Every once in a while I get an invite to something I LOVE SO MUCH – I become a huge fan. This is one of those events. I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend Cineplex VIP – Shops at Don Mills – Launch Party and Screening, I can’t imagine watching a movie in cinema any other way.

Here are some reasons why – VIP cinema amenities:

  • 5 VIP Screen(s)
  • 3 Real D 3D Screen(s)
  • 5 Screen(s)
  • Party Rooms
  • In-Seat Food and Beverage Service
  • Dolby ATMOS Sound Experience
  • Valet Parking Available
  • Licensed Lounge

Although a limo pick up was offered (mostly for the downtown crowd), Bobby and I opted to just drive as we only live a short distance away. Driving was a great idea especially seeing as VIP Cinema offers valet parking. I love valet parking – a lot. Also, it’s an amazing value at only $4.

Of course there’s a step and repeat at this VIP launch event and we absolutely took advantage of it, we picked our seats and stepped upstairs to the lounge. What a great experience, we (mostly me), tried probably all the the beverages on the menu and so much of the fun food too!


Bobby and I were truly impressed with the menu offerings that Cineplex had put together – including arancini, flat bread bruschetta, shrimp cocktail and the most amazing deep fried cheesecake I’ve ever had. Bobby (the man who never smiles AND hates cheesecake), fell madly in love with the Xango cheesecake we tried – he smiled!


We were seated in cinema 4 – I have to say I was pleased to see that there were’t many seats. It was intimate and the seats were FULL recliners. All the seats are paired off, great for date night AND the center armrest can be moved to allow for cuddle room… HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Well, pretty awesome – Bobby and I aren’t public cuddlers.
The sound system in this cinema was really pleasing. Dolby Atmos, yup… it’s incredible sound. We weren’t able to really tell during our screening of The Trip To Italy but, Bobby and I returned recently to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and we were both quite pleased.


The Trip to Italy. I love films with great dialogue and images of beautiful places in the world. It was so nice to see the amazing places in italy, and even add some travel items to my bucket list but, there was A LOT of dialogue and sometimes BORING dialogue. This was definitely not Bobby’s fave movie. The person sitting on the other side of me fell asleep and may have even been snoring during the film. We’ll just blame it on the really REALLY comfortable recliners.

I love Shops At Don Mills and the addition of the Cineplex VIP cinemas is a nice touch! 19+ having a glass of wine during a girly movie or slurping on a rootbeer float and snacking on deep fried cheese cake during an action adventure flick. This is truly one of my (and Bobby’s) new favourite places to be.

Once again, I’d like to thank Casey Palmer for his amazing images… you know, the ones that put mine to shame – time for a real camera.


Want to have a VIP Cinema experience of your own – CONTEST TIME:

  • 2 VIP tickets
  • and a $30 gift card

All you have to do to enter is:

  1. Like my Facebook Fan page – This is the only manditory option
  2. Folow @CPantazis on Twitter
  3. Follow @CineplexMovies on Twitter
  4. Tweet: I just entered to win 2 @CineplexMovies VIP tickets and a $30 gift card from @CPantazis #CineplexVIP

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cineplex VIP – Shops at Don Mills – Launch Party and Screening and a Contest Every once in a while I get an invite to something I LOVE SO MUCH - I become a huge fan.

I didn’t actually know that video rental machines still existed – as it turns out Redbox.ca has rental kiosks all over Canada!

The Redbox Pop Up Theatre Movie Night – event was held in a condo’s private viewing room located in Down Town Toronto. We were greeted with the largest sangria I’ve ever seen and some amazing snacks – including Chicago Mix popcorn.

We should just take a moment to…

View On WordPress


A large part of my #FreelanceLife includes client meetings, pitches, lunches and events – showing up looking like a disheveled mess isn’t going to make a good impression – as Elizabeth Friesen pointed out in a past guest post.

Part of the professional look (for me), includes clean and well manicured hands. Seriously.. there’s nothing like pointing to data with poorly cut nails, nail polish that should have been removed weeks ago and nails of all different lengths and shapes…. Ug. Not a good thing. I might also mention, it’s been my experience that adding a touch of effort to your “Look” will absolutely give you a confidence boost – and others will likely take notice.

Me & T Studio

Me & T Studio is located in Mid-Town Toronto, right at the corner of Yonge and Heath Streets. It really wasn’t what I expected when I first walked in. It’s not your typical nail salon / spa.


Meet Shawna Rao: Critical Care Nurse turned entrepreneur, wife, mother of three, beauty maven and the “me” of “Me & T Studio. Shawna started her career as a Registered Nurse and for over 15 years has specialized in Critical Care, working in Canada and the United States. Since childhood though, Shawna has nutured a parallel passion for all things beauty-related. As her natural talents in the field evolved so did the list of devoted friends, family and followers who came to rely on her to make them (more) beautiful.

