MOXIE’S HARD LEMONADE

Moxie’s Hard Lemonade

It may not feel like it, but we are officially one week into summer. Although the weather in Toronto has been fickle, after months of winter and a long cold spring I’m ready to enjoy as much of the city as I can, rain or shine. Stephen and I dropped by this year’s Wine & Spirit Festival at Sugar Beach to check out Moxie’s Grill & Bar‘s Lemonade Pop-up Patio!

This summer, Moxie’s is bringing the patio to you and serving up glasses of their house-made Hard Lemonade at events all over the GTA. I had the chance to taste the drink myself at the Wine & Spirit Festival. Each refreshing glass was made with fresh, hand squeezed lemon juice, a splash of soda water for the bubbles and a shot of vodka for the fun.

The bright yellow pop-up patio was a full setup that included two bars and a live DJ. I also loved the two jumbo tower stacking games, which brought out our competitiveness with strangers and crashed spectacularly. Two areas were set up with patio furniture where we lounged and sipped on our lemonades under the sun umbrella. This was key as the sunny evening quickly turned dark with rain pouring down. Despite the rain, the staff of Moxie’s kept the party going, moving the DJ to under the awning of the patio and making sure everyone’s cups were full.

Moxie’s Lemonade Pop-Up Patio will be at the Port credit Yacht Club next on June 24th as a part of the Toronto Area Hospice Regatta from 2pm to 6pm. Next, they’ll be at the GWN sports Regatta at Marylin Bell Park on July 15th from 11am to 6pm.

Be sure to check them out and #SqueezeSummerHard.

To share a taste of summer with my followers, I’ve partnered with Moxie’s Grill & Bar to giveaway a $150 gift card to one lucky winner, valid at any location in the country! Head over to my Instagram account and enter now! Contest ends July 4th, 2017.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Moxie’s Canada. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

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PARIS – DAY 1 (EIFFEL TOWER)

Paris – Day 1 (Eiffel Tower)

Last year, Stephen and I went to Europe together for the first time. Both of us had been to the continent before with friends, but never with each other. We debated between Italy and Spain. When a flight deal popped up for Italy via Paris and back through Amsterdam, our destination was decided for us. Our itinerary began with a few days in Paris, followed by 2 weeks through Italy and then 2 nights in Amsterdam. This was my third time in Paris and Stephen’s first. I planned for us to hit all the classic tourist spots, just the one museum, and plenty of tasty stops in between.

During our time in Paris we stayed at the W, which was centrally located, right across from The Opera House and a 5 minute walk to the Galeries Lafayette (department store similar to Saks). We dropped off our bags and immediately began walking towards the Jardin des Tuileries and more importantly Angelina cafe. I picked up one of their famous mont-blancs to go while Stephen got a croissant and espresso. With snacks in hand, we began our 2.5km stroll along one of the most well-known streets in the world towards the Arc De Triomphe. Walking below the Arc De Triomphe is one of my favourite sights in the city. I would also recommend climbing the 284 stairs to the top and taking in the stunning 360ยฐ view.

By this point we were ready for lunch and a nap. Hopping on the super affordable Paris subway, we headed back to our hotel. We got off at La Fayette station to grab lunch at the Food Hall and a box of Pierre Hermรฉ macarons, my favourite in the entire world.

Our plan was to get to the Eiffel Tower to watch the sunset. The best spot to take in the Eiffel Tower is definitely across the Lena Bridge at the Jardins du Trocadero. We spent a solid hour taking photos at the garden and then slowly making our way to the base of the Eiffel Tower. With the blue sky and cotton candy clouds, every moment was breathtaking as the light changed. Once the sun fully set, we hung around Champ de Mars to watch the twinkling light display.

When we visited, the temperature was quite chilly. During warmer weather, I’d recommend taking a night cruise on The Seine, starting at the Eiffel Tower as a great way to end the day.

Stephen and I ended our night with a Nutella Crepe from the food stall by the Carousel. We ate many more crepes while in Paris, but this was by far the best one.

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WINTERLICIOUS 2017

With the dismal weather outside I need every motivation possible to leave the warmth of my bed. While I usually hibernate through February, the one event that does get me out the door is Winterlicious. This year is no exception and I’ll be visiting an old favourite along with two new spots (or at least new to me) to kick off 2017. This year’s event runs from January 27th to February 9th. Lunch prices are $18, $23, $28 (same as last year) and dinner prices are $28, $38, $48 ($3 higher than last year). Links to my previous years’ guides can be found here Winterlicious 2016, Winterlicious 2015 and Summerlicious 2014.

