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Thursday, July 30, 2015

BuskerFest 2015

By: Lisa Ng

One of the best street performance festivals in Canada is BACK as BuskerFest returns to Yonge Street in Downtown Toronto. The annual sumer street festival raises money for Epilepsy Toronto and is North America's largest Street Performer Festival! 

Expect to see slapstick comedy, magicians, circus performers, musicians, clows, puppets and more! Over 170 acts from around the world will be featured at BuskerFest, 70 of them will be from Canada. Admission is pay-what-you-can and is a donation to Epilepsy Toronto.

Festival Dates + Times for BuskerFest 2015:

Thursday August 27th + Friday August 28th from 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Saturday August 29th from 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sunday August 30th from 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

To learn more visit:

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Cards That Give Back

By: Lisa Ng

Are you tired of having to buy a birthday, wedding or celebration card every time an event rolls around? I'm WITH you. I'm tired of throwing down $6 on a fancy card and having to remember to grab one at the drugstore at the absolute last-minute. One of the BEST things I've ever done is to buy all of my cards at once, while giving back at the same time.
I was shopping for a birthday card for Paul awhile back and I came across the most amazing company thanks to a little gift shop in Park City, Utah. Sanctuary Spring is a Fair-Trade greeting card company based out of San Francisco that provides women who were trapped or forced into prostitution in the Phillippines to earn a strong wage making these cool cards. I wanted to shed a little light on this company because I truly love what they are doing.
The cards run about $5/each and if you order $25 or more, shipping to Canada or the USA is free! So go on a feel-good buying spree. I will definitely be ordering my cards for the WHOLE year again – which means Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Wedding and Birthday cards to stash away into my office drawer. That way, I’m fully stocked and I’ve given back in some way at the same time.

The cards are handmade and very clever. The cardstock is also high quality and the cards are Fair Trade. Each card is signed personally on the back by the cardmaker and you can go online and read her story. This is such a brilliant idea. It’s great that something so small can make such a difference to someone on the other side of the world. Check it out for yourself!

Sanctuary Spring

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Living On The Edge

By Wendy Kam Marcy

I developed a fear of heights when I almost fell over a cliff while trekking in Northern Thailand. That was a decade ago and since then I've been vertically challenged. So when I was invited to take a walk on the wild side and do the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower, I felt my nerves jiggle and cry but I knew that the best way to overcome my fear of heights was a full on immersion.

Did you know that EdgeWalk is the Guinness World Record-holding “World’s Highest External Walk on a Building”?!?!

Needless to say that from 356 metres (116 storeys!) high, I had the best view of the city. From this vantage point, I could see my 36 storey condo which resembled more of a Lego piece. The Porter planes taking off and descending from Billy Bishop Airport looked like mozzys I could have easily swatted, had I leaned over far enough... or maybe not.

The pressure was on as each of us (hesitantly) took turns leaning backwards, dangling, posing like superman/woman and putting our "toes over Toronto". To be honest, after you take those first few steps out, it's not as threatening as it looks.

The 1.5-metre-wide platform is almost as wide as a sidewalk. There was also multiple check points were our harnesses and equipment was checked once, twice, five times to make sure we were safely secured.

So what does this all have to do with cars?

Well Ford Canada just released their all-new 2015 Edge so the theme of the day was all about "living on the edge".

Monday, July 20, 2015

I'm Heading to Napa + Sonoma!

By: Lisa Ng

Hi Everyone! I am Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco-bound this week and beyond overdue for a break from work. Paul and I will be driving from Los Angeles to this Petaluma KOA Kampground for a fun and crazy glamping adventure. So camping really isn't my thing. But glamping truly is a whole other story - here are a few of my favourite glaming escapes. So what is glamourous camping AKA glamping going to look like?

The Deluxe Cabin that we've rented includes a queen-size bed, mini-fridge, cooktop, oven and our own private bathroom. I am BEYOND excited to see what this adventure will end up being all about it. Our 'campsite' also comes with a fire pit so we can lounge around outside. We are about 30 minutes away from Napa + Sonoma and plan on using Petaluma as our home base for getting around.

After wine country, we will be heading SF for a few days to explore the city and see Third Eye Blind (hello 90s throwback)! Do you have any suggestions to eat, see or do in Napa, Sonoma or San Francisco? Please do tweet me!

Follow along on my adventures on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay + on Twitter @helloLisaNg. I'll be sharing lots of updates and photos from my trip.

See you in Napa!

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Beaches International Jazz Festival

By: Lisa Ng

Looking for weekend plans?

The 27th Beaches International Jazz Festival is on NOW until July 26th with a couple key marquee events that we are looking forward to! The fest will feature multiple stages and events, and gourmet food trucks in this cute little lakeside neighbourhood. The best part? All performances are free!

Head to Woodbine Park on the weekend with a blanket and a picnic and enjoy performances on the Main Stage. The Taste of Jazz will also be running on Tuesday July 21 and Wednesday July 22 with live music and food trucks!

StreetFest is one of my favourite events with a host of bands from Thursday July 23 to Saturday July 25 on street corners and rooftops on Queen Street East between Woodbine and Beech Avenues. Take the transit for this one - trust me.

To see the full line-up and more festival info, visit

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Food & Drink Festivals 2015

By Wendy Kam Marcy

It's all about the food, food, food! And Toronto definitely has no shortage of talented chefs. So celebrate summer and get ready to eat your heart out at these upcoming Food & Drink Festivals...

