Thursday, 17 August 2017

Book ~ "150 Fascinating Facts About Canadian Women" (2017) Margie Wolfe

From Goodreads ~ Did you know that, in 1875, Grace Annie Lockhart graduated from Mount Allison University as the first woman to receive a degree in any British Empire country? 

Or that in 1920, the Women's Labour League was formed calling for equal pay, maternity care, and birth control? 

Or that all Black, Japanese, Chinese, and South Asian Canadian women couldn't vote federally until 1949? 

Did you know that in 2008, Shannon Koostachin, a 13-year-old girl from Attawapiskat First Nation, led a rally to Parliament Hill that galvanized the movement for safe schools for Indigenous communities across Canada? 

These are only a few of the fascinating facts about Canadian women who have - for much longer than 150 years - helped to shape this country. 

This book has 150 facts about Canadian women and is a quick read.

Women of many cultures, backgrounds and races have always been workers, inventors, caregivers, scholars, factory labourers and creators of visual and performing arts.  They have advocated for social and judicial reform, fighting for change when it was needed and fighting for our rights when they were denied.

In addition to those facts listed above, here are some I found interesting ...

  • Before 1909, the kidnapping of any woman over the age of 16, except for an heiress, was legal in Canada.
  • In 1986, Sharon Wood was the first North American woman to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.
  • In 1946, Viola Desmond, a black beautician in Nova Scotia, refused to vacate a seat in the "white section" of a movie theatre.  She was arrested and convicted.  It wasn't until 2010 that she was pardoned.  In 2016, the public voted for her to appear on the 2018 $10 bill.
  • In 1996, Ottawa's Alanis Morissette became the first Canadian artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Album of the year for Jagged Little Pill.  She won three other Grammys that year.
  • Before 1952, women could only work for the federal government if they were single.  Once married, they either resigned or were fired.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Topbox - August 2017

My August 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 ...


Total value = $23.85 value

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Book ~ "Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares" (2017) Sherry Stanfa-Stanley

From Goodreads ~ Fighting midlife inertia, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley stares down fear through The 52/52 Project: a year of weekly new experiences designed to push her far outside her comfort zone. 

Her escapades range from visiting a nude beach with her seventy-five-year-old mother in tow to going on a raid with a vice squad and SWAT team to crashing a wedding (where she accidentally catches the bouquet).  While finding her courage in the most unlikely of circumstances, Sherry ultimately finds herself. 

For midlifers, fatigued parents and anyone who may be discontent with their life and looking to shake things up, try new things, or just escape, "Finding My Badass Self" is proof it's never too late to reinvent yourself - and that the best bucket list of all may be an unbucket list. 

Sherry is divorced mother of two 20-somethings sons and in her mid-50s.  According to her web page, she's a "writer, humorist and squeamish adventurer".  A couple years ago when she was 52, she decided to push herself outside of her comfort zone and start the 52/52 Project ... for a year she would do something she'd never done before every week (so for a total of 52 new adventures).  This book is the compilation of those experiences.

The things she did included spending time at a nude beach (with her mom nearby), online dating, hot air ballooning, heading to the airport and jumping on the first flight flying domestically, babysitting quadruplets, unplugging from electronics, going to the grocery store in her pajamas, auditioning for Survivor and more.  Some adventures were successful and she enjoyed them ... others she was glad she did but would never do again ... and there were just a couple where she said no way.

I gave her props for doing the 5km marathon.  I've always wanted to be a runner but I've never been one.  Runners make it look so easy!  I've been trying to do a 5km program (I have an app on my phone) since the spring and it's HARD ... I don't know if I'll ever be able to run (walking briskly is no problem, though).  I've already done some of the things which was a new adventure for me.  It was interesting to read her experiences doing a float and high ropes course ... I love floats and I'm with her re the high ropes course.

I enjoyed this book and found it a fun read.  Sherry is my age and I could relate to her, though I think anyone any age could.  I liked the writing style.  It was amusing and conversational.  I bet Sherry would be a fun and friendly person to hang out with.  As a heads up, there is some swearing.  My one suggestion is that it would have been nice to have included some pictures of her adventures.

Milestone's Grill and Bar, Toronto, ON (Yonge/Dundas)

Gord and I had a late lunch/early supper today at Milestones on the upper level at Yonge Street/Dundas Street E.  Surprisingly we've never been there.  Sister Sarah and her husband, Joey, had given us a gift certificate a couple weeks ago for our anniversary for Milestones.

We sat in the dining room

Monday, 14 August 2017

Book ~ "Stardust" (1990) Robert B. Parker

From Goodreads ~ When a Hollywood-based TV series schedules filming in Boston, Spenser smells trouble. When he signs up to protect the show's star, Jill Joyce, he knows it's on its way. 

First, there's Jill herself. She's spoiled, arrogant, drugged out -- made worse by fear. Someone is out to get her - does she imagine it, or is it real? 

Spenser monitors her neurosis, but finds evidence of harassment. It escalates to murder. Now begins the dangerous part - while the act may have ended, the murderer lingers on.

Spenser is a private detective in Boston.  Jill Joyce is a popular 40ish TV actress in a hit show and they are shooting it in Boston.  When she complains that she’s been receiving threatening phone calls, Spenser is hired as her bodyguard.  He is also supposed to figure out who is harassing her.  He starts to think that maybe she is making it all up to draw attention to herself ... until someone is murdered.  Spencer gets no help from Jill because she lies all the time and denies everything ... plus she's usually drunk and/or stoned so he's on his own to investigate.

