Thursday, July 28, 2011


This picture was taken back in the Fall of 2010, when we first met Luna.

When Telus started their FaceBook campaign earlier this Spring for their next Telus Critter, I jumped on board and voted for the Saw-whet Owl daily. I was delighted when the owl made the top three and eventually won. Little did I know at that time how much closer I was, and about to become with the new face of Telus.

The Muskoka Wildlife Centre is a favorite nature/animal park of ours, giving a home to native wild animals that for one reason or another are not able to be returned to the wild. They also have an educational outreach program and some of the animals are used for that. It's a wonderful place to spend some time and we do, a few times a year.

Luna, an adorable little Saw-whet Owl lives there, and we first met her last Fall. I was happily surprised when I found out Luna was auditioning for the lead in the new Telus TV and print ads and thrilled when she got the role! An owl that I "know" was going to be seen on televisions and billboards all over Canada in the coming months.

I was delighted when the Saw-whet Owl won the Telus campaign!

But our relationship with Luna is even a little closer now. When we decided we were going to sponsor an animal that lives at the Muskoka Wlidlife Centre, Luna was our first choice for a few reasons. One, she's an owl, and we all know I got a thing for owls, and two, her name, Luna, means moon and is also the name of one of my favorite Harry Potter characters.

It was not to be, as Luna was already sponsored. We happily sponsored a female Barn Owl named Silo instead, and will continue to do so. On one of our visits to the centre last year we mentioned that if Luna's sponsor didn't re-sponsor her, that we would like too.

With all the Telus excitement surrounding Luna the last couple months, we were shocked when we recently received and e-mail from the centre asking us if we were still interested in sponsoring her, as she wasn't re-sponsored. I was literally jumping up and down with excitement, you would of thought they were e-mailing to give me money, not ask for it!

Of course we said yes.

Someone asked me recently what we get for sponsoring. Not much, a 8x10 photograph, a sponsorship certificate, and depending on the organization a tax receipt. That's not why I do it. It's the feeling I get and carry with me. We sponsor four owls now at three different organizations, and knowing that I am helping them and a cause that I am so passionate about is worth the sponsorship fees, that and a whole lot more.

Luna doing a photo shoot outside the centre in January 2011. Rob was able to sneak a picture when we came across them.

We're heading up to the Muskoka Wildlife Centre to "visit" Luna on Saturday and get our sponsorship package, and I know that when I see her I will feel a little jolt of excitement, not just because she's so cute, but because in a round about way we're a part of her life, and that makes us very happy.

Look for her Telus ads starting next month.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My new favorite hair product!

When I find a great new product I like to share, so here it is, Moroccan Oil for all hair types.

I've known about this product for well over a year but was hesitant to try it because I have fine hair, and I was scared it would weigh it down, wrong!

This product is amazing, it gives shine and bounce and actually makes my hair look thicker while leaving it super soft. After only two uses I'm hooked!

This hair-changing product is actually another name for argan oil which is made from the kernels of argan tree fruit that grow almost exclusively in Morocco. Luckily for us, we can buy it in most hair salons.

You only need a drop! Put a drop in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together and then spread your hands through your damp hair, done!

Rob loves it too, and it doesn't weigh down the natural wave in his hair.

This product will be a staple in our house!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Homy of Princess Hair Salon and Spa. She's worth the drive to Richmond Hill!

When you have a good hairdresser and she moves locations, you follow her if you can, and I did exactly that when Homy, who was a five minute walk from my work in downtown Toronto went to a forty minute drive from my home to Richmond Hill.

I remember when I found out Homy had left the place I had been seeing her for five years. What was I to do? She is the only hairdresser I had ever seen who didn't tell me I needed to wear my hair short because it's fine, and she also had always given me the best colors and highlights.

Luckily Homy and I had become Facebook friends and I was able to ask her where she was working and was thrilled for her when I found out she had opened her own salon!

I asked Rob if he would start taking me for my appointments and he agreed. He's found a place to go birding up that way while I get my hair done, but he's also started to go see Homy too, when in need of a trim.

We were both there on Saturday and have made our next appointments for September.

Bye-bye roots!

Rob thoroughly enjoyed the scalp massage.

Homy bringing out Rob's curls.

See you in September Homy!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Me and World Oyster Opening Champion, Patrick McMurray! He liked my starfish necklace.

Every year for the past few years Toronto holds "Summerlicious" and "Winterlicious", a period of over two weeks where many Toronto restaurants have specially priced 3-course pre-fix menus. It's every "foodies" dream, and I usually partake in a few outings. This year I visited four restaurants, three I had been before and one for the first time.

The first night of Summerlicious, myself and two girlfriends visited Pangaea. I have been a few times, as it's close to work and has become a special occasion place for me and one of my co-workers. My friends had not been before and quite enjoyed it. For my starter I had a beet and goat cheese salad, followed by speckled trout with vegetables and rhubarb tart for dessert. Pangaea uses only the best ingredients and everything was delicious, that is the reason I am a repeat customer. One of the things I have to commend Pangaea for is, not rushing us. I've found it the past that some restaurants are more concerned in a quick turn around then providing a quality experience, not Pangaea. We were there for dinner at 7pm and didn't leave til almost a full two and half hours later. It was a very enjoyable experience for us all.

