Friday, May 30, 2014

The Uniqueness of Small Spaces

I have been blogging about small space living for a few years and trying to give you guys tips about living large while living small. Though, through the years of trying to plan and design my own space, I have learned that it is almost impossible to find small spaces that look alike!

If you have a bedroom, you can research bedroom designs because 95% of the time the room is a basic square. But if you live in a studio apartment, there is only one room and there is so little out there because our homes are often strange shapes and full of unique challenges! I find I can get inspiration on colours and textures, but nothing really else!

Apartment Therapy is running their Small Coolest Homes Contest right now and I LOVE looking at the entries, but it really shows me how different the teeny-tiny condos are. I mean, check out these floor plans for homes around the same size as mine:

Nicole's Back Bay Studio
Ben's Philadelphia Pad
Amy's Light an Airy Apartment
Brittany's NYC Sanctuary
Anna's Serene Studio

See what I mean? 400 square feet is not a very good description of how much space a unit really has! Some of these people have actual bedrooms. Despite my lack of bedrooms though, I do like how I can have a couch across from a TV. That seems rare :)

I only have a rough floor plan of my condo (it is hard to properly measure and all my walls are crazy), but it seems a lot of studios are more square than mine- even the long ones are wider than my narrow little home!

I was asked this week if I was going to enter the Apartment Therapy contest (in case you were wondering), and the answer is probably not. One reason being simply that I would be in the international category, which doesn't divide by home size. But the bigger reason is that people on that site can be harsh on entries and while I love my condo, I don't think it would win. Some of those homes are super cool!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Small Updates in the Condo

You know what is fun? When it is a nice day out and you are too lazy to take photos of stuff, and then the next day rains and you need to take outdoor photos so the balcony looks like cray. Because that was me this week :).

I moved all my plants (and a table I forgot about) out to the balcony this week, just in time to enjoy the summer weather that has been rolling in!

You can't really see it, but it is filthy out there. There is mud all over, which makes very little sense to me. Because I am many floors up.

My polka dot plant is still living indoors. Every time I take it outside it pretends to die, because apparently it is a sissy plant and can't take the heat (even though all internets says it likes humidity). Perhaps I accidentally bought a pansy? HA! Burn! So it is sitting on my ottoman and is looking totally happy in the comfortable temperatures. The only issue being indoors is that apparently the leaves will turn green.

In other change up news, I took down the canvas by my TV.

I keep feeling like that wall was too busy and didn't really fit with the black and white vibe of these walls. Plus it is good to have some empty walls to help a room breathe (I think). I am still getting used to it! What do you think? I still like the painting (or fake painting? What do you call these things?), but I think it will go down in storage with it's twin until I have walls that they suit better.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 13

Current Weight: 154.4 (down 10.6 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.1

Woohoo!! Under 155!! Though, I am not 100% sure it is accurate because I was a little hungover and probably dehydrated. But I will take it! I had a lot of food and beer this weekend too- alas patio season has arrived and I think it will work against my weight loss plans :). I have been taking the slow and steady technique through this whole thing and so perhaps it will just start getting a bit slower, but hopefully I can stay on the downward trend!


My only ability to counteract the delicious beer is going to be exercise. I have barely worked out since my 10K run, due to my shin splints. But it has been a couple weeks now so I think I am going to get back into running consistently. And my friend and I signed up for a twice-weekly bootcamp class, which I expect will kick my butt and help me tone up my flatter tummy.

In other running news- the Blogger Joggers are going to be meeting up on Thursday at 7pm to go for a run in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, followed by some delicious doughnut eating. Please shoot me an email at if you wanna come join us!


Friday, May 23, 2014

The Mysteries of Life

It is Friday and I know none of you are working, so I thought I would have a little fun today and talk about mysteries! I love a good mystery. I mean, there are the regular kind like why all my plants die, why the lightbulb in my hallway always dies, or where in the world that runaway froot loop got to...but I am talking big mysteries!!

I think I have read through every Wikipedia page about mysterious places, ghosts, missing people, and other strange unsolved things.

Here are some of my favourites!!

The Oak Island Money Pit
This is a Canadian one! Basically back in the late 1700s a teenager saw a ruckus going on on nearby Oak Island. He thought maybe it was pirates and when he went over the next day he saw signs that something had been buried. Thinking it was treasure, they started digging....and people have been digging there for over 200 years. They keep finding layers of barricades and boobytraps, going down hundreds of feet. There are signs of treasure, like an odd coin, but no one has found the bottom, or the treasure, yet!

