Friday, 21 July 2017

ihalo Krunch, Toronto, ON

ihalo Krunch recently opened on Queen Street W (just east of Strachan Avenue and across from Trinity Bellwoods Park).  I've walked passed it often and there's always a big line-up.  I was out walking this afternoon and passed by ... no line-up!  So I had to stop in!

You can get regular scoop ice cream, which looked delicious.  Or you can get what all the kool kids are getting ... a house cone.  I got an Ube Nut, which was described to me as sweet potato/coconut.  Huh?!  I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes but one of the servers convinced me to try a sample.  I did ... and I liked it.  It tasted like vanilla ice cream.

It was a fun ice cream and I'm glad I finally got to be one of the kool kids.  I took it across the street and ate it on a bench at the park.  You have to eat it right away because it melts really really quickly.  Make sure you have lots of napkins.  I didn't find the ice cream overly sweet.  The cones, which they make onsite, are black and are infused with activated charcoal.  The cone was thin and not overly crunchy.  There was a hole in the bottom of the cone, with a bit of Fluff, but the ice cream dripped through.  Afterwards my teeth, lips and tongue were black.

Ihalo krunch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Book ~ "Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada" (2017) Lorna Poplak

From Goodreads ~ Take a journey through notable cases in Canada’s criminal justice history, featuring well-known and some less-well-known figures from the past. You'll meet Arthur Ellis, Canada’s most famous hangman, whose work outfit was a frock coat and striped trousers, often with a flower pinned to his lapel. And you will also encounter other memorable characters, including the man who was hanged twice and the gun-toting bootlegger who was the only woman every executed in Alberta. 

"Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada" illustrates how trial, sentencing and punishment operated in Canada’s first century, and examines the relevance of capital punishment today. Along the way, learn about the mathematics and physics behind hangings, as well as disturbing facts about bungled executions and wrongful convictions. 

A book focused on hangings in Canada sounds like a weird topic, right?  But it was actually quite interesting.

The book covers the hangings starting in 1867 when the British North American Act established the Dominion of Canada and ends when capital punishment was abolished in 1967.  In total, there were 704 people hanged in Canada during these years and in this book are stories are the first and last men to be hung, the first and last women to be hung, the youngest to be hung, and many more.

In addition, there are chapters dedicated to famous people such as Thomas D'Arcy McGee, who had been murdered, and Louis Riel, who had been hanged.  There is a chapter on Arthur Ellis, Canada's most famous hangman.  There are chapters dedicated to those who had been on death's row such as Stephen Truscott (who has since been acquitted).

I liked the writing style of this book.  There was lots of information but not too much.

Muffin's check-up

It will be a month this Saturday since we adopted Muffin.

She'd had her first two kitten shots and was spayed before we got her.  She was due for her third shot, plus a rabies shot.

I took her to our vet's this morning for a check-up and to get her shots.

She was really calm while waiting for the vet.

Here's Dr. Fisher checking her teeth ... she's almost four months old and still has lots of kitten teeth.

After she got her shots, Megan and Dr. Fisher gave her a standard deworming med.  She didn't fuss too much.

Dr. Fisher said Muffin was "perfect".

She's got all her shots now and will be due for a booster a year from now.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Topbox - July 2017

I picked up my July Topbox at the post office 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 = $58.87 value

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market, Toronto, ON

There is a farmers market every Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm in the northwest corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park and I stopped by this evening.

The Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market mandate is to support and increase access to fresh, local, sustainable, naturally grown and certified organic agriculture. To educate the community in the food they eat, the source from which it comes and how it is grown and/or prepared. We like slow food, not fast food and eating at hearth and home with your loved ones.

There was a lot of variety of vendors ... something for everyone!

Vivoli, Toronto, ON

I had supper this evening at Vivoli, on College Street and Beatrice Street.  I've walked by it lots of times but have never stopped in.

Pizzas are made in a wood burning oven and take about a minute

Monday, 17 July 2017

Book ~ "Thin Places" (2017) Lesley Choyce

From GoodreadsOne day, Declan Lynch, a regular teenager, starts hearing a girl’s voice inside his head. Eventually, he even begins to see her. Though he’s not certain the girl, Rebecca, is real, Declan finds himself falling for her. She shows him visions of places and people he has never seen - places he feels compelled to find in hopes of meeting her.

His quest takes him to County Sligo, Ireland, and its “thin places,” spots where the earth and the spirit world seem almost to touch. His slightly crazy Uncle Seamus takes him in, as Declan’s search has him wondering which world he belongs in - his, or the one belonging to a girl who might not even be real. 

Declan is sixteen, awkward and doesn't fit in at school.  His parents are originally from Ireland.  His father sees things in black 'n white and his mother is more open and spiritual.

One day Declan starts hearing the voice of Rebecca inside his head and when he closes his eyes, she is able to show him visions.  He is determined to find and meet her.  Once he realizes she is in Ireland, he convinces his parents to let him go there and stay with his Uncle Seamus.  What they don't know is that he intents to search for Rebecca.

