Tastemaker: Ft. Toronto’s Best Food and Drinks

The next best curated selection of food can be found at Tastemaker, an event where the the most iconic and unique one-off menus are created by the talented hands of local and national chefs!  To get you pumped up, below are some photos from last year’s bash.

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Some of Toronto’s best restaurants, wineries, breweries and producers will be there to showcase exciting new flavours. You’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with the chefs as they prepare and cook your foods right before your eyes.

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For just $60, you get to taste everything UNLIMITEDLY until your bellies can take no more! Don’t miss out, buy a ticket (or 2 or 3, it’s better with company). Purchase your tickets here.

There are 3 sessions to choose from:

  • Friday May 18th 7:00-11:00pm
  • Saturday May 19th 1:00-5:00pm 
  • Saturday May 19th 7:00-11:00pm

Taste of London 2016

Taste of London 2015

Hope to see you there my foodie babes!!

XOXO,

Linda

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Calling Sandwich Lovers!! -> Toronto Sandwich Fest

How many sandwiches do you think you can eat during a single lunch break? If you’re awesome and said more than 3, then you need to come down to the sandwich fest and partake in the sandwich eating competition! But if you’re like me and want to actually enjoy your lunch, there will be eight different sandwich vendors from across the city serving up gourmet sandwiches to delight any sophisticated taste buds. For just $25, your tummy will thank you for all that goodness you’re taking in.

The Fest will be hosted at Wychwood Barns, an ideal locale for live music, food demos, and who knows what else when you put sandwich lovers under one roof.

There will be two sessions on Sunday—morning and afternoon. Take your pick. Bet you ‘wich’ you can go to both. See you there!!

Head over to https://www.sandwichfest.ca to buy your tickets asap as they are almost sold out!!!

XOXO,

Linda

 

*THIS POST HAS BEEN CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE SANDWICH FEST. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN.

5 reasons to Love the Green Living Show 💚🌱🌎

1.      It’s full of family fun. The first show I ever went to was back in 2008 when I made my family bring in as many used electronics as possible for recycling. My 15 year old self was so proud of all the ‘green good’ I was involving myself and my family in. My family also had a blast celebrating all things green and it certainly exposed all of us to new green technology, food, and knowledge. I walked out of there feeling happy that our family could experience something like that together! 😊

12th Annual Green Living Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Cardea AuSet: From Charcoal Face Masks to Bath Sea Salts, your skin and the planet is going to love you
Modgarden: Pairing beautiful, energetic design with a simple way to grow our own food right in the comfort of your home.
Seedlip: Distilled Non Alcoholic Spirits – Earthy and Refreshing
Moss Berry Farm: Hand-Crafted Switchels (Ginger Juice with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)

2.      THE FOOD. Every year the line up is impressive. For this year, I was delighted to try the Singaporean salted egg potato chips from Lion City Restaurant. THE most interesting thing I’ve tried in a while. It was so refreshing. Other amazing dishes were Belgian Style Donuts from Wafel Huis, Montreal Style BBQ Brisket Slider from Farm’r, and Ontario
Root Veggie Masala with Chickpeas from 6ix Triangles.

Lion City [Singapore]: Noodles, Spicy Broth, ON Chicken, Egg, Tofu & Cucumber; ON Salted Egg Potato Chips
Urban Acorn Catering [Scotland & Haiti]: House Smoked Salmon, Potato Scone &Creamed Edamame
6ixTriangles [India]: ON Root Veggie Masala with Chickpeas
Cucinato Italian Culinary Studio [Italy]: Zeppola (Fried Pizza) with ON Tomatoes & Ricotta
Farm’r [Canada]: Montreal Style BBQ Brisket Slider
TC’s MoMos [Tibet]: ON Beef MoMos, Vegetarian MoMos

Mapleton’s Organic: Super Creamy Raspberry and Cappuccino Ice Cream

3.     Yoga stage. If you know me, you know I am a fan of yoga! I try to do yoga at least once a week. So when I saw the yoga stage, of course I had to join in. The instructor was loads of fun and everybody of all ages was having a blast following along.