The Voynich Manuscript
This is an interesting one. It is an ancient book of unknown origins, written in a language that historians have never seen and have no idea how to translate. What makes it even weirder is that a lot of the plants and events drawn in the book do not match anything known to man. Carbon dating showed the book was made in the 1400s.

The Beale Ciphers
Another treasure hunting mystery! This one is very "National Treasure". A man named Thomas Beale reportedly created 3 cryptographs that will lead the solver to a lot of hidden treasure. However, only one of the cryptographs has been cracked and there isn't even any proof that this Thomas Beale even existed! The cracked clue says the treasure is buried in Bedford County, Virginia, but nothing else is known about it. What makes this so much like National Treasure? The cracked clue was solves using the Declaration of Independence.

Do you enjoy a good mystery? What is one that you would love to get to the bottom of?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Outdoor Cushions

A friend asked me the other day if I bring in my cushions when I am not on the balcony due to rain/Toronto grime. A just question! And the answer is no!

I have seen a lot of blogs where people put tons of cushions outside and I wondered that myself. My mother usually puts her chair cushions in the shed when not in use. But I have found that because my balcony is covered, the rain is not usually a huge issue. Here are a few tips for keeping cushions and furniture clean on a balcony.

1. Buy Outdoor Pillows
My red and white pillow is actually designed for being outdoors and the fabric is water resistant so a little bit of rain doesn't hurt it. I use a damp cloth to wipe it down when it gets dirty, but I will be honest and say that it has faded a lot in the last few years and definitely seems a lot dingier. This particular pillow is from West Elm and besides those issues I have had no issues with the quality of the pillow! It is still big and comfy.

2. Make Your Own Pillows Using Water Resistant Fabric
The green and blue pillow is actually covered in a fabric napkin, which is designed to clean up easily! You can also buy fabrics designed for the outdoors, like my West Elm pillow (I always found Fabricland actually had cuter outdoor fabrics than indoor! My ottoman is covered in outdoor fabric and it is great for repelling spilled water!)

3. Make or Buy Pillows with Removable Covers
My flamingo pillow is just a cover I quickly sewed up from a couple tea towels last summer. This pillow doesn't usually get wet, being on the inside of the balcony, but it does get dirty. Mostly because it randomly falls on the ground a lot. But the cover is removable so I just pop it in the wash and it is good as new again! The blue/green pillow also has a removable cover. I don't worry too much about the pillow inside, but they are actually washable and if I really thought it was funky, they are also very inexpensive to replace.

As for the dirt and grim that comes with a balcony, there is no cure for preventing that (if you have one, please let me know!). I have to go out there before guests come over and wipe everything down with warm soapy water and flip the striped chair cushions over. The chair cushions actually don't get that wet either and flipping them over tends to take care of any dirt.

Sometimes I use a scrub brush to really clean the furniture. It was inexpensive and does a quick job of it. I also keep a mat by the back door for people to wipe their feet off on when coming back in from the balcony, though I am not a stickler for keeping shoes off my floors or anything like that.

So there you go, that is how I manage to keep my balcony as clean as possible!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 12!

Current Weight: 155.2 (down 9.8 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.3

Week 12! That marks 3 months of solid diet and exercise and 10lbs missing off my butt to show for it. It sure isn't a lot of weight, but I can definitely feel the difference. Plus, when I started this journey in Feburary my waist measured 39". I just measured it out (after breakfast and before my workout) and it is 35"! You can't deny that kind of aweseomeness. I felt so thin looking at my 10K race pictures from last weekend.

I definitely had a pig-out on yesterday after my weigh-in though. I think I have learned that eating out is just always going to be a set back for my daily calories because I don't care for salads and some places just sell award-winning pies. Though I did turn down the milkshakes that the rest of the group got, didn't eat even half my fries, and nixed the whipped creme or ice cream on my pie- three things that old Casey would never have done! But the junk I DID say yes to I am okay with, because I don't eat out often, which is good for my wallet and my butt :)

I think today I would share my Top 5 Tips for Losing Weight

1. It Is Not a Race
You didn't put on the weight in a week and you aren't going to lose it in a week. It is slow. Some weeks the scale won't move. Sometimes it will actually go up! Mine was yo-yoing like crazy the last couple weeks and I saw everything from 155 to 158 (!!!) and it was depressing until I found the link with my drinking diet pop and my bloating. Here is a chart of my weight loss over the past 3 months. You can't really see the crazy weight fluctuations in the past couple weeks because this is only my Sunday morning weigh-ins.