- From the Me & T website

It’s amazing that a woman who was doing so well in her career, wanted to follow her dream of entrepreneurship – and what an amazing woman she is. In the short time we had to interact with her during our blogger event at Me & T, I was so impressed with her love and passion of the industry and her shop. It totally seemed like her employees worshiped her (in a non-creepy way), and enjoyed working for / with her.

The staff were knowledgeable and conversational. Every step of every treatment was broken down for me. Any questions I had were answered. Their focus was completely and only on me! I can’t tell you how much I love that. Did I happen to mention the incredible TALENT the nail professionals at Me & T have? No? You’ll see in the photos below – their artistic talent is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

ME & T Facts:
Lash Extensions are a set price. No Surprises.

  • Other salons my charge LPE (lashes per eye). Shawna attaches an extension to each adult lash for full fringe.
  • Lash extensions cost $175 for a full set and $100 for a fill
  • Nova Lash and Extreme Lash are the brands used

Spray tanning is customized and comfortable

  • Aviva Lab Solutions is used at Me & T Studio
  • Each spray tan is done in a comfortable room at the back of the office not a pop-up tent or spray booth

Me & T uses a higher standard of hygiene in all its nail services, including ceramic tubs (no spray jets) for pedicures.

  • Because of Shawna Rao’s experience as a critical care nurse, you can bet she goes above and beyond the standard of hygiene in her own business.


  • Me & T specializes in personalized nail art
  • Each of the nail techs (Liz, Dylan and Shirley), have some individual and special talents. Liz is a jack of all trades, Dylan loves glitter and geometric patters and Shirly rocks some amazing portraits

All Manicures and Pedicures include a paraffin treatment with essential oils!! No joke. SO amazing.


I really think it’s important to at least touch upon what a spa / salon / beauty service venue looks like! I do! I hate walking into places that aren’t clean or haven’t been painted since the dinosaurs roamed the earth or better yet, could double for a sterile operating room. I love places that are beautiful, relaxing and clean. I want to feel comfortable and yes, I also want to feel spoiled. I earned it.

Me & T is beautiful! No horrible pedicure chairs, non of that kind of craziness. There are a few REAL and COMFORTABLE chairs that you sit in for your pedicure, The manicure tables are immaculate and aesthetically pleasing. Everything is well thought out and organized just so well.

I LOVE how beautiful Me & T is. Really.


Me & T offers everything from manicures and pedicures to lash enhancements, spray tanning and hair care! I’d almost say it was a one stop shop. You can check out what they offer on their services page. Also, it certainly helps that they have a candy bar… mmmmm licorice!

Photos with out my logo are care of Stephanie Fusco
Disclaimer: I was invited to experience Me & T studio free of charge in order to provide a review. I really did enjoy myself and I instantly felt more confident. I attribute a portion of the success of my meetings the following week to Me & T. I will be going back. 
Nails and Beauty - Me & T Studio - Freelance Life A large part of my #FreelanceLife includes client meetings, pitches, lunches and events - showing up looking like a disheveled mess isn’t going to make a good impression - as…

This post is really late – I’ve been delayed by work and clients. I’m so excited to get this post up! July 12 a group of bloggers and I were invited to the Bowmanville Zoo. I was curious to see what we’d be up to after our adventures with Limba last year.

Before we dive into my experience and info about the cubs, I thought it might be important to touch about the Bowmanville Zoo.

  • The Bowmanville Zoo is a member of CAZA – Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
  • The Bowmanville Zoo is also a member of WAZA – World Association of Zoos and Aquariums united for conservation
  • MANY of the animals at the Bowmanville Zoo have come from less than favourable situations. Limba the elephant was previously at a zoo that couldn’t take care of her when she was close to death. The Bowmanville Zoo took her in and nursed her back to health.
  • Even though the Bowmanville Zoo takes in animals all the time, they do turn some away – for example, animals that are contagious and could infect the existing population are understandably refused as well as animals or species that the zoo just doesn’t have the capacity to care for.
  • Trainers at the Bowmanville Zoo use positive reinforcement techniques.
  • It’s true that The Bowmanville Zoo allows some of it’s animals to be rented for events and movies
    but takes great care in the transportation of the animals and of course there are staff watching over them during the event. Animals on a list to be used in movies and at events have been given stress tests so that trainers can understand the physical cues. The objective is for  the animals are happy and healthy at all times. It could be said that many of these animals are as used to traveling as your family pet! Experienced trainers always accompany the animals and if a long drive is required, trainers frequently check in on the animals being transported to ensure they are comfortable.

