Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bacon, Gravy and Maple Syrup

If the title made your stomach turn, we please ask that you leave quietly and never come back.

But if the thought of these three delicious ingredients layered on top of hand-cut fries makes your mouth water, then "Hello" new friend.

Christmas shopping is all done - with a week to spare to gloat and possibly make exchanges when we find items cheaper at another store. And since the last of our shopping took place on Queen West, we thought there would be no better way to reward ourselves than with a hot, gooey paper bowl of Poutine from Poutini's. A Bacon Poutine with maple syrup, to be exact.

Pair that with some good ol' fashion Rootbeer, it's enough to make you forget about all the grumpy shoppers, crying babies strapped into their srollers, annoying front door store greetings, and endless holiday music you have had to endure just hours before.

In our personal opinion, this place kicks Poutine ass, and offers the best fries/gravy ratio in town. 'Cause that's important, don't ya know?

Thankfully, the Regular size was huge, with enough leftover to take home to heat up while watching some perfectly fit holiday movie like Die Hard.

Yay Bruce Willis. Yay us. Yay Poutini's.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friends of Earlscourt Park

"Working together to better our vibrant neighbourhood by bettering Earlscourt Park - one swing, one tree and one picnic table at a time." That's the slogan for the newly formed group, Friends of Earlscourt Park, a volunteer group that is working towards all around improving this west end park with new gren space and community events.

We used the park a lot over the summer (beach volleyball? Awesome!) and are hoping to put on our skates and try out the rink for the first time, that is whenever Toronto decides to be Canadian again and have a proper winter. It's great that there are people out there taking the initiative to build a community for the park and we look forward to hear more about their plans for 2013.

We also think the FOEP logo is really cute :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Getting a head start on new year's resolutions...

So it's been a long, looong, looooooong while since we last posted one of our west end adventures. With 2012 coming to an end in just a couple of weeks, we thought we'd get a head start on some of our resolutions, with "Continuing our blog" on the list.

So far so good.

The other resolution was to get more physically fit. Since the holidays are generally jam packed with dinners and parties that add to the waistline before the new year, we thought there was no better time than the NOW to get started.

With that in mind, we somehow managed to drag our asses out of bed at 5:30 this morning and try out our first bootcamp class (together) at Body Stride. There isn't much to the site yet, but the owner, Jamie, told us that a new website would be running in January. We learned about Body Stride while walking along St. Clair and seeing a sidewalk sign for it. I know - an actual, physical sign. Those still work sometimes, who knew?!

Ok - so to be honest, we didn't really do any research on the place and were simply sold on the 30% discount for a 1 month membership, which came out to be about $60 per person. We figured at the cost, we could take the risk and see what the place was all about.

So now back to that ungodly hour of 5:30 am... We arrived at the studio at 6 and were the only two losers (sorry did I say "losers"? I mean hardcore gym enthusiasts) there, along with Jamie. He quickly set up the stations, 15 in total, and described each workout to us: Burpees, TRX arm lifts, Medicine Ball squats, and other vomit inducing exercises. We had to do as many reps as possible within 45 seconds and then take a break for 10 seconds before doing the next exercise. Man, did I love those breaks. And it turned out to be a good thing that it was just the two of us since we probably looked and sounded just AMAZING.

It was a great workout, and although most of the moves with the exception of the TRX can be done at home, it was great to be in a space meant for exercise with extra encouragement from Jamie.

Are we going back for more on Wednesday? Yup!

Are my muscles screaming in agony as a type this. Ummmm...yep.

Friday, July 20, 2012

When in Rome...

...or in our case, Corso Italia. Who knew we could not only grow a garden, but also grow veggies! Feeling pretty awesome about our little urban garden (and a litle bit old that we're posting about vegetables).

Monday, July 16, 2012

The WVRST summer yet it's been a while, we know. But a lack in blog writing can only mean that we've been so busy doing super awesome things. Can you blame us when we get only 4 months of nice weather out of the year?! The last few month have gone by so quickly, with weddings, milestone birthdays, Euro Cup, and helicopter rides! So, here's a recap of the last couple of months in the west end...

Father's Day at WVRST, a modern beer hall fit for any brew loving guest (and fan of Soccer)...

