Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Book ~ "A Christmas Day at the Office" (2016) Matt Dunn

From Goodreads ~ One Christmas party. Two merging companies. Free-flowing champagne. What could possibly go wrong?

With her new billionaire boss in town, Sophie’s determined to swap the No-Jobs she meets on Tinder for her very own Steve Jobs. But will looking like a million dollars be enough to kick-start a Fifty Shades adventure?

A ring in his pocket and dressed to kill, Calum’s planning to get down on one knee. Though if Mia doesn’t say ‘yes’, he’s not sure he’ll ever get back up.

Julie’s got a surprise for Mark - though it’s something she’s not even sure she wants. Meanwhile, Mark’s got another choice to make: the love of his life, or the opportunity of a lifetime?

With his job on the line and the ex who broke his heart back on the scene, Nathan’s day is becoming a nightmare. But he’s about to meet the woman of his dreams.

This year’s office Christmas party should be a night to remember - but for five of Seek Software’s employees, it might be one they’d sooner forget. 

iFeel and Seek Software are merging and tonight is the Christmas party for the employees of both companies to meet.  This book focuses on that day for five employees of Seek Software.

Sophie is a bit of a ditz and is on the hunt for Mr. Right.  When she hears that Tony, the rich American who has bought their company, is single, she decides to entice him in hopes of making her his fourth wife.

Calum is Seek's top (and only) salesman.  He's not overly confident but since he started dating Mia-Rose, that has changed a bit.  He wants to propose to her and every time he tries that night, something goes wrong.

Julie and Mark have been secretly dating (though many people know) for the last nine months.  They are waiting until Julie's divorce becomes final before coming out as a couple.  But the morning of the Christmas party, Julie gets a big surprise.

Nathan is still recovering from having his heart broken a couple years ago when his then girlfriend broke up with him while he was proposing to her.  He does some research on his counterpart at iFeel, though, and can't wait to meet her.

This is the sixth book I've read by this author and I liked it.  I enjoyed the writing style and found it amusing.  It is written by an English author and set in London so their brand of humour was there.  It was written in third person perspective from the various points of view.  It is the sequel to A Day at the Office, which I haven't read (though I'd like to now) so this book obviously works as a stand alone.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, London, ON (Commissioners Road E)

I had lunch today at Swiss Chalet (on Commissioners Road E).

It was near my client's site, there wasn't much else around and I like chicken.


I had only had an apple for breakfast and was hungry so I ordered a half chicken dinner with mashed potatoes ... yes, exactly what I ordered last night for supper at another location in London.  The chicken was really good as was the roll and dipping sauce.  The potatoes were a bit salty my taste but that must be the Swiss Chalet way.


Serena was my server.  She was really friendly and chatty and took excellent care of me.

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

Homewood Suites by Hilton, London, ON

I'm spending the day at a client's site in London.  It's a 9am start (so I have to be there about 8:30am).  Rather than get up really early this morning and drive two hours to get here, I came down yesterday afternoon and spent last night at the Homewood Suites.  I was at the same client's site on Friday and did do the drive that morning and I was exhausted when I hit the road for home about 3pm (there was tons of traffic so you can imagine how tired I was when I got home after 6pm).


I had reserved a studio king room for $109.  When I checked in, I asked if my room had a tub.  It didn't so I was switched to another room that had one ... which I discovered was a one bedroom suite.  Sweet!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, London, ON (Wellington Road)

I had supper this evening at Swiss Chalet (the Wellington Road location).


I was hungry as I hadn't eaten since breakfast and ordered a half chicken dinner with mashed potatoes.  The chicken was good as was the dipping sauce.  The potatoes were okay ... a bit salty.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, Campbellville, ON

In May, I read and enjoyed the book Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time.  I remembered reading about her story in the Toronto Star.

Esther's owners, Steve and Derek, had adopted her as a six month old mini pig and were assured that as big as she would get.  Then they discovered that she wasn't a  "mini" pig at all ... she was, in fact, a six week old commercial pig, which means she should have been destined to be raised and butchered. Esther grew from being the size of a sneaker to over 650 pounds! They tried to raise her as long as they could in their house in Georgetown, just outside of Toronto. They eventually bought a 50 acre farm in Campbellville, about 45km west of Toronto, and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary and now take in animals that need homes.

To inspire kindness and compassion for farmed animals everywhere.

Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, located in Campbellville, Ontario Canada, was founded in 2014. Since its inception, Happily Ever Esther has been dedicated to rescuing abused, neglected and abandoned farmed animals. Our goal is to provide a safe, life-long home for all of the rescues and to educate the public about the true nature of farmed animals through tours, volunteer programs and community outreach.

Two years ago, Happily Ever Esther was nothing but a far fetched dream. But thanks to the support of thousands of people - from all over the world - Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, is now a dream come true. Home to over 40 rescued animals and Esther the Wonder Pig.