Lion Cubs At The Bowmanville Zoo

This year, bloggers and media were invited to meet the  lion cubs! I’m not going to lie… I was a touch nervous and even concerned … these are not domestic pets. They are real, wild animals. Sure, they’re babies, and yes they are cute but… would I be damaging them by interacting with them?

The truth of the matter is that no, we didn’t damage them. There were trainers and staff on-hand to watch over the humans and to ensure we didn’t mishandle the animals but, most of all they were there to educate us. I’m really glad that we were told about the conservation efforts the Bowmanville Zoo is a part of and how those sweet little balls of fur might one day help their species.

There are 4 cubs in total and the zoo is working closely with animal and large cat experts to try and teach 2 of their cubs the skills they will need to survive in the wild – like hiding from predators and how to hunt. Since the cubs’ mother does not know these skills, she cannot teach them herself. Two of the cubs will be returned to Africa, but likely in a reserve situation to keep them safe from the poaching and habitat destruction that is endangering all wild lions.

Cub Photos

Photos with the cubs may still be available (If they’re not too big now,  this post is quite late) each photo costs $10. Photos will be taken by the tent outside of the Splash Pad and the schedule will be posted at the gate each morning.

Discounted Admission 

Down load this awesome VIP coupon for a special price!

Bowmanville Zoo Coupon

This coupon cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount but this coupon does not expire for the rest of the 2014 season!

Bowmanville Zoo - Lion Cubs This post is really late - I’ve been delayed by work and clients. I’m so excited to get this post up!

Studio 1098 – Toronto – Purity Vodka Media Event.

What a perfect setting for a this vodka launch … No really, a beautiful jewelry studio filled with custom and refined pieces, diamonds and other gorgeous stones set in precious metals, and this vodka in a unique and beautifully faceted bottle.

Studio 1098

People always want to know how Studio1098 is different than Tiffany’s, Birks, Spence Diamonds, Cartier, and the other big jewellery stores. Studio1098 is a small boutique – I don’t use (or like) high-pressure sales tactics, and I design and make everything we sell with help from my team.

- Tamara

Before learning about Purity Vodka we were given free rain over Studio 1098, wandering about asking questions about the pieces and learning about stones. The process of making fine jewelry is amazing and interesting – I wish I had the creativity and vision to create something half as beautiful as the items showcased at Studio 1098.

Studio 1098 offers a wide variety of services:

  • Custom Jewellery Design
  • Gem and Diamond Sourcing
  • Restyling Your Old Jewellery
  • Engagement Ring Refresh
  • Appraisal Services
  • Jewellery Reproduction and Assistance with Insurance Claims
  • Repairs and Restringing
  • Sizing and Adjustments
  • Cleaning, Inspections and Maintenance
  • Estate Assessments
  • Exchange Policy
  • Cash for Gold

I’d be tempted to drop in again just to … you know… take a second look! Maybe shop, a little.

Purity Vodka

Purity Vodka is the result of a long lasting quest to redefine vodka, bringing character to a spirit which by tradition is more one of IMAGE and STYLE rather than substance.

Thomas Kuuttanen is the Master Blender of Purity Vodka and his ultimate goal was to create a vodka that has flavour, and body! Things that would set Purity apart from other vodkas. It helps that Thomas is one of the most famous master blenders in Europe and has a portfolio that includes whisky, liquors gin and aquavit – seems like quite the talent! In fact, the history of the Vodka Masters Competition to score 100 out of 100 points (2012 Vodka Masters Competition), no kidding… They are the most awarded Vodka in the world. Purity is so confident they’ve issued a challenge to Grey Goose – no response yet. Hrmmm.

If you’re into premium vodkas, check out Purity Vodka, not only does it taste great but, the bottle would be a beautiful addition to your bar.

Here’s a recap of the event from EVPR.

Also, I’d like to thank Casey Palmer, who was nice enough to share some of his photos from this event with me. They’ve all been watermarked with CEP.

Redefining Vodka - Purity Vodka at Studio 1098 Studio 1098 - Toronto - Purity Vodka Media Event. What a perfect setting for a this vodka launch …

It all started with being an #ATSdrive and #CTSdrive participant – Klout extended an invitation to be part of the Cadillac Driver Academy perk. OF COURSE I JUMPED on this – who wouldn’t … right?

Tuesday June 24th I drove out to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (or as us old timers know it “Mosport”), for what was going to be one of the most amazing days on a track that I’ve had in over 8 years. Really!

About “Mosport”

Located an hour east of Toronto Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has been a hub for international and major Motorsport events since 1961. Hosting racing events featuring Formula 1, IndyCar, sports cars, stock cars, endurance racing, motorcycles, motocross, showroom stock, historic vintage racers, “Big Rig” trucks and karts. It’s an exciting place to be!