The following Tuesday found me at Le Trou Normand for lunch with two girlfriends. We had all been there before and usually take advantage of the special event, but also go at Christmas time as well. I'm always surprised at how un-busy this restaurant is. Sure the decor is more traditional, but the food and service are great, also, the regular menu prices are very reasonable. I started with an organic mixed green salad, followed by baked salmon with tomatoes with fine herbs in a white wine sauce and an apple tart for dessert. I'm never disappointed with the food or service here.

That Friday a group of six co-workers went to Bistro 990 for lunch. Again, I've been here before, but it was a first time for most and they were really looking forward to it. I was worried when service got off to a very slow start, but with a great waitress and a tasty meal, it was all up hill from there. We started with a dozen oysters to share, then I had the panko crusted goat cheese with confit of peppers, followed by B.C. canary snapper filet almondine with israeli couscous and a white chocolate & raspberry tart for dessert. My dessert was good, but the lemon poppy-seed cheesecake they had on the menu was even better! A had a taste of my co-workers and I actually considered going back again just to get that for dessert, it was that good. We all returned to work full, happy and with plans to return again for Winterlicious.

Tonight was my first trip to Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill, the last of my Summerlicious outings and the only place I took my camera. This was my favorite out of the four, as it's a casual cozy atmosphere and serves my new favorite food, oysters. I just started eating oysters on the half shell last October and am doing my best to make up for lost time. I started with, what else, oysters! Followed by PEI mussels in a white wine, shallot, fine herbs broth, served with Infamous Starfish Frites. For dessert I had the peach and raspberry cobbler. We also had a bottle of 2009 Sandbanks Riesling with our dinner and it was the perfect compliment. Before we ate our dessert we ordered another dozen oysters to share. Everything was delicious!

The only negative thing I can say about the evening was our waitress brought our desserts before we received our second round of oysters after making a point of telling her that we would be ordering more oysters and would like them before dessert was brought out. Easily fixed, we pushed our desserts aside and enjoyed our oysters first. She also gave us coupons for a couple free oysters each the next time we return, so that more then made up for the mix up.

He never stopped shucking the whole time we were there.

I like mine with just a little lemon.

Anita demonstrating the proper way to eat an oyster.

Anita and I had a great time and are already planning a return visit.

I definitely won't be waiting until Winterlicious to return to this establishment and next time I'm sitting at the oyster bar to watch the shucking!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The girls enjoying the reason for the trip, wine!

This past Saturday I went on my second of what I hope is many trips with "Authentic Canadian Tours". The day consisted of a visit to four wineries in beautiful Prince Edward County, time for a bit shopping in Bloomfield, and a stop at the famous Big Apple Bakery on the way back to the city.

Our first winery stop was at Huff Estates. It didn't take us long to get into the wine tasting at this modern winery. We also enjoyed a delicious gourmet lunch on the patio with live music.

We enjoyed a bottle of this 2009 Riesling with lunch, and a bottle came home with me.

My delicious lunch of chilled grilled salmon with dill and new potatoes.

Judy liked the wine at Huffs!

Our next stop was to the pretty town of Bloomfield for a bit of shopping and an ice cream at Slickers. I picked up some pretty homemade soaps and enjoyed a homemade ice cream.

Slickers make their ice cream daily and offer unique flavors, I enjoyed a lavender one.

Lindsie enjoys her "Campfire Cream" which tasted like roasted marshmallows.

Our next winery was Chadsey Cairns. This place just didn't offer great wine, it was full of character. The grounds hold old barns, big mature trees and a Pioneer Cemetery.

This barn plays host to live music on weekends.

The concert hall.

Don't hog the hay!

The wine tasting building.

Murray at the wine tasting station.

Inside the wine tasting building.

The girls enjoying the wine.

The grounds were gorgeous.

I wonder how many wineries offer this unique feature.

Our third winery of the day was also the largest we visited, Casa Dea Estates. We happened to visit on a Scottish Festival day and were treated to some dancing and bagpipe music, they were actually playing "Farewell to Nova Scotia" when we arrived. I didn't buy any wine here, but left with Scottish crackers and shortbread!

The grounds here were lovely as well.

Live entertainment on a beautiful day.

The last winery of the day was also full of character, "The Grange" was simply gorgeous. I didn't purchase any wine here either, but left with a couple bottles of wine jelly that were simply delicious.

The gang at the sampling bar.

The inside of this building was beautiful.

The wines of The Grange.

On our way back to the city we stopped at The Big Apple bakery where we all indulged in some goodies. it was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Enjoying the Canada Day parade in Port Credit.

Rob and I had no real plans for Canada Day, but I woke with a yearning to be close to the water, so after enjoying coffee and chocolate croissants from the local bakery in the backyard we headed to one of our favorite spots along Lake Ontario, Port Credit.

We arrived just in time to catch their annual Canada Day parade.

Rob enjoyed all the old cars in the parade.

Silver Elvis.

Mermaid enjoying the hot-tub.

It's not a real parade until you hear bagpipes!

After the parade we enjoyed a walk up the middle of Lake Shore which was closed due to the parade. We had lunch at Snug Harbour and then a walk along the lake.

I liked how they used these old bikes as planters in Port Credit, they were all over the village.

After our outing to Port Credit we enjoyed the afternoon in our backyard.

This Red-winged Blackbird enjoyed a bath in the holiday sunshine.

Discovering we had 2 chipmunks in the backyard was a great holiday surprise.

Meadow always enjoys her time in the backyard, holiday or not.

After dinner we went over to visit friends who recently purchased their first home a short drive from our place.

The Walker Family enjoying Canada Day in their new backyard.

We had a great day!