Monday, March 02, 2015

beautybox five - February 2015

My February 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 in the box ...

Value = $41.88US

Moselland Riesling wine - cat bottle

When I was in the Calgary airport yesterday, I walked by a liquor store ...

... and something in the window caught my eye.  They had a lot of the Moselland Riesling wine cat bottles that Sister Sarah and I collect!

I flew home today and stopped in at the liquor store before I boarded to see if they had any that I didn't.

And they did ... a pink one with a 2012 vintage!  So I bought a couple (one for me and one for Sister Sarah).

I've been collecting them for about 15 years and now have 30.

They are all different colours/vintages and unopened.
  • 2000 - 5
  • 2001 - 3
  • 2002 - 3
  • 2003 - 1
  • 2004 - 2
  • 2005 - 2
  • 2006 - 2
  • 2007 - 2
  • 2008 - 2
  • 2009 - 2
  • 2011 - 2
  • 2012 - 3
  • 2013 - 1

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South, Calgary, AB

I had an enrolment seminar to conduct this morning in Calgary.  I flew in yesterday afternoon and am heading home this afternoon.  I stayed at the Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South as it was close to the client's site.

The lobby

Here is my room ...

A king bed just for me ... it was comfy!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Shark Club Sports Bar & Grill, Calgary, AB

I had supper this evening at the Shark Club in SE Calgary.  I've been to the one in Toronto and liked it.

Book ~ "Jubilee's Journey" (2013) Bette Lee Crosby

From Goodreads ~ When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. 

If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old and who’s going to believe a kid?

Paul is 16 and Jubilee is 7.  Their mother died a few years ago and their father had just died in a mining accident.  They have nowhere to live now so they set out to find their mother's sister, Anita.  Their mother and Anita had a falling out many years ago and all Paul knows is that she used to live in Wyattsville.  So packing a few mementos and what little money they have, they set off to find Aunt Anita.

On their first day in Wyattsville, Paul is in the wrong place at the wrong time and he and Jubilee become separated.  Luckily she is taken in by a kind woman and her grandson but Jubilee is determined to find Paul and get back together with him.

This is the third book I've read by this author and I enjoyed the story.  It is the second of three in the Wyattsville series (I've read all three) ... they also work as stand alones.  It is written in third person perspective, though some chapters are in first person perspective ... they are short and italicized and the name of the person is at the beginning of these chapters so you know who the focus is.  This style worked for me as it let me get into their heads and know what they were thinking. 

Some of the main characters in this book were in Spare Change, the first in the Wyattsville series, like Olivia and Ethan Allen.  I found the writing a bit awkward and frustrating at times because the author was trying to tie some of the events from Spare Change into this one without I'm assuming giving too much away.  It's been almost two years since I'd read the first one and I couldn't remember the details.  I think she did this to explain the tension between two cops who had issues with each other.  It would be enough just to say that they didn't like each other because of a previous case and left it at that.  Paul and Jubilee pop up again in Passing Through Perfect, the third in the series so I knew what had happened with them.

I received a copy of this ebook from the author at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Boccone Trattoria Veloce, Mississauga, ON

I had to fly to Calgary this afternoon and had an early lunch at Boccone Trattoria Veloce, my go-to spot at Pearson Airport before my flight.

I usually get a Calabrese pizza but thought I'd try the Robusta pizza (without the fresh egg).  Though it doesn't have the kick of the Calabrese pizza, it was good.  The fresh tomatoes stood out and I liked the light crisp crust.  I'd get it again.

Boccone Trattoria Veloce on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Heart of Robin Hood, Royal Alexander Theatre, Toronto, ON

Gord and I saw The Heart of Robin Hood tonight.

Every legendary hero has to start somewhere.

A classic tale goes rogue in "The Heart of Robin Hood, the heart-pounding, eye-popping new stage adventure from the Royal Shakespeare Company that puts a bold new twist on the story of the world's most infamous outlaw.

In this wildly inventive reimagining, Robin Hood isn't a beloved vigilante who gives to the poor ... he's just a headstrong thief. It's up to the brave Maid Marion to protect the kingdom and show this legendary hood how to be a hero.

This raucous and thrilling production explodes off the stage with swashbuckling, acrobatics, comedy, romance and original music written and performed by the celebrated indie roots band Parsonsfield.