The Klout – Cadillac Driving Academy event began at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s new event center! So exciting. I couldn’t wait to see it. I haven’t been to “Mosport” in almost a decade, and there were a lot of changes.

Parked the truck and looked over at the amazing line up of Cadillac CTSVs waiting for the Klout drivers! All stickered up and ready to go! Seeings as I was the first to arrive I got the first car in the line up. Exciting times. walking towards the new building was exciting. Especially considering it wasn’t there the last time I was.

Stepped in, got registered, had breakfast, caught up with friends Vince Tripp and Dan Levy - then it was time to be briefed on the day. There would be some driving training AND TRACK TIME! Can’t wait!

Driving Exercises

I love having the opportunity to brush up on my driving skills. I’ll take it any chance I can get. I know I may sound corny saying this but, it’s not enough to just “Know how to drive”. Everyone should have opportunities to practice emergency breaking and avoidance skills. Knowing how cars / motorcycles work under extreme circumstances will not only make you a better driver but, they may even potentially help you get out of a sticky situation in the future. Driving is like everything else in life. You have to keep your knowledge and skills updated!

Track Time

After some time brushing up on skills and having a great time doing it – we were ready to put the “peddle to the metal”, for real. Goosebumps, excitement and a touch of nervousness hit me as we exited the pits…. because, “Turn 2″. This corner is infamous for many ooopsies, thankfully I didn’t have that day! There was a moment where I lost focus and went a touch wide but I recovered and all was good. I found it interesting just how different it felt to be on the track in a car rather than riding a motorcycle. Visibility, and of course feed back from the vehicle are WAY different!

I did manage to get the CTSv over 200km/h on the back straight but, didn’t push it much more than that due the little bit of rain. Important to know that, roads (including tracks), are MOST slippery in the the first moments of rain or when it’s spitting. The oils in the ground rise to the top and can create a slippery situation. I was proud that I kept clean lines, and mastered my most feared corner “turn 2″.

If you’re interested in reading my review of the Cadillac CTS you can find it here AND if you want to see what it was like… check out this amazing video from Klout and the Cadillac Driver Academy


[fullwidth backgroundcolor=”” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”top left” backgroundattachment=”scroll” bordersize=”0px” bordercolor=”” paddingTop=”50px” paddingBottom=”20px”]
[three_fourth last=”no”]
[title size=”2”]Let’s break it down.[/title]
The Cadillac Driver Academy at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park may have rocked my world. It was such an engaging and exciting experience from beginning to end.
I loved seeing everyone’s eyes light up! We all felt this incredible sense of adventure and exhilaration.
Klout and Cadillac Canada really put on a great event with amazing instructors. I would LOVE to participate again… and again… and well, you get the idea.

[one_fourth last=”yes”]
[title size=”2”]Scoring:[/title]

[progress percentage=”100”]Excitement[/progress][progress percentage=”100”]Speed[/progress][progress percentage=”100”]Fun[/progress]

Worst part of the day…  driving home in a torrential downpour.

Photos with out my Logo were taken by John Walker of OneWord.ca and you can find more images from our day here and on flicker!

The Cadillac Driver Academy - A Klout Perk It all started with being an #ATSdrive and #CTSdrive participant - Klout extended an invitation to be part of the…

This media trip has been full of history and fun. It’s been wonderful getting to know the Canadian Club Brand and all the wonderful people who were on the trip with me. Moving on to Day 2 and the announcement of a contest! YAY! (I know some of you might want to scroll I get it).

On to Day 2 with Canadian Club

Although some of us might have hit the hay in the wee hours of the morning, we all had to be up bright and early! It was an 8am start and breakfast awaited at the Artist Cafe located in Caesars Hotel Windsor. Great time to catch up and gain our strength for the day ahead. Great food too btw.

Off on the next leg of our trip – back to the Canadian Club Heritage center we go. Greeted by our hostess with the mostess Tish Harcus! She lead us up to the presentation room and gets us all set up. The presentation covered much of Canadian Club’s history and how their whisky is made. It’s always interesting to know how brands are formed and how they continue to compete on a global market place.

The Distillery

Speaking of product, our next tour took us to the distillery where we observed the distilling process. It’s incredibly impressive. A great part of this tour is getting to compare the distilling vats of the past to the processes in place today.

In some of the spots in the distillery I could swear it smelled like bread. MMMMM bread. Must have been the rye.

After all the sights and smells it was lunch time!

Lorelei’s Bistro

Lorelei’s Bistro, is also located in Walkerville and we wee heading for Prohibition style lunch. Pearls, gloves and facinators – Oh MY! The food was incredible!