#YouAreWelcome Food Truck

Serving traditional Aboriginal cuisine with a modern twist, don't miss out on these delicious dishes created by Chef David Wolfman. Stationed throughout the city in King West, Queens Quay, Queen East, Trinity Bellwoods Park and Christie Pits, follow #YouAreWelcome on Twitter for daily location updates.

Toronto Food Truck Festival
August 1-2 | Woodbine Park

Take a stroll through a beautiful green park and sample farm fresh food and organic beers. Browse through the Marketplace for unique finds from local artisans while enjoying live entertainment. This is a family-friendly event - your kiddies will love the children's village!

Vegan Food and Drink Festival
August 8 | Fort York

Finally a festival dedicated to vegetarian and vegan foodies! Indulge in delicious meatless and dairy-free comfort foods, craft brews, wine and spirits. This inaugural festival is being presented by Ecorazzi, a leading blog focused on humanitarian issues, environmental causes and healthy living trends.

T&T Waterfront Night Market
August 14-16 | 222 Cherry Street

Enjoy an exciting outdoor culinary experience featuring an enticing selection of Asian theme ‘street food’ and merchandise for an all-out night market experience.

Sweetery Food Festival

August 15-16 | Front & Portland

Satisfy your sweet tooth at this inaugural event that brings together sweet things and sweet people. Sample culinary delights and distinctive award-winning treats as you partake in interactive fun activities that will benefit the SickKids Foundation.

Hot and Spicy Food Festival
September 4-7 | Harbourfront

In it's 18th year, this festival celebrates all things spicy! Highlights include 10 for the Next Gen: Things That Makes You Sweat, Spicy Secrets of Vikram Vij and Hot & Spicy Arsenals.

Ontario Food Truck Festival
September 27 | Downsview Park

Eat like a Foodstar for one fun filled day as you experience 30+ of Ontario's most mouthgasmic food truck creations!

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Cheap + Cheerful Things for Your Home

By: Lisa Ng

Trying to add a little fun to your home without spending a ton?

I moved to Los Angeles two years ago with four suitcases, my pots and pans and drove across the country in my hatchback. I sold almost everything I owned and was slowly rebuilding again while adding a big of a fun personality. Budget was definitely important! 
So here are 5 cheap + cheerful items I've come across for my home:

1) Moustache Mugs ($1) 

I Spotted these cute and quirky Moustache Mugs at the dollar store for – $1! They make me smile every time I open the cupboard. The mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe. So if you’re thinking of getting yourself a set, check your local Dollarama or order them online. They might be a bit more than a dollar elsewhere, but they should still be fairly inexpensive.

2) Laundry Hedgehogs ($6)

I came across these adorable and useful Laundry Dryer Hedgehogs for six bucks! You pop them in your dryer to detangle your laundry, so your clothes dry faster, there’s less static cling and you save money and energy with these Kikkerland hedgehogs. I’ve seen other dryer balls retail for over $20, so this was a total find! Anyhooo couldn’t keep this gem to myself. 

Carpe Shuck Em: #Oysterfest

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Join 1000 Oyster enthusiasts for a shuckin' good time at the 27th annual Ontario Oyster Festival on Sunday, July 19!

This year #oysterfest pays tribute to Ancient Romans and their luv of #oysters. So be prepared to indulge in oysters, clams, lobsters and craft beer + wine as you watch Ontario's best Oyster shuckers in action.

Hosted by Rodney's Oyster House, there will also be music from Piece o' the Rock, DJ Soulcial and Ride the Tiger to close out the night.

Tickets are $35 and all proceeds go toward supporting Environmental Defence, Canada's most effective environmental action charity.

We got a chance to shuck with the best. Eamon Clark is the son of Rodney and he was part of the team of shucklers who set a Guniness Book world record of the most oysters opened in one hour - 8840 to be precise!

Shucking is much harder than it looks so here are some tips + tricks from Eamon on how to shuck an oyster:

  1. Before opening, scrub oyster with a stiff brush under cold running water to rinse off the sand.
  2. Place oyster, cup side down (deeper shell), on your board with the hinge end away from you. Insert the point of the knife between the two shells approx one inch from the hinge. With a twisting motion, ease the blade inside and this will open the hinge.
  3. Run the knife across the top shell, away from the hinge, to sever the muscle. Top shell should come off easily.
  4. Turn the botton shell so that the hinge end is facing you then slide the knife under the oyster to cut the muscle bottom. Clean any small shell pieces or grit and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summerlicious 2015

By: Lisa Ng

If you haven't booked into Summerlicious yet, there's still time to get tasting as the prix-fixe restaurant event runs from July 3 - 26, 2016. It's a great excuse to check out some of the city’s finest restaurants with a three course, prix-fixe menu for lunch or dinner. 

Over 200 restaurants are participating and the menus include a starter, main course and dessert. Prices range from $15 to $45. Need a last minute booking? Hit up the Summerlicious site and check out day-of availability posted by each restaurant. Lunches tend to be less busy as are weekdays.

So go on and make a date out of it!

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Slide the City

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Embrace your inner child and get ready for the slide of your life!

Slide the City has been traveling all over US and Canada and is finally bringing the biggest water party of the summer to Toronto on the weekend of July 18-19.

So call your besties, grab your swimsuits and get ready to speed down this 1000ft slick vinyl slide. To put it in perspective, that is 3 football fields!

There will also be music, dancing, food, drinks, and swag for sale so you can soak up the sun in style.

Tickets start at $30 and are very limited so click here and get yours now.

The mission behind Slide the City is to raise awareness for water conservation, promote this valuable resource, and provide clean water in communities all over the world.