It looks like a happy little slope- but this was THREE months of work! If you calculate how much weight you want to lose and try for 1-2lbs per week (which is what is recommended if you intend to stick with your diet), you will see that it takes a loooong time to shift that weight. You've got to mentally prepare for that!

2. Get Measuring Cups and a Kitchen Scale
Portion control is key to accurately tracking your caloric intake. And I am sorry, but you are going to need to work harder in the kitchen than the gym to shift the weight. Working out will make you hungry, so you need to make sure you are properly fueling to stay full and give you energy. You would also be surprised how little calories you burn in a workout. My 10Km run burnt about 750 cals, according to my RunKeeper app. That is about equivalent to a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese- without even fries or coke!

I love love love my kitchen scale. I got it for Christmas and I've already had to change the batteries in it. I used it a lot, along with my measuring cups, in the early days to accurately see what the recommended portion is and track how much I was really eating. Even now I use it to see what a real portion of new foods is.

3. Lay Off the "Diet Food"
You need nutrients and quality meals to feel full. If you are just eating egg whites you will miss out all of the good stuff in eggs and you will find yourself HUNGRY shortly after eating. And hunger is dangerous because you are way more likely to pig out, or make a bad choice for a snack, when you are hungry. Once and awhile I still buy the "light" version of something, but I try hard to makes sure my meals have lots of protein and fibre and are actually going to keep me full. I also find a lot of low-cal meals include a lot of salt and you need to watch out for that because it will make you retain water and mess with your weight!

My usual day is yogurt & granola with berries for breakfast, an apple for morning snack, a cheese and turkey sausage omelette for lunch, veggie and/or granola bar in the afternoon, crackers and hummus as an after-work snack, pita pizza for dinner (I love those darn things), fudgsicle for dessert, and maybe some PB on a spoon if I have worked out. 

4. Get Moving
I sit next to my fridge at home (yay tiny condo), and sometimes I feel like I am constantly getting up and looking for snacks. The best cure for the "boredom snackies" is to get moving. I seriously get up and either go to the gym, go for a walk, or just start cleaning my condo or something. I find it breaks the cycle right away to just start moving and distract my mind. I am working hard to eat when I am hungry and not because I need something to occupy my hands while I watch TV. I also knit sometimes because I can't eat when I am doing that!

Also for getting moving, you have to wake up your muscles and start working out. Muscle uses a lot of our daily caloric intake and if you build your muscles you will raise your metabolism and begin dropping fat! I haven't run much since my 10K due to shin splits, but I am trying to pump some iron in the gym lately (my gym doesn't have the best selection of machines for this so I would love some tips). 

5. Have Fun!
Some people view diets as an end to anything fun. I disagree- everything in moderation! You can set yourself a cheat day on your diet, especially if you know you are in this for the long haul. I find depriving myself doesn't work so I have a little chocolate or something every day. 

It can also be fun in that you can try out some new recipes and some new workouts. Maybe you will fall in love with dance classes or yoga. Or maybe you will learn you make a mean lentil soup casserole (ahem). Or you can just use this an an excuse to try out a new vegetable every week and expand your usual palate!

Weight loss is certainly not easy, but I found that the first couple weeks were actually the hardest. I have gotten so used to tracking calories and working out now that it all comes second nature and there are only a few times a week where I need to actively think about making a better choice. It just comes naturally now to stick to my daily calories!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Random Friday Things

I don't seem to have much to blog about this week! I blame the rain. Or my laziness (it is probably the latter). So here is a bunch of random things not worth a whole post:

- I talked to Schwinn customer service about my broken bike. They were super awesome and offered to help out with the cost of the gear tune up and help with any replacement parts that are needed! Any recommendations on Toronto bike repair shops? I called one place and they said their tune ups start at $60, which seems high

- My wig is ridiculously gross right now. Simultaneously greasy and dried out. I have a hair appointment today though, so hopefully they can make it pretty again

- Speaking of pretty, I am going to see Legally Blonde the Musical this weekend! (yes Erika, watch out for us!!) I've been singing "Omigod, You Guys" in my head all day. If you want tickets, it is playing this weekend and the 24th at Town Hall 1873 in Port Perry

- I haven't run since Sunday due to shin pain. I am hoping to get back out again this weekend! I have exactly 3 months until my 15km race

- My weight has been all over the place. I know I pigged out over last weekend, but that can't explain these fluctuations! I realized, though, that over the last couple weeks I have been drinking Coke Zero like it was going out of style. I think maybe it was making me gain weight through water retention or something? So I am off zee bubbles for a few days to see if it helps.