I thought the story had potential as it sounded interesting but I didn't like it.  I hated Jill ... she was an awful unlikable person.  She was always drunk, smoking and doing drugs.  She kept coming onto Spenser and Hawk and then acting like a bitch when they turned her down (and then passing out).  Everyone knew she was like this but no one did anything about it.  I found her character unbelievable and way over the top.  I was glad when the story was over and I wasn't buying the "whodunnit" and why.

This is the seventeenth in the Spenser series (there are currently 46, with the last six written by Ace Atkins after Parker's death in 2010).  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.  I'd read many of the books over the years and recently started reading them from the beginning of the series ... my intent was to get through the series.  I read the first seventeen in the last couple of months and need a Spenser break.  It was sad to see a progression of bad storylines and lame and annoying characters.

I did like the writing style ... I found it humorous at times.  Spenser is a tough guy with a wisecracking sense of humour.  It's written in first person perspective in Spenser's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I'm not a fan of Susan, Spenser's love interest ... she has become picky and princessy as the series progressed.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Waterfront Trail, Toronto, ON

It was a gorgeous day (sunny and hot) and I wanted to go for a walk to get my 10,000 steps done.  It was a fabulous walk and I ended up walking 8.5km by the time I got home.

I wanted to be near the water so I caught the Queen Street bus (the streetcar currently isn't running because of track repairs) and got off near Park Lawn Avenue.  I walked south down Park Lawn and ended up at Humber Bay Shores Park.  I started walking east ...

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea, The Great Hall, Toronto, ON

This afternoon I checked out the Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market at The Great Hall (at Queen Street W/Dovercourt Road), in our 'hood.  They are celebrating their second anniversary!


Well!  Well!  Where did the time go! Guess what? The Trinity Bellwoods Flea turns two years old and what a ride it has been. We are back August 13, from 10am to 5pm at the beautifully restored Great Hall with a fresh lineup of local vendors, artisans, and designers. We have brought back some of your favorites and new vendors who we are sure you are going to love. 

Speaking of love ... we can't thank you all enough for the local love Toronto has shown us over the past two years and to say thank you we have something very special planned for all of you! 

Join us and 50 of Toronto's finest vendors and artisans for a day of celebration. Admission is, of course, FREE and four-legged friends welcome.

As always, there was much to tempt ... food, plants, clothing, jewelry, candles, food and lots more!

Looking down from the upper level ...

Saturday, 12 August 2017

King Taps, Toronto, ON

I had supper this evening at King Taps on King Street W, just west of Bay Street, in First Canadian Place.  They just opened about about month ago.


There was a half hour wait for a table so I sat at the bar.


They have over 50 beers on tap but because I'd spend the afternoon at a beer festival, I was beered-out so had a rum and Coke instead.  I'll be back another time to check out the beer selection.


I ordered a Just Gimme a Pepperoni pizza ... and it was really good pizza.  There was enough cheese and pepperoni and it seemed like there was salt sprinkled on it.  The pizza dough was soft and chewy.  I'd get it again.

Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival, Toronto, ON

I went to the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival this afternoon with my pals, Darlene and Jennifer ... the festival was last night, today and tomorrow.

This is the fifth time I've been to the summer one and I've also been to the winter one.

Tickets (which included the tasting mug) were $25 in advance.  Tasting tokens were $1 each.

The weather was a bit crazy during the afternoon.  It was hot and sunny ... then a bit rainy ... then hot and sunny ... and then rainy.  But it didn't seem to dampen the mood.

The gates opened at noon and we got in the short line about 12:15pm.  We got there early enough to get the giveaway hat.

Jen, me and Darlene
Jen, me and Darlene

Friday, 11 August 2017

Book ~ "I Hear She's a Real Bitch" (2017) Jen Agg

From Goodreads ~ A sharp and candid memoir from a star in the restaurant world and an up-and-coming literary voice. Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg, the woman behind the popular The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner and Agrikol restaurants, is known for her frank, crystal-sharp and often hilarious observations and ideas on the restaurant industry and the world around her. 

"I Hear She's a Real Bitch", Jen Agg's first book, is caustic yet intimate, and wryly observant; an unforgettable glimpse into the life of one of the most interesting, smart, trail-blazing voices of this moment. 

The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar and Rhum Corner are about a twenty minute walk northeast from me.  I like rum and have walked by the Rhum Corner to check it out but I seem to pick the wrong times because it's been closed when I've gone by.  I'll get there eventually.

Jen Agg is the owner of these bars/restaurants (along with two others) and this is her story.  The book starts with her childhood in Scarborough, working in restaurants and bars for others, realizing her dream of opening her own bar (Cobalt on College Street) but closing it due to a bankruptcy, meeting and marrying her second husband and designing and opening more bars/restaurants.

I liked the writing style.  I found the author honest and open about her experiences.  It was interesting reading about all that is involved in deciding to open a bar and/or restaurant, creating and designing it, running it and the personalities involved.  There is no doubt about the passion the author has about the bar and restaurant industry and her establishments.

The author has a mouth and she's not afraid to use it (and there's nothing wrong with that).  I think you'd either like her or you wouldn't ... and she couldn't care less.  As a head's up, there is swearing (she likes to use the F-bomb frequently) and TMI about the author's sexual activities that goes beyond information about the restaurant industry.

It would have been nice to have more pictures of her restaurants, some of the dishes and drinks offered, etc.