Mukta Being: Eco-Friendly Cork Based Yoga Mats and Blocks

4.      The entertainment is educational. Get a load of these titles: Invest in Change, From Magic to Science-Upgrading the Quality of Your Life in 10 minutes or less, Hormones & Women’s Health, Homeopathic Remedies for Home Use, Creating a Plastic Free Future Together. So much inspiration in one place!

Cannabis Crunch – many of the Cannabis products at this year’s Green Living Show in the Cannabis Corner – talking about all the benefits of Cannabis in Canada2

5.      You are part of saving the planet! Seriously, this is the best part. Just being apart of this movement made me feel so good about not only myself for partaking in such an important cause but also reinforced my faith in our society and what we’re doing to make waves on this planet. 💚🌎

Aside from all the amazing attractions at the show, I was able to sample, support and buy amazing green products at a fraction of the retail price. I had such a great time at the Green Living Show this year and looking forward to the next! If you missed out on the Green Living Show this year, be sure to join in on all the fun next year!

Bye for now! Nature’s calling me 📞💚🌱

XOXO,

Linda

 

*THIS POST HAS BEEN CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE GREEN LIVING SHOW. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN.

Go ‘Naked’ with Buck

On Saturdays we cover ourselves in pink (if you got the Mean Girls reference, you’re pretty awesome 😉). And in pink I mean pretty floral petals floating in a warm bath of pink Himalayan Sea Salt 💕

I work that typical 8-4 job Mondays-Fridays and it definitely drains the soul out of me. I mean, I like what I do because I get to interact with kids everyday, but the routine can get very tiring. So when Friday comes around, I’m excited because I can finally have some ‘me’ time and treat myself to a nice warm and soothing bath while indulging in my favourite type of chocolates – Reese butter cups (mmm 😋).  This definitely helps to restore my body for the coming week.

I have very sensitive and dry skin, so I’m always on the lookout for products that are made with all natural ingredients to help restore moisture to my skin. I’ve tried many soap products but many have left my skin very dry or irritated. So when I came across Buck Naked Soap Company, a local brand originating from Cambridge, Ontario, that believes in using the purest of ingredients to make their all natural, vegan soap products, I was intrigued to learn more! Sure enough, it turned out to be more than a soap company. Responsibly speaking, they have partnered with WE Charity which helps to give clean water to developing communities in Kenya with the purchase of their WE Charity Collection of soap products. Wow 🙌🏼

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I tried their Eucalyptus Himalayan Salt Soap since I love the smell of eucalyptus. Sure enough, it was perfection in a bathtub. The minty eucalyptus smell helped me loosen up and relax and the salt helped balance my skin moisture and improve the circulation of my lymphatic fluids. As for the soap, I tried their Cranberry + Mint Soap. I’ve been using it everyday for 2 weeks now and am amazed with how fresh and soft my skin feels. Not only that, but I leave the showers smelling extra good ☺️

Reducing my carbon footprint is something I always strive to do, which is why I love how Buck Naked is also a Canadian brand!

Do you have a favourite local Canadian brand? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Saturday loves 💘

XOXO,

Linda

 

*THIS POST HAS BEEN CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH BUCK NAKED. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN.

Dixonlicious 2018 PHOTO GALLERY

This past Thursday I had the privilege of attending Dixonlicious’ 4th annual charity event hosted by Dixon Hall, a Toronto non-profit agency. The night was filled with an amazing crowd of attendees and food and beverages that were kindly sponsored by local Torontonian Restaurants and Beverage companies – all to support an incredible cause which is to end poverty and social injustices in Toronto.

Thanks to all the support from the guests, sponsors, donors, and restaurant and beverage partners, Dixonlicious raised over $80,000 on Thursday night! That’s an amazing feat that is enough to provide 20,000 meals to those in need through Dixon Hall’s food programs, which includes Meals on Wheels, snacks for after school initiatives for Regent Park youth, meals for March Break and summer camps, and meals for two of their homeless shelters.

 

 

If you are interested in helping to change the lives of thousands of people in need in downtown east Toronto, there are many ways to do so. You can get involved by donating/volunteering your time.

There are several options for donations: through Holiday Giving, One-Time Donation, and/or Monthly Giving Club.