  • Beef Bruschetta
  • Wild Mushroom Strudel
  • Tenderloin Sinatra

That’s just what I remember! With out going into a full review, I will say that everyone really enjoyed their meals. The portions were incredible and the preparation top notch. Of course we partook in the enjoyment of a few beverages.  As full as we were from our lovely lunch  - the tour was not over!

Pike Creek – Canadian Club Barrel Aging Warehouse

I did see that this was on the itinerary and thought, “this will be nice”. I was wrong, it was amazing! Completely and utterly awesome. Not everyone has the opportunity to see a warehouse like this – and I can tell you that it’s quite an experience.

Once the warehouse doors opened the smell of oak and whisky hit us in the face. There’s no mistaking what was hiding in those barrels. 125k barrels of whiskey in each building and 1.4 million on entire site! Mind Blowing. Each building is climate controlled and each barrel has proper circulation and ages at the same consistent temperature.

Have you ever tasted young whisky straight out of a barrel? No? Its potent stuff! whisky that hasn’t had the time to age is actually a clear liquid. It doesn’t have the amber colour that we know whisky to be. That amber colour comes from the aging process and the barrels the whisky resides in. Who knew?

As if all of this wasn’t enough, we ended our 2 day media trip by signing our names on barrels. Kinda makes you feel special.

Thank you Canadian Club for memories.

Thanks for being awesome travel companions Gunnarolla, Mark, Ken, Chanry, Stella, Margaret and Stephanie, I really enjoyed my time with you. .. and thanks to all of you for following along!

For you I have some amazing Canadian Club Cocktail Recipes (PDF here) and a contest announcement!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Canadian Club Heritage Center – Windsor – Day 2 This media trip has been full of history and fun. It’s been wonderful getting to know the Canadian Club Brand and all the wonderful people who were on the trip with me.

Thanks to the good folks at Canadian Club Whisky and the good folks at Praxis PR for getting me out to the Canadian Club Brand Heritage Center – An experience I’ll never forget. I was picked up by a black car and taken to meet the group at Square One where we all transferred to a bus and began our journey to Windsor. We were all quite excited and chatty. The drive to Windsor (from Toronto), is about 4 hours. Our first day was filled with information and of course a few snacks and many cocktails along the way.

Quick Tip – When making cocktails make sure to fill the glass with FRESH (under 24 hour old), ice. This way the ice doesn’t transfer odours or tastes it may have picked up in your freezer to your cocktail AND if the class is filled with ice – it’s not going to melt quickly and dilute the cocktail!

- Tish Harcus Brand Manager and Ambassador

It’s amazing how a few snacks and a cocktail or two helped the group open up. We had an opportunity to get to know each other and take in our surroundings. Before we knew it we were on to our VIP tour with Tish and our cocktails in tow. The building and grounds are exceptional.

During the VIP tour we stopped of for a surprise whisky tasting paired with chocolate and cheese. I wasn’t sure how that would work out but, once Tish got to describing the tasting it all made sense – this is a must try if you’re able to book it.

Canadian Club Whisky Facts

  • Canadian Club is the only Canadian whisky that is Pre-Barrel Blended™ before aging
    to allow the flavours to marry, resulting in an exceptionally smooth and mellow whisky
  • Double distilled to remove fusel oils and create a light tasting whisky
  • Aged longer than the industry standard in once-used American white oak bourbon
    barrels to give the whisky its mellow flavor
  • Each expression is made from a different ratio of corn, rye, rye malt and barley malt

- Canadian Club Brand

Tasting Notes

Canadian Club Premium

The Canadian whisky that started it all. Just like all the Canadian Club whiskys 1858 Original is
blended before aging. The blending before aging allows the subtle flavours (rye, malt, barley & corn), to marry pre-barrel.

Aroma: fresh and soft, with an almond nuttiness and a hint of spice and sweet, fresh oak.
Body: smooth and light
Taste: spicy and zesty, with hints of wood and vanilla
Finish: clean, dry and lingering with subtle oak
Approximate Retail Price: $23.00 – $28.00

Canadian Club Reserve 9 Year Old
This reserve is made for those who enjoy the deeper oak notes that come from being TRIPLE aged in Canadian Club white oak barrels.
Aroma: toffee and toasted, creamy and complex
Body: full and firm
Taste: English toffee, rich, mellow oak with soft nutmeg and clove Finish: warm and
lingering dry finish
Approximate Retail Price: $24.00 – $29.00

Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old
The Canadian Club master blender has created a 12 year old multi-award winning masterpiece. Still as smooth as ever with notes of spice and vanilla.