Lotsa love and laughs at both Caffino in Liberty Village and Tiff Bell Lightbox's Malaparte for our sibbling's weddings...

A luau birthday at our place to celebrate 30 years of (self-declared) awesomeness, complete with roasted pig and homemade beach themed treats...

A Helicopter ride over our great city!..

Cheering on our not-so-great soccer team (thanks MLS!) on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. At least the bagpipe band was good...

Enjoying some freshly fried churros at the Salsa on St. Clair festival...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer in Earlscourt Park

Summer weather is finally here!!! On Monday we decided to take advantage of the sun and go for walk around Earlscourt Park. Aside from the seven, yes, seven different soccer games taking place, there was also an interesting (transalation: weird) guy jump roping on the basketball court that provided us entertaintment when we decided to sit and relax on the grass. But when jump roper dude isn't anywhere to be found, there are other events that are probably better worth our time. Take the Dusk Dances, for instance. We had a chance to check it out last summer and fortunately, they're coming back to the hood for another installment. This year, Dusk Dances will be taking place at Earlscour Park from August 16- 19. It's definitely a festival not to be missed and is great for the whole family. For more info, check out their website.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Brunch place on St.Clair!

Started up by a family who originally lived in the neighbourhood, the Sunnyside Grill has a new location on St.Clair in Corso Italia.

We checked it out last weekend and were pleasantly surprised by the modern diner feel, which is a lot different from the other restaurants in the area. The service was great and the food was yummy and inexpensive.

Poached Eggs Hollandaise and a Traditional Breakfast for under $20...Are you drooling yet?

Great to have an all-day-brunch place in our hood now! Good luck to Sunnyside Grill! Hope to visit again soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

WagJag deal for SunnySide Grill

Brunch is a lazy man's way of having two meals at once. And since we're lazy, it also happens to be our favourite meal of the day.

Lucky for us, a new brunch place recently opened up on St. Clair and we will definitely be checking out on our next lazy Sunday morning walk. It's called The Sunnyside Grill and today, WagJag has a $10 for $20 deal for two of their locations.

And one of them is the St. Clair location...woooooo!

Just checked out their menu - sounds yummy and the prices are decent. You can get a good hearty brunch for under $10.


If anyone else checks it out before we do, please share your reviews!

For the WagJag deal, go here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's on St. Clair

Corso Italia is hosting a Valentine's Day contest this year and the Grand Prize is a trip for two! Not quite sure where, but it's partially sponsored by Air Transat, so hopefully the destination choices rock. We think it's great that the neighbourhood is making an effort to draw in people and interest!

And hey, even if you're not a fan of the lovey-dovey holiday, you can at least get a trip out of it :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Snowstorm on Saturday

Who saw THAT coming?!

Earlier in the day we had an old friend over who we hadn't seen in over a year - crazy how that can happen, but better late than never. At around 5:30 our friend left and literally minutes later we looked out the window and couldn't see passed our street because of the huge snowstorm that came outta nowhere! Great timing on our part, sending our friend out in that weather (she made it back home ok, thankfully).

The not-so-great part to it was that we had dinner plans for that night, and there was nothing but choas on the roads. Here's a short video we took on the bus heading down Lansdowne. Our commentator (the bus driver) was pretty funny.

It should be noted that most cars on the road were having a really rough time, and who knows what we would do in that situation. But looks like everyone made out ok as long as they took their time. Lesson learned - gunning your engine on an icy road is NOT going to get you anywhere. Except maybe for the mechanics after you've popped your tires.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Our first mention!

Seeing our followers slowly add up feels goood...reading your comments is very cool...having one of our posts featured on another site is down right AWESOME!

Covet Garden caught wind of our Hudson Bay Tables and featured it on their site today! Thanks for blog love ladies :)

To read the feature, head over this way.

Especially love the sketch of the table and that the deer was still included :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I heart cheese

Growing up, I (Inga) always looked forward to Sunday dinner. That was the night my dad, who is German, would serve a typical German supper which included fresh coldcuts, cheese, bread and tea. Was it because it felt like a little tea party that I enjoyed it so much as a kid?