With more than 1,200 volunteers a year, Dixon Hall is always open to looking for more volunteers to dedicate their time and talents to 25 different programs and services. Fill out their volunteer application form here.

 

*THIS POST HAS BEEN CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH DIXON HALL’S DIXONLICIOUS EVENT. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN.

Dixonlicious: Do Your Part- A La Carte

If you’re like me and one of your new year’s resolutions include giving back to the community, but then realizing it’s already February, then head to the 4th Dixonlicious event for a reason to check off that square!

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It’s simple. All you do is buy a ticket here and show up on March 1 to celebrate what Dixonlicious is all about. And what’s Dixonlicious? It’s an amazing and fun must go fundraiser featuring delicious food and drinks in a celebratory atmosphere. It’s all done in the name of ending poverty and social injustices in Toronto. Can’t get anymore relevant than that! Dixonlicious is in fact an initiative spawned straight out of Dixon, a Toronto non-profit agency that strives to deliver solutions to end poverty. To date, the organization has proudly sponsored numerous food programs, including Meals on Wheels, snacks for after school initiatives for Regent Park youth, meals for March Break and summer camps, and meals for two of their homeless shelters.

At this year’s Dixonlicious, the goal is to raise enough for 25,000 meals (all proceeds go towards making this happen!) So come out and make this a reality! It’ll not only fill in your resolutions square but will also fill up thousands of other’s appetites.

List of the restaurant and beverage partners:

Biff’s Bistro, Barrio Cerveceria, Daniel et Daniel, Paintbox Bistro, Hooked, The Food Dudes, Hawthorne Food & Drink, Skin + Bones, Show Love Cafe are paired alongside refreshing craft beers from Lost Craft, SoCIAL LITE Vodka,Walter Craft Caesar, fine wines from Karlo Estates , and fresh juices from Freshed Right.

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[Above: Photos form last year’s Dixonlicious Event]

Hope to see you there! And follow along on social media using the #dixonlicious!

Instagram: @dixonhall_toronto

Twitter: @dixon_hall

Facebook: @dixonhall1929

XOXO,

Linda

*THIS POST HAS BEEN CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH DIXON HALL DIXONLICIOUS. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN.

Boost Your Life with Well Told Health

Ever since I cut back on coffee, I often feel tired in the mornings and can’t seem to focus at work, so I ultimately resort back to caffeine to help me get on with my day. But I really don’t like having caffeine hanging out in my system all day (makes me anxious!) so I’m always on the look out for any sort of energy/protein bars or snacks to help me overcome my tiredness. So when I came across Well Told Health Energy Boosters last month, I had to give them a try and see if they can offer me the ultimate stamina.

Each beautifully designed Well Told Health bottle contains organic supplements crafted from organic foods that helps boost different areas of your daily health.

I’ve been using Well Told Health energy boosters for the last 2 weeks, and not only has it helped me feel energized in the morning after breakfast, it has helped enhanced my overall work performance. Needless to say, I haven’t touched a single drop of caffeine!

At first it was a somewhat difficult adjustment because I had to get used to remembering to take them on the daily, but because it is so portable to carry around in my purse, it was readily accessible.

While I tried the Energy Booster, my blogger friend, Priscilla Wong, tried the Antioxidant booster and Vitamin D booster for the last 2 weeks. Here are her thoughts:

I am a very busy girl. I have an early morning job as a Barista, I am in school currently taking two courses, and I am also managing two companies – one freelance makeup artist, and a beauty school. So, you can imagine my load. On top of all that, the weather tends to affect my physical health as well. So, naturally I chose to give the antioxidant booster and vitamin d booster a try.
My first impression on Well Told Health was that the packaging looked very nice. I love simple designs, so the box was enough to intrigue me about the product. Upon opening the box, we were provided with an introductory sheet about the product, their company, along with the supplements. The supplement bottles are beautifully designs and are made of plastic, therefore it’s fairly light, and easily transportable.
I’ve been using both Well Told Health Antioxidant Booster and Vitamin D Booster in the last two weeks, and I have noticed a dramatic difference in my overall health. It has helped me not only feel better but has helped to manage my stress both physically and mentally. My overall work performance as a result has increased. I tend to struggle with maintaining supplements, however, with the beautifully designed bottles and product claims I found it was easy to take daily.
With a variety of clean supplements, it invigorates and nourishes the body with organic food, and nothing else. Exactly what makes Well Told Health amazing.

