C’est l’Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!  Although I was out of the country for all the parties this weekend, that hasn’t stopped me from getting into the Halloween spirit in time for the big night.  My parents brought us a huge pumpkin before we went away and Jason got to work hollowing it out on Monday.  Monday night we had pumpkin soup and yesterday we carved the big guy (please reserve your judgment – I was working around a big rotting space on the prime carving surface), roasted the seeds and made a pumpkin loaf.  There were still loads of guts left over, so we threw them into a smoothie this morning.

If you’re curious, our smoothie experiment yielded some pretty delicious results.  You’ll have to experiment with the quantities, but we tossed a big handful of pumpkin into a blender with a few chopped dates, a banana, some soy milk, a touch of vanilla and some cinnamon.  It was oddly reminiscent of egg nog and totally delicious.

Tonight we’re having a few friends over to watch scary movies and relive one of Jason’s childhood traditions:  a pre trick or treating scario feast.  The last two years we haven’t been able to find proper scarios, so we’ve settled for the scooby doo crew.  I’m pretty sure there’s a ghost in there somewhere, and the saucy comfort factor is identical.

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Take a Listen: Nov / Dec Shows in Toronto

When I recently looked at a list of upcoming shows in Toronto, I was shocked to see that many are already sold out. I have no doubt that with school in session, the influx of students in the city is a big reason that tickets are harder to get our hands on. With this in mind, I thought I’d sift through some upcoming shows that still have tickets available. It’s getting frosty (or should I say WET?!), so grab a drink, get to your local music venue and check out some live music!

Grouplove – fun indie pop! I’ve yet to see them live, but I hear they put on a helluva live performance!

Phoenix – Monday, November 5th – $24.00

Yeasayer – With three albums under their belt, this band from Brooklyn play self-described psychedelic-pop. It’s rare that a true hipster band maintains longevity in the music scene past one big album, but these guys have done it. I’ve seen them live and they are solid. The venue recently moved from the Sound Academy to the Danforth Music Hall, which is  why this show can now appear on this short list  (don’t get me started on the Sound Academy…).

Danforth Music Hall – Friday November 9th – $24.00

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Go Visit: Copenhagen

I just got back from a wonderful but way too short visit to my brother in Copenhagen and am already plotting my return. The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen is both a modern metropolis and a well-preserved historical city.  There are countless amazing places to eat, drink and shop and enough site-seeing to keep you busy for weeks, yet the city still feels like a European oasis, with secret alleyways, pedestrian paths, colourful row houses and charming canals.

I fell in love with the city and wanted to share some of my favourite places and travel tips while it’s all still fresh in my jet-lagged brain.

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Never Too Early: Holiday Cosmetic Sets

As a beauty product junkie, we have entered into one of my favorite times of the year. Cosmetic companies everywhere package their best-selling products and special made-for-the-holidays lines together and price them way below full dollar value. You may wonder why I’m telling you about these holiday specials now. You see, people wait all year for these gift sets to come out, and some notoriously sell out within days. If you wait until you start your holiday shopping, you may be out of luck!  In fact, Sephora just stocked their sets last week and the Eaton Centre location is already sold out of a couple of them.

My biggest piece of advice for those looking to invest in great cosmetics is to start with good brushes. They last forever, use less product and can really help with application. The caveat is that buying a brush set is an expensive investment. Every year MAC comes out with a brush set during the holidays and they are priced well below the value of buying the brushes individually. This year there are 3 different sets, but to start your collection, this “Essentials” kit ($59.50) is perfect, since it includes a powder brush (for bronzer/blush), and the most important eye shadow brushes (for liner, blending and angled for the smoky look). Plus they come in a cute case and in mint green!

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Colouring Books for Grown Ups

Although I’ve long been a sucker for pretty stationary and writing utensils, nothing gives me quite as much pleasure as cracking open a new package of crayons or coloured pencils.  Remember those giant three level Crayola boxes with the sharpener in the back?  The fancy 60 packs of Laurentian pencil crayons that flipped open to create their own stand?  LOVE.  To this day, my favourite part of signing up for an art class is checking off the items on the supply list.  Last year someone gifted Robyn this amazing Indie Rock Colouring Book.

One night after a couple glasses of wine at Robyn’s place we busted out the crayons and went to town.  I’m not sure why we’re not still doing this all the time, but the memory (and the discovery of #1, below) inspired me to put together a list of my favourite grown up colouring books.  Go ahead and splurge on the Crayolas – you know you want to.

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