Aroma: soft, round, full, balanced and creamy
Body: full and smooth
Taste: spicy and creamy, with hints of vanilla and rich, mellow wood
Finish: long and dry
Approximate Retail Price: $24.00 – $29.00

Canadian Club Sherry Cask
Aged for 8 years in the classic white oak barrels and then double matured in sherry casks imported from Jerez, Spain, resulting in a unique and exquisite whisky with distinct Spanish sherry undertones.

Aroma: a mix of rich Mediterranean fruits, gentle oak and sherry
Body: rich, full and round
Taste: an intriguing presence of sultanas, dates and figs in balance with toasted grains
and mellow oak
Finish: a deep and enduring sweetness that closes with subtle sherry and oak.
Approximate Retail Price: $34.95 – $40.00

Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Spain

Dock No. 57 Spiced offers something to consumers new to whisky as well as more seasoned whisky drinkers who are seeking bolder flavour profiles and some spice.

Aroma: Light rye aroma with sweet vanilla
Body: Sweet spicy flavour complemented with whisky undertones
Taste: Notes of cinnamon, caramel, vanilla, pepper and aged oak
Finish: Warming finish
Approximate Retail Price: $24.00 – $29.00

This was quite the experience. I was really surprised how the various cheeses and chocolates  complimented the whisky AND I found my favourite. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the 9 yr old original but, the 12 yr old was just amazing!

Shortly after our fun and really interesting tasting we moved on to Mixology where I found my new fave cocktail. Who knew I was an Old Fashioned kind of girl? It’s true!

Thank goodness it was dinner time. We all hopped back into the bus and headed to Vito’s Pizzeria in downtown Walkerville! It was really nice that they reserved a VIP spot for us – upstairs in their special dining room. I did indulge in a couple of Old fashioneds and a lovely dinner. Ps. If you’re ever in the area and decide to stop off at Vito’s Pizzeria I LOVED the arancini (biggest I’ve ever seen), they were so tasty! I would stay away from the gnocchi. It wasn’t homemade seemed like it was frozen. The Pizzas were also quite good. You would think the day would end here but, you’d be wrong.

Yes, we made it to Caesar’s and we did manage to get ourselves checked in but, we also hit the bar right after and hung out for a while checking out the Detroit skyline from Vu’s balcony. Did I gamble? I might have. Just a little. I do like the slots. I didn’t lose money so that’s a good thing right? At this point I was starting to feel that I needed to head up to my room and get some work done before bed.

My room was perfect. Big bed, soft pillows clean and a nice view. What more could we ask for?


Yup, that’s right! I’ll be posting a contest Friday Morning! On my Facebook Page, keep your eyes peeled. You could win:
The Classy Canadian Club Cocktail Prize Package

  • Canadian Club Premium
  • Canadian Club Reserve
  • Bartender tool set (10 piece)
  • Ice bucket and tongs
  • Set of highball glasses
  • Set of classy coasters

Valued At: $150

Have you been to Windsor? Have you checked out the Canadian Club Heritage Center? Any tips or fun spots you’d recommend?

Canadian Club and Walkerville - An amazing time away from the city Thanks to the good folks at Canadian Club Whisky and the good folks at Praxis PR for getting me out to the…

The Canadian Club Heritage Center is located on Riverside Drive in Walkerville – a town that borders on the Detroit river and has been around since … well, before Windsor and although it has been absorbed by Windsor (1937), it still maintains its historic small town feel. Walkerville was developed by Hiram Walker to house the employees of Canadian Club Whisky.

The Canadian Club Heritage and Band Center was our first stop upon arriving in Walkerville for our VIP tour – and that’s when we met our wonderful, warm and funny hostess with the mostess Trish Harcus.

Here’s a bit about Trish
Brand Ambassador and Manager

Tish Harcus is the heart and soul of the Canadian Club® Heritage Center. No one knows more about the people, the history and the craftsmanship behind Canadian Club® than Tish. As Brand Ambassador and Manager of the Heritage® Center in Walkerville, Ontario, she is responsible for overseeing the entire Canadian Club® Walkerville experience. She takes great pride in sharing Canadian Club’s historical facts with visitors. She continues to uncover interesting nuggets by sifting through archival materials and exploring the far reaches of the Heritage Center — the Company’s former home.

By sharing stories about Canadian Club’s origins and expansion, how it was smuggled during Prohibition, and the company’s impact on the local community, Tish hopes to provide those with an interest in Canadian Club’s incredible success story with a deeper appreciation for the Canadian Club brand.

- Canadian Club Website

Meeting Tish was an amazing experience. She embodies the CC brand! She’s warm, classy, fun, not afraid to step out of the box and absolutely the star of the show. Tish made us feel welcome and was up for all the trouble we threatened to cause… What more could a group of bloggers and media ask for?