If you would like to try any of these boosters, click here. They come in the mail super fast! Mine came within 1 business day. ALSO, use my code LINDERSURPRISE15 and get 15% off your purchase at checkout.

Have a wonderful weekend babes and remember to love yourself, make time for yourself and take extra care of your health!

XOXO,

Linda

Instagram: @welltoldco

Twitter: @welltoldco

Facebook: @welltoldco

*THIS POST HAS BEEN CREATED IN COLLABORATION WITH WELL TOLD HEALTH. HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE OF MY OWN. 

O A T B O X: Breakfast Delivered

Last week I received a package in the mail. Oat Box – a breakfast company that handcrafts a selection of delicious and healthy breakfast products. My first impression of Oat Box was that the packaging looked very nice – from the design of the exterior of the box to the interior of the box which housed 2 bags of 380 grams oats (Gingerbread and Cranberry granola, Pineapple and Dark Chocolate granola), a cute travel jar and 2 recipe cards.

Most sources say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps you start your day feeling energized to carry out on you day to day activities. I’m guilty of skipping breakfast in the morning sometimes and feel so groggy on days without it – so to say the least, I totally agree with breakfast being the most important meal to start off your morning.

For this month the recipes that came with the box are Grilled Pineapple and Crispy Granola French Toast. And if you subscribe to Oat Box’s newsletter here, you will have access to their free recipes.

Of course you can follow the recipe cards or you can simply put our own spin on it and it would equally taste delicious! Here’s my creation: I call it the Ice Cream Waffle with Berries and Granola Sprinkle.

1 eggo waffle

2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream

2 strawberries

5 blackberries

2 spoonfuls of the Oat Box Gingerbread and Cranberry granola

  1. Place the frozen eggo waffle in the toaster for 3 minutes on medium heat
  2. Remove the warm waffle and place the scoops of  vanilla bean ice cream on top
  3. Add the berries on top
  4. Sprinkle on the granola
  5. Serve immediately

What’s your favourite go to breakfast? I’d love to know. Let me know in the comments below!

Have a wonderful morning my loves!

XOXO,

Linda

*This post has been created in collaboration with Oat Box. However, all opinions are of my own. 

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I’m a social coffee drinker now.

I used to drink coffee religiously and heavily back in my undergrad years where caffeine was my only friend who stayed up with me and helped me pull all-nighters before exams or putting last minute touches to assignments and papers. Ever since I graduated, I stopped drinking coffee because it was really messing with my sleeping habits. But once in a while, I miss that warm cup of sweet and bitterness in my mouth, so I give in and get a cup (or two!). Instead of going out to those overrated coffee shops (which I do too often) such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and McDonalds, I like to go to independent coffee shops in Toronto and try something new. In the last month or so, I’ve gather a few independent coffee shops in Toronto that I’ve visited and am going to share my experiences with you.

Jacked Up Coffee: Probably the most prettiest coffee truck I’ve seen (ok, its the only one I’ve seen. But to be fair, there aren’t really any other coffee trucks in Toronto, so). Located at the entrance of the Yorkville Village Mall, it adds a nice festive touch to the overall Christmas vibing aesthetic of the area. With a wide selection of coffee types, I opted for a flat white. It was very smooth and creamy and was exactly what I needed to warm up while I browsed the shops in the Mall.

The Coffee Lab: Hidden in a bookstore on the University of Toronto downtown campus, this ‘nerdy’ shop serves up a special drink called The 6 for $4.16. Sounding so Torontonian and cool, I obviously had to get it. Consisting of precisely measured (and scientifically proven) 2 oz espresso, 2 oz drip coffee and 2 oz steamed milk, the flavor turned out as great as I had expected it to be– rich, creamy and kept me high allll day 🤩.