- I really want to double skunk the computer on my cribbage app. My mom told me she has done this and  now it is my life goal. I play on hard mode and out of 302 games I have skunked (won by 31 or more points) the computer 30 times. To double skunk you need to win by 61 points! Apparently there is something called triple skunking, but that seems so impossible that it isn't even on my app.

- I am soooooo excited about my trip to Iceland in 3 months! My friend Sarah and I have been planning away and we have our flights booked, our rental car booked, and 5 nights accommodation booked. We just need to plan out our remaining days on the road! Right now we are spending 2.5 days in town and 7 days out on the road- going to do a lot of hiking and sight-seeing

- I am also excited about my other plans this summer! Right now I have very few open weekends, I have a wedding, 2-3 cottage trips planned, Niagara Falls, boating, my 15km run, Blogpodium, Terry Fox. I am not sure how I plan to pay for all this AND Iceland AND a new wig AND a new condo in the fall. Um Casey, you ain't rich. Time to switch to no-name brand boxed mac n cheese.

- There were a ridiculous amount of yolks in my eggs at lunch today. I don't think I've ever have a double yolk egg before and today I had TWO. They made quite the large omelette...

- It's a long weekend this weekend!! Hurrah for an extra day to sleep in :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Great Bike Clean Up

The weather is finally turning around and I am thinking more and more about biking to work again. The only problem is my bike currently looks like this:


My building has a problem with dirt in the garage, apparently due to the construction in the neighbourhood. The bike racks are right by the entrance to the garage so they unfortunately get the brunt of it!! I think my bike might actually be cleaner if I kept it outside all winter. Also, the tires were very flat.

First things first, I washed this sucker down with some warm, soapy water. Yay a normal looking bike! My wash job wasn't perfect, but at least you can tell the bike is black and white again.

Then I went to install the rear rack I bought last month. However the instructions were probably the most laughably confusing ones I have ever seen. I gave it my best shot, I swear, but I had to give up. I think it was designed for a different model of bike or something, but the packaging gave no indication and the rack itself seemed to be missing parts regardless. So that is going back to zee store. By some miracle I still have the receipt.

However I did install the flashing lights that I bought last spring! According to Toronto law, you need working lights on a bike when biking at night. I haven't biked at night, but I thought I would get around to installing these. They were actually fairly simple to install and I got them on in a few minutes. :)

Lastly, I pumped up the tires and took the bike for a spin....aaaaaand it wouldn't shift out of first gear. I had this problem last year and had the gear shifter fixed (under warranty)!!! So I am not a happy camper, especially as my parts warranty is long over. I am going to call a bike servicing centre in Toronto (NOT Canadian Tire, who fixed it last time) and inquire about a tune-up on my gears and having them install a bike rack for me. I got some nice rear bike bags for my birthday and I want to use them, darn it!!

It looks like biking to work is on hold for a bit longer until I sort out these problems. Le sigh. But at least she is clean again!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 11

Current Weight: 157 (down 8 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.6

Today is my birthday!! And therefore my weekend was full of delicious food and booze and I am not ashamed of my weight at the end of it. On Friday I met some friends for drinks and pizza, and I might have overindulged in the drinking part (my friends are bad, but oh so very fun, influences)! On Saturday I had brunch with an out-of-town friend, and then Cam took me to the aquarium!! After that we found ice cream and went out for dinner. It was a lovely day and we walked around for 2 hours! Which is basically all the working out I have done since Tuesday.