Where I’ll Be:

  1. Auberge du Pommier – $48 Dinner / French / The “fancy” dinner
  2. Leรฑa – $48 Dinner / Spanish / The “date night” dinner
  3. La Societe – $48 Dinner / French / The “girls night” dinner

Recommendations:

  • Lunch – I’m looking for tantalizing menus that are similar or even more appealing relative to the dinner menu
    1. Auberge du Pommier (Past Review) – $28 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Terrine, Salmon and Chocolat
    2. Canoe (Past Review) – $28 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Foie Gras Parfait, Wild BC. Keta Salmon and Sticky Toffee Pudding
    3. Miku (Past Review) – $28 Lunch / Japanese / I would order Miku Zen, Miku Signature Aburi and Green Tea Opera
Winterlicious 2017
  • Dinner – I’m looking for great atmosphere, interesting menu items and best value
    1. Nota Bene – $48 Dinner / Contemporary / I would order Quebec Venison Foie Gras Terrine, Seabass and Artizanal Cheese Plate
    2. Bestellen (Past Review) – $38 Dinner / Steakhouse / I would order Chicken Liver Pate, Flat Iron Steak and House-Made Tiramisu
    3. Drake Hotel – $38 Dinner / Canadian / I would order Butternut Squash Soup, Pan Seared Trout and Apple Pie
Winterlicious 2017
  • Good for Groups – I’m looking for a variety of choices, easy parking/access and a spacious dining area
    1. Azure (Review to come) – $28 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Squash and Pear Soup, Lumache with Gorgonzola Sauce and the Tiramisu Parfait
    2. Lisa Marie – $28 Dinner only / Contemporary / For dinner I would order Tuna Ceviche Nachos, Seoul Fried Chicken and Oreo Cheesecake
    3. Luma (Past Review) – $23 Lunch / Contemporary / I would order Butternut Squash Soup, Steak Sandwich and Le Cendrillon
Winterlicious 2017

Check out all of my past Licious event reviews for more ideas and recommendations.  

TACO NIGHT WITH WALMART.CA GROCERY PICK-UP

Taco Night with Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up

Every year I set a handful of New Year’s resolutions, many of which are rolled over from the previous year. One of these consistent resolutions is always to eat healthier and exercise more. 2017 is no different. This year, I’d like to make being healthy a priority. Being a food blogger takes a toll on my body (waistline), especially when it comes to alcohol and salt intake. I’ve gained a few pounds last year, my pants are getting snug and my coats have been clingy. For 2017, my goal is to get back to being comfortable in my own skin. Since I know I’ll still be eating out plenty, my focus will be on mindful eating because I have a tendency to snack when I’m bored, sad or happy.

One way I’m planning on staying on track is to prep my meals ahead of time whenever I can. This will hopefully help me control my eating without being super time consuming. I’ve already started the habit last year and it’s been working well so far! With prep, one of the musts are big grocery hauls. Since I live in North York with limited access to a car, this can sometimes be a challenge. Grocery pricing in my neighbourhood is also ridiculous. It’s common for a single lemon to be priced at $1 or even higher. Walmart.ca‘s online Grocery PickUp service is a huge help, giving me access to their affordable prices, without needing to drive.

Walmart.ca’s Grocery PickUp site was incredibly easy to use with a great search functionality. I placed my order at 10pm and was able to schedule to pick-up the order after work the next day. There are currently 4 PickUp locations around the city from Harbourfront to Yonge and Eglinton and three condos that will receive direct deliveries. The PickUp service had a great selection of grocery products, everything I needed from fresh vegetables to ground beef, and both national brands like Boursin and Walmart’s Great Value line of products. I loved that there were also organic and lactose free products! I was able to get lactose free sour cream for The Hubby.

Prices online matched their in-store pricing and Walmart.ca even offers price matching with their competitors. Regular and sale prices were clearly marked on the website, with the final price on the emailed receipt. I would love to see how much I saved as well. When I arrived at the pick-up location, my groceries were packed in shopping bags making them easy to carry home and kept fresh in a refrigerator. Orders do need to reach a $50 minimum to qualify for pick up and there is a $3 pick-up fee, or $10 direct to condo.

A quick and easy recipe that’s part of my meal prep rotation is taco salad. Swapping out the taco shell for a bed of leafy greens and limiting the fattier toppings makes this a delicious and vegetable filled dish. Also, depending on what you have in your fridge, it’s easy to customize your salad and add a bit of variety through the week. My go to toppings are avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, onions and salsa. Optional toppings include sour cream and cheese, but that depends on what other meals I have planned that day.

Tip: If you’re packing this for lunch, pack the ground beef, onions and cilantro is one microwaveable container and heat up all together. This cooks the onions and cilantro in the juices of the ground beef and adds a level of flavour.

I also like making my own taco seasoning, which gives me the ability to control the amount salt in it and increase the spice. You can also make a big batch of seasoning and save in an airtight jar for later. The recipe I use is:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

I’m starting 2017 motivated and inspired, hopefully this lasts past February (*fingers crossed*).

This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Walmart Grocery PickUp program. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

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