Don't miss this internationally acclaimed, delightfully theatrical experience - it's Sherwood Forest like you've never seen it before!

It was at the Royal Alexander Theatre.

Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star described it ...

Part fractured fairy tale, part gymnastic exhibition, part bluegrass concert and part Monty Python-esque burlesque, this certifiably demented show - which arrived here from England, by way of Boston, by way of Winnipeg, and is heading to Broadway straight after its Toronto run ends - has to be one of the most energetic, life-affirming events in recent memory.

And his description was right on.  I would also include that it was also Cirque du Soleilish too as there was lots of acrobatics.  It was funny and silly.  There was always something going on.

Parsonfield was the band of minstrels and were always on stage or just off.  They played during the action and in between scene changes.  The music style was bluegrass and they were good!

None of the actors were weak.  Gabriel Ebert and Izzie Steele were excellent as Robin Hood and Marion.  Robin Hood starts off as a toughie but ends up in love.  Euan Morton was excellent as the evil Prince John and Christian Lloyd was a hoot as Pierre.

The set was cool and was basically a giant green Astroturf slide that everyone kept cliding down and climbing up.

All in all, I thought it was delightful and would recommend it.

Parlor Foods & Co., Toronto, ON

Gord and I had tickets to see The Heart of Robin Hood this evening.  We had supper beforehand at Parlor Foods, which is across the street from the theatre (at King Street W/Blue Jays Way).  They have been open for about ten weeks.

At Parlor Foods it's all about bringing back the joy of dining. Based on the ideals of a wood burning Parlor stove, and the gathering of family, friends and loved ones. The Parlor Stove was the backbone of the household used for heating, cooking and socializing. At Parlor Foods & Co. you will receive fine dining level of service in a casual down to earth atmosphere. Serving up an ever changing ingredient driven Canadian menu with a focus on sharing plates, along side our hand picked 100% VQA Wine list, Toronto craft micro brews, and an exciting cocktail menu showcasing small batch distilleries.

Gladstone Hotel Café, Toronto, ON

After our float, Gord and I were hungry (you are supposed to just eat a light meal 60-90 minutes before your float) so we had a late brunch across the street at the Gladstone Hotel Café.  It's been a while since we've been there.

Gord ordered the Good Morning Burger.  He said it was delicious and cleaned his plate!

Float Toronto, Toronto, ON

I took a walk around our 'hood last Saturday and discovered Float Toronto on Queen Street W (at Beaconsfield).

I'd heard about floating and was intrigued about it.

Floatation therapy, also known as floating, floatation, sensory deprivation, or R.E.S.T (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) involves lying in a salt-water solution in a spacious tank. It is one of the most effective means of stress relief and relaxation available. Now widely accepted as a legitimate therapy, floatation is also used to treat a wide range of ailments and conditions and has been proven to lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone). The term sensory deprivation is often used as the environment is designed to limit sensory input and allow your body to fully relax.

Your ears (with earplugs in) stay just below the water; the tanks are insulated against sound leaving you in peaceful silence.  After you shut the door and turn off the light, you float in total darkness – you won’t notice a difference between keeping your eyes open or closed.  Inside the tank, you’ll find 10 inches of water and 900 lbs. of dissolved Epsom salts – a solution that allows you to float effortlessly. The water and air are both kept at 34.1C – this is skin-receptor neutral, which means that when you fully relax, you lose track of where your body ends and the water or air begins. During your float, the outside world is gone and amazing things happen. It turns out that when you’re not fighting gravity or receiving sensory input, your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. Your mind is free to navigate without distraction, your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins, and the parasympathetic nervous system gets to work helping you rest, de-stress and heal. It’s likely to be the most relaxing thing you’ve ever experienced.

Gord and I made an appointment for noon today.

You can have some tea or water afterwards

Friday, February 27, 2015

Burrito Boyz, Toronto, ON (Queen W)

I love burritos and I love love love the ones at Burrito Boyz best!

They opened one west of our 'hood in September (at Queen Street W/King Street W/Roncesvalles) and I thought I'd check it for lunch today.

I ordered what I always order ... a large chicken burrito.  It was delicious!

My burrito had chicken, beans, rice, cheese, corn, tomatoes and burrito sauce

The staff was really friendly!  I'll be back!

Burrito Boyz on Urbanspoon