I wasn't trying to be lazy this week, but my shin splints had been bothering me since my Tuesday run and I had a 10K race on Sunday!!! Which I am proud to say I ran in 55:13!!! That is a 5 minute improvement over last year! It must have been all that "carb loading" I did on Friday and Saturday. My goal had been to run it in 55 minutes but I honestly did not think I was going to hit that and I had adjusted my goal to under an hour. However, Sunday was a perfect run day and the course is mostly downhill so I flew like the wind :)

The medals were little paddles as the run supports Camp Ooch
My Mom and Lee ran it with me and they also bested their old times! The weather on Sunday was just perfect for a run with good temperatures and happy sunshine (especially compared to last year). I joked to my mom that most mothers were getting breakfast in bed and relaxing on Sunday and mine had to get up at 5:30am and come run down Yonge St with me :). As for our birthday and Mother's day gifts, we are taking each other to see Flashdance in a few weeks! Sunday was just about spending time together and we went out for brunch after our run. It was also my stepdad's birthday last week so we were all celebrating.

I felt really good on this run. My shin splits were gone (the best cure for those is rest!) and after a bit of a rough first km with stiff thighs, I felt like I was just flying down the road. I had to take two short walking breaks in the second half, but that was fine by me. I knew that I was pushing myself to get a good time and needed a minute now and then to get my body rested-up if I wanted to maintain my pace. 

Now I need to take a couple of days off (perhaps celebrate one more day of birthday with some more junk food), and then I am going to get back into my running and my diet!! I still have my 15K run in August to get ready for. My goal for that one is 1:30, which will be tough but I am feeling confident.

Today's Pump It Up Song:
David Guetta & Alesso ft. Tegan and Sara: Every Chance We Get We Run

Friday, May 9, 2014

Small Bathroom Organization

I am constantly trying to improve the organization of my tiny bathroom. I certainly don't have much storage in here, but I feel it is so much better than when I started making it over! In the past couple of years I have:
1) Added a new medicine cabinet
2) Added shelves for towels
3) Organized the counter
4) Organized under the sink

I use my bathroom to store a lot of stuff- my beauty products, medicine, toiletries, etc. And for some reason I own a lot of these things :). I know you aren't actually supposed to store a lot of these things in bathrooms, but I have limited storage and I run the fan when I shower so I figure it is all good. However, I have been thinking lately that my makeup probably should be in a case with a lid rather than open to the lovely bathroom air.

I don't own a lot of make up- I tend to buy just a few high end products and do my face the same way every morning. Therefore when I saw this small box at HomeSense for $15 I had to snap it up (on giftcard too- free for me!). It is actually a smaller, black version of the box I got for my nail polish.

I also got this basket for the back of the cupboard door! The frame is a bit large for the door (what is UP with that?) but it neatly stores all my travel cases, which are always in the way under here. And it was only $6! Also from HomeSense.

So there you are- a couple little updates in the bathroom! I hope the HomeSense giftcard fairy stops by for my birthday on Monday because I always seem to find awesome things there. I wouldn't say no to the Canadian Tire giftcard fairy either! Or restaurant fairy, or chapters fairy, or even the new-condo fairy :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Plants in the Condo!

On Saturday I finally gave up on waiting for nice weather and I went out to buy some plants for the condo. Basically almost all the plants from last year had died and needed replacing. Even the tree-thing is starting to look very bad! I can't wait to get it outside for some fresh air but I feel it is still much too cool.

I only went to Canadian Tire, which had a limited selection, but I was already in the mall and there aren't many plant places in downtown Toronto! I will probably pick up a couple more things as the season goes on, but for now it is really nice to have some fresh greenery around- Or should I say pinkery?

I got a pink flowery plant (campanula) for the yellow planter. For the black planter I replaced the succulents with this little Polka Dot plant. They are supposed to grow like impatiens so I am hoping within a couple months it will fill that pot up!

As for the succulents, two seemed beyond saving, but I kept this little green one in the hopes that it will bounce back. I popped it into it's own little planter  with some new soil and food spike and gave it the prime spot by the window.

Eventually all of these plants will live outside, but the tags said they preferred warmer temperatures so for now they will brighten my condo!

The two new plants cost me about $13 total, and I bought the soil, plant food spikes, and gardening gloves together for only $5 at the dollar store! I refuse to pay a lot of money for DIRT. I am not entering any gardening contest. Dollar store dirt is good enough for me! Plus they sell it in small bags so I don't need to store the leftovers. So all in all this little update cost me under $20.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Yellow There!

The weather in Toronto is slooowly starting to pretend it is spring. We get the odd day of sun, but the wind usually eliminates any joy in it! Oh, and the non-stop rain. That is fun. I thought today I would share some bright, yellow decor to help us get ready for warmer days ahead!