As soon as Tish got us in the door and settled it was time to try our first CC Cocktail and we were all very happy to oblige! I went for the classic CC and ginger-ale. Tish was gracious enough to recommend the cocktail because the ginger in the ginger-ale has a subtle spice and it’s a great compliment to Canadian Club. She was right. I loved it. New favourite simple cocktail!

Hanging out having a few snacks and a cocktail or two helped the group open up. We had an opportunity to get to know each other and take in our surroundings. Before we knew it we were on to our VIP tour with Tish and cocktails in tow. The building and grounds are exceptional. I had no idea I would see original Tiffany & co. pieces, Group of Seven paintings and tables made in the 1600′s by French monks! Truly a historic building in every sense of the word – including some of its famous ghostly inhabitants and secret rooms and tunnels.

Let’s get into the history of Canadian Club Whiskey

Hiram Walker (a successful grain merchant), founded Canadian Club in 1858 and established the first Canadian Club distillery in Walkerville, Ontario mostly due to the quality of the grains available in that area!

At the time Hiram founded Canadian Club people would just travel to their grocery stores with a jug and fill ‘er up. There wasn’t a specific brand to speak of and it may not have been all that great. Canadian Club changed all that. With a secret blend of grains and proudly branded barrels – Canadian club soon became the standard for Canadian Whiskey.

Of course Canadians began to love CC and Americans considered this Canadian Whiskey to be something special - it was sold in the exclusive gentlemen’s clubs of the day. The Club Whiskey began to gain quite a bit of favour in the U.S. and even began to affect the sale of American Bourbon. It was a hit! Due to it’s affect on American Bourbon, the U.S Government passed a law stating that all Canadian Distillers put the place of origin on their labels and that’s how Canadian Club Whiskey was born!

Bootleggers, Gangsters and Canadian Club – Oh My!

In the 1920′s prohibition hit the US and even most Canadian provinces went “dry”. Drinking in public was against the law but manufacturing liquor for export was not banned. Of course border cities would take full advantage of this “loop hole” – cities like Windsor and towns like Walkerville.  Prohibition led to bootlegging – the waterways between the U.S. and Canada carried 75% of the liquor supplied to the Americans. That’s a lot of liquor.

Prohibition gave rise to many notable gangsters like Al Capone who loved Canadian Club Whisky and also saw a rise in counterfeit product. So much so, that even Joe Kennedy (yes, THAT Joe Kennedy), had a hand in creating his very own counterfeit brand of Canadian Club.

Interesting room to note (other than Hiram Walker’s office and the other rooms of executives and family), in the Canadian Club Heritage Center is the Speak Easy room. That’s right. There was a room dedicated to meetings and drinks with infamous bootleggers like Al. Fun fact: There is a bullet hole in the wall… It’s quite a surreal feeling to sit in that room.

The Canadian Club Heritage Center offers tours and tastings AND has a well stocked gift shop! It’s incredible to see and learn about all the secrets and newly acquired knowledge related to this building, the brand and it’s history. It’s not hard to see how Canadian Club is one of the worlds best selling and most loved liquors.

Thanks to the good folks at Canadian Club Whiskey and Praxis PR for getting me out to the Canadian Club Brand Heritage Center – An experience I’ll never forget.


Yup, that’s right! I’ll be posting a contest in the next couple of days, keep your eyes peeled. You could win:
The Classy Canadian Club Cocktail Prize Package

  • Canadian Club Premium
  • Canadian Club Reserve
  • Bartender tool set (10 piece)
  • Ice bucket and tongs
  • Set of highball glasses
  • Set of classy coasters

Valued At: $150

Canadian Club Whiskey - History & Heritage The Canadian Club Heritage Center is located on Riverside Drive in Walkerville - a town that borders on the Detroit river and has been around since …

Experience Burlington’s Best Restaurants – Taste of Burlington Summer 2014 – July 20 to August 3

Twice a year Taste of Burlington holds their media launch and sampling at the Burlington Performing Arts Center. It’s always a wonderful time. I was invited back for the summer launch and it was a wonderful time once again. Lot’s of wonderful food, music and so many fun and interesting people.

I was happy that Chanry, Davindra, and Margaret were able to join me. We’ve had so much fun tasting food at events like this in the past that I couldn’t imagine not having them around when hitting A Taste of Burlington again this year.

Not only was there a lot of tasty bits and bites but we were entertained by Adam Cooke. I really enjoyed his voice and the songs he played for us. He has a great voice and sang amazing musical choices. He is part of the Live and Local Music Series. I recommend checking him out when in the area.

Back to the food… I feel like I need to post a disclaimer here. I have a seafood and shellfish allergy – this means that I didn’t try any of the dishes that had fish or shellfish components. I made sure to try the other dishes more than once.