Tucana: Walking along Dundas Street, my eyes were drawn to this cute little pink walled shop with large neon signs that bared COFFEE. Already, that sucked me in (haha). Walking inside definitely gave me tropical South American vibes. The staff was very friendly and we chatted for a bit while he made my latte. My drink tasted great, more bitter than I’d usually take my latte. I would definitely return here for more coffee and enjoy the warm aura of this place.


De Mello Palheta: Located inside Merchant Sons, a retail concept store selling hand-picked vintage furniture finds that remains in the store as permanent fixtures, this little coffee bar allows customers to enjoy coffee while browsing the showrooms. For those with a penchant for shopping like myself, this place is the perfect experience for enjoying both coffee and shopping in one place.  I ordered the almond milk latte and I must say, it’s probably the most delicious coffee I’ve ever had. The flavor was unexpecting and was out of this world.  I could drink this everyday. 


The Boxcar Social: I seriously envy those living in this neighborhood. I would go here everyday just to hang out or do my work. The space is clear enough for me to feel decluttered and free to concentrate on work stuff. But the bar is cozy and friendly enough for me to just unwind and have a drink with friends. The high ceilings connote an air of fanciness, which is great for hosting small gatherings/events. Ok, coffee wise, it was mediocre. I went for the tasting which consisted of three different types: Brazilian, Ethiopian and Colombian. Maybe it’s me but I just was not feeling any of the flavors. Perhaps it was not brewed long enough.

I’d love to try more new coffee places in Toronto. If you have an suggestions, please let me know in the comments 😊

XOXO, 

Linda 

Nike x ELXR Juice Lab

Today’s blog post is inspired by self love for your body through living an active lifestyle and eating healthy. I’ve always believed that if you feel great physically and mentally, you’ll look amazing. With a busy schedule of the student life, I often find it hard to squeeze time in to work out. And so recently, I’ve found a short workout routine that works for me, taken from Kayla Itsines’ workout app. It’s heart pumping, sweat releasing and only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

To start, I like to begin by doing stretches on my workout mat at home to relax my muscles. After, I move on to my regular workout routine (taken from Kayla Itsines’ workout app):

  1. 15 Bent-Leg Jackknifes
  2. 15 Straight Leg Raises with a Hips Lift
  3. 15 Ab Bikes
  4. 15 Mountain Climbers
  5. 15 Snap Jumps
  6. 15 Sit-Ups with Reach
  7. 15 Tuck Tuck Jumps
  8. 10 minutes on exercise bike (my own add on)
  9. 10 minutes on the Elliptical (my own add on)

After a workout, I’ll drink up something green. I usually keep the blend green. I don’t normally have the time to blend myself a drink so I’ll just head out and buy it.

I’ve recently discovered a line of cold pressed juices called ELXR Juice Lab. They believe in promoting longevity and reliance on simple, unadulterated wholesome nutrition for the whole body nourishment. They offer cold pressed juices, protein-dense plant based mylks, booster shots and cleanse packages. Below, I’m holding the Second Base cold pressed juice which contains cucumber, granny smith apple, kale, parsley, spinach, lemon, ginger. This drink is specially great in detoxification, aiding digestion, immunity, healthy skin promotion, anti-oxidizing, and stabilizes blood sugar level. It tastes great! Very refreshing and a fantastic energy boost.

On days when I have a bit more time on hand though, I like to make a green drink in advance and have a drink before and right after my workout (it’s really refreshing!). Here’s my recipe (does not require a juicer):

  • 300 grams kale
  • 100 grams cilantro
  • 100 grams parsley
  • 400 mL water
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp honey

Recipe yields 2 servings

Directions:

  1. Place kale, cilantro, parsley and water into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour contents into a larger strainer and use a spoon to press the pulp against the strainer until dry to allow the liquids to fall into a bowl placed underneath.
  3. Slice oranges in halves and use a wooden citrus reamer to extract the juice into a small bowl. Remove any seeds in juice.
  4. Now add to the orange juice to the green juice and add the honey for sweetness. Of course you can add more or less honey according to taste.
  5. ENJOY!

This drink should be consumed within 6  hours. It is ideal to drink it immediately to ensure freshness.

Zip Up Hoodie: Nike

Jersey: Nike

Leggings: Lole

Sneaker Wedge: Steve Madden

XOXO,

Linda