Now if only that sunny yellow sun would come out and make the outside look as bright as these interiors!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 10

Current Weight: 157 (down 8 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.6

I feel like I have been eating like crazy this week- but I am still down so yay! Maybe it was the 33 freaking kilometers I apparently ran this week that has something to do with it?? My 10K run is in only 6 days so I have been trying to get in lots of running. I have a bit of a shin split on my right leg so I plan on taking it easy from now until my race. I am very excited- races are so much fun :). I am not at worried about completing the run as I am basically running 10km every weekend at this point. I am hoping to get it over in under one hour though. Fingers crossed!!

As for weight, I had been trying to get down to 155 by my 28th birthday- WHICH IS IN ONE WEEK! But that is not going to happen at this rate so now my goal is 155 by the end of May. My next goal after that is 150, which I hope to hit by the end of July when I am going cottaging. But that'll be super hard because ice cream season is fast approaching. I swear I don't even want cake for my birthday. I just want a big melty soft serve cone with sprinkles.

Actually, I have been eating ice cream bars (skinny cow- flippin delish btw) and fudgesicles as dessert a lot recently, but I am saving up that big melty cone until my birthday (and hopefully warmer weather).

Speaking of ice cream- I am going to ICELAND this summer!!! My friend and I booked our flights this weekend and in a couple weeks we hope to settle our plans and accommodations. Have you been?? We are going to be there for a week, which is quickly appearing to be not nearly enough time. I am soooo excited!! Even if all we end of doing is lying in thermal hot springs all day. Who would of thought I would need to be bikini-ready for a country like Iceland? :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Gnatsy Problem

I don't know much about bugs, but for some reason my entire neighbourhood gets infested with gnats every spring. On one hand, it is super handy getting a little extra protein intake on my runs (not), but on the other hand, they annoy me! A pillow got blown off a chair onto a balcony floor this week, but I don't want to go out there to get it because I can see the hundreds of gnats just chilling everywhere and I do not want those buggers indoors.

Now, I feel like I can't complain because a lot of units in my building have issues with giant spiders on their balcony. I did the first summer I was here but thankfully they haven't come back (though, if I had a spider I wouldn't have gnats. details).

Still- I did some Googling on how to improve my outdoor gnat situation:
1. Rub fabric softener sheets on furniture
2. Let plants dry out between waterings. I wonder if all the extra rain and the wind has enticed them to my wet, calm balcony
3. Bury a clove of garlic in the soil of plants- I will try this when I get plants!
4. Buy plants to deter insects- there is a whole list here. Lavender might be a nice option
5. Apply lemon oil to the edge of plant pots

It looks like with a few simple tricks I should be able to keep these buggers at bay this summer! I don't have any plants out here yet, so that isn't an issue. All my plants from last summer seem to have died/are dying so I need to pick up some new ones.

Balcony last summer!

PS- I am really excited to buy some plants and then spend some time out here! But it is still sooo cold. Today I went for a run with pants and long sleeves. Unacceptable, Mother Nature.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wine Tasting Hosted by The Sweet Escape/ Blogger Joggers Invite

When I first started blogging I never stopped to realize the social aspect of it. I've talked about this before, but I love the community of the blogging world and all the amazing people I have met online and in person. After going to BlogPodium last fall (and I am going again this year!) I made the leap from online friends to IRL friends...and that is pretty cool! I have gone to a few blogger meet ups since then and I really feel like I am getting to know some of these women beyond their twitter personalities, which is awesome.

Last Sunday I went to a wine tasting at Melissa's loft from The Sweet Escape. Union Wines generously donated the wine and Linda Modern Thai prepared the food to pair it with! It was pretty fun learning all about wine from Union's co-owner and sommelier Andrew. But it was also fun catching up with the people I have met before and being introduced to new people! There were about 15 local bloggers, which was a great size for mingling.

I'm sorry my photos aren't that great- just brought my phone!

And speaking of blogger meet ups- I have spoken to a couple Toronto bloggers and there has been some interest in starting a blogger running group- which I have named the Blogger Joggers. It will be totally low-key and beginner level but I would love to arrange a run later this month (I heard a rumor that we are already in May, but the weather says otherwise, so we shall see). Maybe 3-5km? If you are interested, please let me know!! If you are not a runner, don't worry- this is for fun! There will be mucho walking breaks. Maybe a patio at the end? Or cupcakes.

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