A Taste of Burlington Participating Restaurants & Dishes

Celli’s Osteria – @CellisOsteria
Served: Lamb strip loin on Morocan spiced couscous with baby root vegetables and a mint gastrique
I totally missed this dish. I don’t know how I missed it but, sadly I did. Sounds amazing.

Downtown Bistro & Grill – @dwntwnbistro
Served: Pan seared scallops over slow braised pork belly with a maple coffee glaze

Eatalia – @Eatalia
Served: Truffle scented cauliflower bisque
I found this quite tasty. It was served with a cheese topped crostini. I found the bisque to be creamy and light but lacking a touch in seasoning. Dunking the crostini in the bisque helped the situation as the cheese brought a bit of a bite.

Honey West – @HoneyWestBar
Served: Pulled beef sliders
I did have the opportunity to try these and I found them to be good. Nothing special or out of the ordinary. The beef was tender and it tasted nice.

Ivy Bar and Kitchen – @IvyBarKitchen
Served: Duck pastrami slider with marrowed carrots and pea puree
This stood apart from some of the other dishes. Duck is such a great protein. It’s the first time I’ve had a duck slider and if it’s on the TOB menu at Ivy Bar I’d order it. the carrots and pea puree were a perfect compliment to the slider.

Melodia Seafood & Mediterranean Cuisine
Served: Coconut shrimp & stuffed chicken

Paradiso @ristoparadiso
Served: House made ricotta on whey bread crostini
I didn’t actually try this because I had tried so much by the time I made it back to the front of the venue – I felt quite stuffed.

Pepperwoods @pepperwoodsgroup
Served: Crispy skin pork belly on house made salt & vinegar chip with a chipotle glaze and mango corn salsa
I have been pretty bored of pork belly lately. It seems that it’s everywhere like pulled pork. I had to force my self to try this dish and I was pleasantly surprised! The contrasts between the chip and the salsa really made the pork belly stand out. Great flavours.

Purple Heather – @PurpleHeatherGP
Served:Pad Thai Salad
I hate to leave a negative remark. I love Purple Heather but, this was flavourless, with out seasoning and absolutely not my favourite dish. We were basically eating cold, wet, flavourless noodles. They may have forgotten the vinaigrette.

Queen’s Head Pub @pub_queenshead
Served: Caramel pretzel and peanut butter ice cream cake with bruleed peaches
BEST DISH! I don’t know how Queens Head does it but, they keep bringing their best game to TOB. I can’t explain how amazing this tasted. I really can’t. I hope they find a way to keep this on their menu for the entire summer. Also I think they won the People’s Choice Award – again.

Rayhoon Persian Eatery @RayhoonEatery
Served: Olivieh – Chicken potato and egg salad served on Persian flat bread

Red Canoe Bistro @RedCanoeBistro
Served: House smoked pickerel, asparagus and tomato salad

Rib Eye Jacks @RibeyeJacks
Served: Gyoza – Beef dumplings with sweet soya vinaigrette, sesame, green onion and crispy garlic
I really enjoyed this. The dumplings were perfectly cooked and the sweet and slightly salty vinaigrette tickled my tongue. So good!

Rude Native – @RudeNative
Served: Grilled Cajun Shrimp with mango and avocado salsa

SB Prime @sb_prime
Served: Smoked salmon & wasabi aioli woton crisp

Stone House @StoneHouseFood
Served: Pecan crusted salmon with sweet potato hash and honey Dijon cream sauce

Water St. Cooker #WaterStChefs
Served: Seasonal Salad
This salad was completely local and organic. It had a Greek Goddess dressing and I swear it was quite possibly the best salad I’ve had in a while. The tomatoes tasted as if they were picked right from my mom’s garden. I had seconds.

Wendel Clark’s @WendelClarks17
Served: Spinach salad in house made fresh blueberry vinaigrette
This was a nice salad. Simple flavours. The Blueberry worked well with the spinach. I guess it’s similar to the very trendy raspberry vinaigrette of the past.

West Plains Bistro @BistroBound
Served: Shrimp and orzo – Grilled shrimp dressed with lime and black pepper of buttered orzo tossed in cilantro oil

Ye Olde Squire @YeOldeSquire1
Served: Chocolate Brownie with Guinness chocolate sauce
The only other dessert at TOB and one of my favourite things at this event.

Menus and pricing online at Taste of Burlington

You can keep up with news and updates on twitter @TasteOfBulr

Thanks to Tourism Burlington for the invitation to this wonderful event. Can’t wait to get out and have a nice Taste of Burlington dinner with friends!

A Taste of Burlington - Summer 2014 Experience Burlington’s Best Restaurants - Taste of Burlington Summer 2014 - July 20 to August 3…