When I read about the farm sanctuary, I knew I had to visit it.  They have tours a couple times a month.  It was a busy summer for Gord and I so I booked my ticket for today.


We waited for the tour to start sitting around a fire.


Krista, one of the board of directors, was our guide.  As we made our way around the farm (it took almost two hours), she told us about the animals, where they were rescued from, what had happened to them and what could have happened had they not been rescued.   All the animals on the far are spayed and neutered.


She started us off at the chicken coop.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Samuel Adams "For The Love Of Beer", 99 Sudbury, Toronto, ON

It's Toronto Beer Week this week and Gord and I attended one of the events ... Samuel Adams "For the Love of Beer" at 99 Sudbury.

Ticket were just $15 and included an open bar of five Samuel Adams beer, appetizers, a DJ and a live band.

The world of craft beer as we know it can be accredited to the revolutionary movement that Jim Koch, entrepreneur and founder of the Boston Beer Company, brought forth to the world of beer in the 80s. With micro-breweries closing all across the country, Jim stepped up and lead what we now know as the American craft beer revolution.

Join us in Toronto, Ontario at “For The Love Of Beer”, a Toronto Beer Week Event, and enjoy a night of premium craft brews, beer infused appetizers, and live entertainment, with an appearance from Jim Koch. We’re going to be serving some truly unique, small batch craft brews straight from the Boston Beer Brewery, as well as our Samuel Adams classics. The evening will be a celebration of beer, joining the Toronto beer community with one of the world’s most renounced craft beer influencers.

So don’t miss out - join us and grab a pint of Boston's finest brew with Jim, and raise a glass to craft.

The doors opened at 7:30pm and Gord and I got there about 7:45pm ... there were quite a few people there then.


They had five kinds of beer available.

Topbox - September 2016

My September 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.

I was surprised to receive two packages.


Here's what was in the purple bag ...



Total value = $29.68 value

Here's what was in the Unilever box ...


I don't know what the value is but it was a sweet bonus to receive!

Tunup Island Caribbean Foods, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at Tunup Island Caribbean Foods (on Jane Street at Trethewey Drive).


I ordered the large jerk chicken plate with jerk chicken, BBQ chicken and rice/peas.  It was good.  The chicken was tender and the sauces were yummy.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Hopera, Monarch Tavern, Toronto, ON

It's Toronto Beer Week this week and Gord and I attended one of the events ... the fourth annual Hopera at the Monarch Tavern.

HOPERA: an evening of local craft beer and song 

 Join us for this celebration of craft beer and opera. On September 21st and 22nd, opera singers will entertain guests with a selection of eight operatic arias, duos and trios. Each song will be accompanied by a sample of local craft beer. Pairings will be presented with details on the musical selection and the beer style as well as why they were chosen. Hopera is an intimate event and will provide meaningful insight into both the world of local craft beer and the world of opera.


I haven't had any exposure to opera but Gord and I like beer and we thought it sounded fun.

The evening was hosted by Melanie Esseltine and Mirella Amato.  Melanie has been a national Canadian Music Competition finalist, Le Prix Nadia Boulanger recipient and a member of Atelier lyrique de l'opéra de Montréal.   Mirella is Canada's only Master Cicerone.  I read her book, Beerology: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Beer ... Even More, in 2014 when it was released.  She also holds a degree in vocal performance from McGill University.

We were provided with a drink ticket for a half pint of beer when we arrived.  Appetizers were provided by Bunz.


There were eight performances and they were paired with a glass (about three ounces) of local craft beer.  There was a program for the show so we could follow along.


Melanie introduced the arias, duos and trios, giving the background of the song and opera and let us know what to expect ... lively, sad, silly, etc.  Mirella would then describe the beer that she had paired with the piece and why.  She showed us how to hold the glass and instructed us to smell the aroma and then sip and then asked us what we detected ... floral?  ammonia?  gardenias?

beautybox five - September 2016

My September beautybox five arrived today.

Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling service that delivers 5 deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door every month.

Subscriptions are $12US a month or $99US for a year.  Shipping is free.


Here's what was inside ...



Value = $48.28US

Monday, 19 September 2016

Knitted dish cloth

I finished knitting a dish cloth tonight.  I like making them because they are a fast project.

I used Red Heart's Scrubby yarn and the colour is Grape.


I used Scrubby yarn ... I find it works really well for dishcloths because once the dishcloth is finished, it has a rough "scrubby" texture which will be great for washing dishes.  Yarn Canada has a really great selection of colours (that's where I got this one)


Red Heart has lots of patterns on their site for knitting and crocheting and I used this one.  It's fast and easy. I used 40 grams (the ball was 100 grams).
  • Cast on 30 stitches.
  • Rows 1-6: Knit.
  • Row 7: Knit 3, purl 24, knit 3.
  • Row 8: Knit.
  • Repeat Rows 7-8 until piece measures 6” [15 cm] from beginning, end with Row 8. 
  • Repeat Rows 1-6.
  • Bind off.
  • Weave in ends.