It was because of the CHEESE. Fresh slices of Havarti, Swiss, Cheddar - the list of what we would have that night was endless. On a plus side - I got my fair share of calcium. On the not-so-plus side, I also now have hips.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

When we moved into Corso Italia, honest to god, one of the first things I thought about was where we could buy cheese.

And then we found Tre Mari (cue choir Aaaah's). I was out with my mom one Sunday, showing her the neighbourhood when I discovered this bakery. As we walked in, the smell of fresh bread lingered in the air. And then...I saw the cheese.

My hips began to scream but my stomach muted them with its cheers.

The woman behind the counter could see we meant business, and was quick to help us pick out our selection. It might have something to do with my face pressed up against the glass, breathing heavily, who knows?

We walked out with some fresh cut provolone and chicken cold cuts, and headed home ready to eat our Abendessen ("supper," in German).

Ja, ja, das ist gut.

Tre Mari is located on 1311 St. Clair Avenue West.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

West End: Hot or Not?

According to The Toronto Star
- HOT!

(OK, have we lost you yet?)

Yesterday, the newspaper published an article about the hot realty spots in Toronto, and The Junction/High Park area, aka W02, was listed as Hot!


What does that mean?

Homes within this area (which includes The Junction, Junction Triangle, and Corso Italia, just to name a few) are high in demand, and on average, sell faster than other areas of the city. We're tied with The Beach, at 36 days, which is more than half the amount that other areas take to sell.

Not too shabby!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Must. Have. Waldok.

Our house, like most Toronto homes, is old. Like, almost a century old (Our baby turns 100 in 2013!). So, super old.

And with super old comes super small rooms.

Take our bathroom for example...

We didn't do too much to change it. Great updates were made before we moved in and the space was used well. But "space" is also what it's lacking. And unless we want to tear down a wall and make the bedroom next door from small to unlivable, we're stuck with our lovely alley washroom as is.

Who likes to listen to some good tunes when they're getting ready?

WE DO! Especially in the morning, when getting up is like lifting 400 pounds of dead weight (yourself) from the bed, it'd be great to have some added pep to get you going. Unfortunately, the space we have in the washroom doesn't really allow us to plug in a radio or ipod dock station without getting fancy (wireless) or dangerously close to electrocution (wire).

Hmmm...I wish someone would come up with an ipod dock that plugs right into the wall with a speaker attached.

And thus, the Waldok was born.

How brilliant is this?! And it looks great on top of it's sheer brilliance. The website states that they're still patent pending, but we will most definitely be first in line for one when it goes on sale.

Now we can mmmbop* our way through the morning.

*Not a Hanson reference.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Italian Neighbours

Last night, being the proud Canadians that we are, we decided to catch up on some of the new CBC shows that prem'd this season. "Artic Air" was first on the line-up. WOW. What's another word for boring?

(drear, dreary, dry, dull, humdrum, irksome, monotonous, stuffy, tedious, tiresome, uninteresting, weariful, wearisome, weary...think that just about covers it)

Next up was "Mr.D" and thank god we ended the night on a good note. We watched the pilot episode and it was hilarious!! Like, LOL'ing funny! Can it be? Has Canada finally produced another comedy show worth watching since...since...since...(you get it).

After the one episode we were hooked, and wanted to learn more about the actor who plays Mr. D, Gerry Dee. We stumbled upon this youtube video of his stand-up, and this one in particular struck a chord with us...

Bahahaha! Couldn't be more true. We're fairly certain that our neighbours a few houses down, an old Italian couple in their 80's, still don't know ours name despite numerous conversation and gift exchanges... and think I'm native.

Now, if you wouldn't mind, we're gonna go fo coff now :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Showing some Blog Love

Torontonians have got a lot to say. Everything from food, fashion, and tech, we often find that the best info we can find on the city are from locals who take the time to write 'em up. Thought we'd share a few of our faves in our first round of Blog Love!

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. To accept the award, you must post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted you the award, and a link to their blog.
2. Pass the award on to approximately 5-10 other blogs that you recently discovered, and think are great!
3. Contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

In no particular order, here is the list of whom we're passing on to:

Sanagan's Meat Locker
If you love meat, you'll love this blog. Created by Peter Sanagan, who owns the Kensington Market butcher shop of the same name, this blog features product info and recipes using Ontario meat and poultry.

