Beautiful Weekends in Ontario – Kortright Centre, Green Living Show, Live Organic Food Bar.

While I always like travelling, I love finding places to call home in the city I call home. This weekend was spent being busy discovering all those things that made me fall in love with Toronto and the surrounding area in the first place. This city is always full of some kind of interesting event. This weekend I went to the Green Living Show on Friday and on Sunday evening. It was nice to see some old favourites like Tiffinday, Daiya, Larabar, LPK‘s Culinary Groove, and a few others. Though I’m always surprised when environmental events end up devoting so much space to car companies (hybrid or otherwise) and meat & dairy companies. I felt very similarly to Air Eater. The Farm Fresh Fare especially was full of meat and dairy options, and while I loved the fresh pressed cider from Lincoln Line Orchards (which was so good we had seconds), and the Donuts from LPK, and the Chocolate Blondies and iced chocolate drink from Chocosol, it would have been nice to see some non dessert vegan options. I guess I just expected better.

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Things I Love Thursday – Wedding Edition.

I’m going to take a break from reminiscing about the very awesome lovely Boston trip we had and all the fabulous things we ate, to talk about something that I keep getting asked about all the time… When is the wedding? Do you have a date yet? How’s the wedding planning going? etc. Short answer, it hasn’t really been going, and I’m okay with it (until of course I get asked the questions, which then start me on the road to questioning my identity as a proper bride that should be obsessing about these things… not so much.) I’m not sure why people ask, and I’m certain their intentions aren’t malicious, but the question already got old a few months ago. But this is supposed to be a positive TILT. I love that wedding planning has sort of come together in the last 48 hours, and we’ve got a potential venue, and I might have some dress shopping in my future, we’re working on menu ideas, and I found a decent florist (that works with local and organic flowers.)

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April – Clean Thyself #30DaysofGOOD Challenge

When I was still working from home the house was much cleaner than it is now. I’ll admit, spending 10-12 hours outside of the house, and then coming home… the first thing on my mind isn’t to organize the pantry. But it’s time for some spring cleaning, and conveniently GOOD is doing a 30-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge in April. The Challenge for Sunday was “Clean your Pantry” and in the case of the Good Challenge, it’s not limited to just cleaning in the traditional sense, but cleaning up and being aware of your impact on the environment and fellow living things. Since I’m already living the challenge they set out for Monday – Eat less meat (or in my case, no meat, ever) I took an hour or two yesterday to clean and organize our pantry. This is what it looked like before:

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Vegan Brunch at Rise Above in St. Catharines, ON

First of all, what took me so long to have brunch at Rise Above? How? Why? It’s awesome. If I had a drivers license and an endless supply of gasoline, I would drive down there every week just for some brunch (though the GoBus is still an option…) This past Thursday JC and I tried fresh Rise Above donuts from Sadie’s Juice Bar, and they were (obviously) quite amazing, so it inspired this Sunday Brunch mini roadtrip. After a very wet and foggy drive on the QEW, we found free parking 100m away from Rise Above, and happily wandered over. The streets of St. Catharines were empty and it seemed the only open business was Rise Above. I realized as we walked up to 120 St. Paul Street, that  when I came to St. Catharines the first time in early 2011, it was known as Pan Cafe, and just sold Rise Above donuts. How things change! The brunch menu was on a chalkboard above two fellow diners, so I didn’t take a picture (since that would be a bit rude and weird) so we had choice of the following: Deep Dish Pizza Crêpes French Toast Scrambled Tofu Chili Quesadilla JC went with the crêpes. They were the tasty fluffy thin pancakes my mom used to make (deliciously). With a sweet filling, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate. And aren’t they just gorgeous? I ordered the Chili Quesadillas. I don’t think I’ve ever even had real quesadillas, but I don’t think…

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Healthy Fit Vegan Action – Training for the WWF CN Tower Climb.

So sometime earlier in March (okay March 5th) I had expressed a feeling of malaise, and just generally not feeling as healthy as I could be. I made several positive changes, but not all of the goals I’ve set out to complete have happened. I’ve been picking better quality lunches (but still haven’t been bringing a lunch), I’ve been walking home most days (6-7km), and taking the stairs at work (to the 9th floor). But we’re stepping it up. We joined a gym – Totum Fitness for the next two months to see how it works for us. I do well with having a gym membership, because I actually GO when I have one. They have a variety of classes that I’m interested in trying – especially Intro to Crossfit at 6:30 am on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 7:00pm. There is also something called “restorative” Pilates which sounds like it might be useful for me, especially with my history of mysterious lower back pain. The main thing I need to do, is actually go. A big problem is that I stop myself from going for some stupid reason or other, or I let myself get discouraged by other people. No more! April is a good month for change. Spring is a good time to stop hiding inside (even though we definitely haven’t been doing that) and get out and take on the city. I’ll be tracking my activities on Fitocracy, so if you’re on there, please look me up, and if you haven’t…

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Tiffinday Vegan Lunch Delivery – More please

Tiffinday was started sometime back in mid 2010 by Seema Pabari as a vegan, tiffin-based lunch time delivery service for downtown Toronto. You put in your order on the website before 3pm the day before, and then you get a nice hot lunch the next day sometime between 11:30am and 12:30pm. Things I love: Delicious yummy hot vegan Indian food for lunch. Environmental responsibility. They provide you with a litter-less lunch. You get stainless steel tiffins filled with food, in a reusable bag. Then the next day – they take it all away and you don’t have to worry about it. Feel like rinsing it? Cool. Don’t want to bother? Also cool. Socially responsible hiring practices – providing a living to those who may face barrier to employment. the twitter and facebook feeds – good links, local food related posts, etc.

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My first taste of The Depanneur supper club – a drop-in dinner.

I had vaguely known about the Rusholme Park Supper Club before last week, but I hadn’t checked them out. A friend from Saskatoon, my former Rosebud Burlesque instructor, and former Toronto resident connected me with a local veg foodie – Emily Z, and it seems she is often the vegan food chef extraordinaire at the supper club. The supper club isn’t all vegan all the time, but they do seem to alternate events. JC was especially excited about the BYOB. (okay, I’m a little excited too.) Supper club memberships cost $40 and include the cost of the meal. Memberships are only valid for one day so the way it works is that you “renew” your membership each time you attend the club. Nice huh?  

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Eating with a Cause: 1 Week – 3 Fundraisers

My usual partner in eating, JC, is currently in Fabulous Barcelona on business, so yesterday I went to the Chili For Charity – All You Can Eat Chili Fundraiser at Sadie’s Diner (504 Adelaide Street West, Toronto) by myself. I love that Sadie’s does these events and for a variety of causes, it just makes me like them more. They’ve held these fundraisers for the Toronto Vegetarian Association, Animal Ark II, and one of my favourite groups – Toronto Cat Rescue (the organization we found Emmiecat from). I had three bowls of delicious chili, handfuls upon handfuls of tortilla chips, entered into some TVA Raffles (I hope I win – there was a T-shirt there that was oh so soft) and heard updates on projects friends are doing. So overall, great evening. Then on Friday there is a fundraiser for Harvest Noon Cafe – Check it out on facebook – Locally Grown: A fundraiser for Harvest Noon Cafe– The Harvest Noon Cafe in the GSU building on U of T’s St. George Campus at 16 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto. Harvest Noon Cafe is a 100% volunteer run restaurant/cafe/student eatery, with a focus on serving food that is locally, sustainably, and organically grown. Add to that, it’s also organized (in part) by fellow blogger Willie, from Until We Eat Again. The big one this week is on Thursday (tomorrow! I’m so excited) FoodShare is having a Recipe for Change fundraiser.

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