According to Rebecca, "thin places" are "where they say the spirit world and the physical world are close together.  Sacred places and ancient burial sites."

I don't usually read books like this but I'd read and enjoyed a book by this author years ago.  Plus he's a Canadian from Nova Scotia (like me).

It took me a while to get used to the writing style but once I caught the rhythm, it was fine.

It was an interesting story and it was fun to step out of my comfort zone.  It's not a deep story and is a quick read.  You'll especially like it if you enjoy reading stories about selkies, mystical Ireland, etc.

The Pie Commission, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at The Pie Commission (on Dundas Street W, east of Trinity Bellwoods Park).  I've had their pies at events but have never been to their restaurant.

I had an Uncle Smokes' Chicken Pot Pie and a diet coke.  In the past, I've had beef-based ones so thought I'd try something different.  This was a good pie.  The smokiness from the chicken gave it a bit of a bacony taste, which I was okay with.  I'd get it again.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Book ~ "Valediction" (1984) Robert B. Parker

From Goodreads ~ The most dangerous man to cross is one who isn't afraid to die. But the most deadly is one who doesn't want to live. And Spenser has just lost the woman who made life his #1 priority.

So when a religious sect kidnaps a pretty young dancer, no death threat can make Spenser cut and run. Now a hit man's bullet is wearing Spenser's name. But Boston's big boys don't know Spenser's ready and willing to meet death more than halfway.

The book opens with Susan, Spenser's girlfriend of ten plus years, getting her PhD after spending time away in Washington.  Then she announced to Spenser that she had a job in San Francisco and was moving there tomorrow, with no regard to his feelings.  What?!  Not acceptable behavior after dating for more than ten years.

In the meantime, Spenser is hired by Tommy Banks to find his girlfriend, Sherry, who was apparently kidnapped by a cult church.  Spenser finds Sherry but she says she is happy being with the church and wants to be left alone.  In the course of his investigation, Spenser discovers that the church may be involved in money laundering with a construction company it's been lending money to.

This is the eleventh in the Spenser series (there are currently 46, with the last six written by Ace Atkins after Parker's death in 2010).  I've read many over the years (and have liked the series) and have started reading them from the beginning of the series.  Though it is part of a series, for the most part it works as a stand alone.  Paul, who we first met in Autumn (the seventh in the series), is back but there isn't a lot of explanation about who he is and how he is connected to Spenser.

I liked 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 found the interaction between Spenser and Susan annoying ... they spoke often on the phone about how much they loved each but they can't be together.  They were both moping like they were teenagers and it got old really quickly.  And Spenser was going on and on about it to his friend, Hawk, and Paul.  When Susan abruptly left Spenser, he jumped right into dating and the next day he and the woman he is dating are in love (though he still loves Susan).  Really?!  And he also referred to loving Candy, who we met in A Savage Place ... he was her bodyguard and they'd slept together once.  Really?!  I wasn't buying any of it.

Sweet Olenka's, Toronto, ON (Kensington Market)

I stopped for ice cream at Sweet Olenka's in Kensington Market this afternoon.  I've been to their Queen Street W location a couple times (it's in my 'hood).

They sell ice cream, cakes, cookies, chocolates, etc. (including some vegan) and everything is handcrafted by them.

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2017, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, ON

I went for a walk this afternoon towards downtown and spent some time walking around the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square.

Canada’s largest and longest running outdoor art fair, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, is back for its 56th year. 

See more than 340 artists for FREE, July 14-16th at Nathan Phillips Square, along with food, beer and performances! Featuring a new exhibition layout, hundreds of new works, hundreds of new artists, new family programming and much more! Whether you’re a collector, artist or a casual event-goer, there will be something for you!

It's been a couple years since I've checked it out and it's grown a lot since the last time I was there.  There were lots of different styles and types and something for everyone.  City Hall, Old City Hall and the Toronto sign provided a nice backdrop for the exhibition.

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

This morning Gord and I checked out the Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market at The Great Hall (at Queen Street W/Dovercourt Road), in our 'hood.

Hot summer days and cool summer nights. The city is buzzing and there is so much to see and do. Don't forget to show your local artisans, designers and vendors some summer love. We are back July 16th with a cool selection of Toronto's finest vendors, artisans and designers. Bringing you those must-have summer essentials. It may be hot outside but we can assure you your trip to The Trinity Bellwoods Flea will be all kinds of cool. Admission is FREE, four-legged friends welcome and don't forget the kids as they are welcome too.  July 16th 10am-5pm at the beautifully restored Great Hall (lower hall). Save the date.  It's summer and time to love all things local. 

Shop, eat and chill at The Trinty Bellwoods Flea.

So much to tempt you ... food, plants, clothing, jewelry, candles, jellies made with beer and lots more!

Looking down from the upper level ...