wiped out about three-quarters of the world's population.  Those who survived now live in small villages with barely anything from their old lives but their memories and a few prized possessions.  They have learned to live off the land and pass on their knowledge to the younger people.

Hockey Player has been travelling from the United States where he was a professional hockey player (hence his name) when the viruses hit.  He has made his way back to Nova Scotia, where his mother and sister lived, in hopes of connecting with them, though he hasn't seen them in about twenty years and has no idea if they are even alive.  Once he arrives in Nova Scotia, he spends some time in the village of The Barn before intending to move on to find his family.  There he becomes part of the community as he gets to know The Apprentice (a thirteen year old boy), The Leader and others.  In addition to trading among the villages, hockey is a big deal and the players from the villages play each other.  Hockey Player is able to teach the players of The Barn team hockey skills and he learns more about himself and family as he is there.

This not typically the kind of book I read ... I'm not a big fan of "end of the world" stories.  But because it was written by a Canadian and takes place in Nova Scotia (where I am originally from), I thought I'd give it a go ... and I'm glad I did because, though it took me a bit to get into because of its premise, I ended up liking it and the characters.

I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective primarily in Hockey Player and The Apprentice's voices (the chapters are labeled).  I liked the Canadian references such as a The Barn hockey player named Neil-Young, a dog named Littlest Hobo and the nearest town is Tim-Hortons.  As a head's up, there is swearing, violence and adult activity.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Open Cribbage Tournament, Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 31 Mount Dennis, Toronto, ON

Gord and I enjoy playing cribbage.  In fact, we were in a cribbage league for a couple years about fifteen years ago (we played once a week from September to June).  About 30 years ago, I was in a league at a legion when I lived in Antigonish, NS.  These days we play it on our iPads.

I came across a cribbage tournament that was being held at the Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 31 Mount Dennis today and we both knew we had to go!


There were 52 teams in the tournament.