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century
Who knew Toronto had a famous accordian player? We first discovered Joey DeVilla one night at the Rivoli's Sunday night Kickass Karaoke, where he showed off his talents on stage. You can continue to follow his adventures on his blog and find out where he'll pop up next.

Gracious, Good
Written by fellow west ender (and friend), Rhonda Riche; she'll give you the scoop on all the latest trends and vintage finds.

Tasting Toronto
Check out their detailed reviews on Toronto resturants. The photos are enough to make you salivate. Mmmmmmmmm.....

Polish on Digital Paper
Anyone who can take care of a baby and do up killer nails gets an A for awesome in our books.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Love in the West End

Check out this awesome video, created by the owners of TYPE Books, a west end boutique bookstore with locations at Spadina and Queen (the video was produced at the Queen location). And anyone who knows us from The Office Bride blog, knows how much we love a good book :)

Monday, January 9, 2012


Last night we decided to try out one of the recipes from Bride and Groom: First & Forever Cookbook, a wedding gift from our friends. Admittedly, this was our first time using the book (Hey! We had a shoe box of a kitchen in our old apartment, and it's been a busy few months in the new digs - get off our backs!), so we opted for one of the classic recipes - lasagna, mmmmmmm.

While Matt prept the meat (ground beef and crumbled italian sausage), I mixed the cheese (ricotta, cream cheese, and fresh parmesan from Tre Mari Bakery on St. Clair).

And then we put it all together to get this:

Pair that with a bottle of Jackson Trigg's Cab, and we got this:

Perfect meal to beat the winter blues!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Spirals in The Junction

Last Monday we took a walk through the Junction to explore (which translates into "to shop frivolously"). We passed by an art store called Articulations and decided to have a peek inside. Check out the exhibit they had on display!

Love how they made use of the space as both a store and a gallery! The store had a really welcoming feel and we ended up buying a small mannequin for sketching. The owners were really friendly and told us a bit about their open studio space and workshops and invited us to check one out in the future. This one sounded like a lot of fun:

Sunday January 22nd 3-6pm
(PWYC Suggested $5)
Come get your craft on at Crafternoon! This is how it works: You bring a project to work on and we’ll provide a few extra bits and pieces to keep you inspired. Find out how awesome it is to make things in the company of other crafty pals. Cookies & Tea included!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Crafty in Corso

Our first Christmas in Corso was a whirlwind of a month full of parties, good food and bottomless drinks :)

It also meant that we had to be smart with our budget and not to go overboard. Thank goodness, we embraced the life of crafting this season and ended up with some great gifts that were personal and easy on the wallets :)

Our first project was homemade ornaments for a family Kris Kringle Ornament exchange. A visit to our local Dollarama gave us plenty of options for materials. We walked in without any ideas and came out with these:

I made glitteriffic dumbbells for my sister-in-law, who is an athletic outdoors machine who also loves fashion.

Matt made an ornament for his other sister depicting a scene of a Christmas tree faling on his mom, lol. True story. Everyone laughed for a good couple of minutes when that was unwrapped on Christmas day.

For our parents, we took a page from one of my favourite blogs, The Art Of Doing Stuff. We visited our favourite local shops in Corso Italia and put together a food gift pack with pasta, rosemary infused olive oil, mini Panetonne, waffle cookies, and paired it with our favourite bottle of Sangiovese.

Cat not included...

And finally, the piece de resistance. Our Canadian inspired guest room was missing bedside tables. But not wanting to buy new furniture, I needed a crafty alternative that would be functional and cheeeeap. So, when I found some Hudson Bay popcorn tins on sale, I turned this:

...into this:

Doesn't get anymore Canadian than that! The popcorn tins were on sale, but I had a giftcard, so they were "free." The legs came from Ikea and cost $20 for a pack of four. They were easy to drill into the tin (I only used three), but I had to be careful not to drill right through otherwise the nail wouldn't catch. If I wasn't lazy, I could have added a piece of wood in the inside of the can for extra reinforcement, but the legs seem really stable without that.

Not too bad for our first crafty Christmas in Corso :)