Birthday 2013

I know I know, my birthday was months ago (Dec 2013) but I had meant to post about my birthday.

Back in April 2013, during a book club meeting, I mentioned to my friends that I wanted a scavenger hunt birthday party! I had meant it to be like the way they did it in Parks and Recreation. Clever little clues to kinda test our friendship. But my friends decided it was more fun to do one where I get to humiliate myself in public.

They had a clue sent to my phone in the morning and I had to find the first clue (yes, a clue to find the actual first clue) at my place. The day before, Amanda came over and kicked BP and I out while she hid things. So the first clue was hidden with all these papers on my desk. TOOK ME OVER..FOREVER to find it!!!

The first clue led me to this dirt area near this cinema where I live. Apparently they had hidden these popsicle sticks in the ground and I had to find the ones with positive messages like “Yay”. Once I found those, I had to dig and I will get a puzzle piece. They forgotten to mention that I had to go to the concierge and get a shovel. Yes, a shovel. (which was actually a barbeque cleaner btw)

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Completed part of the puzzle which led me to the next clue. I had to go buy these things and apparently pose with four different people… And this was about the time I realized that it was more a humiliate-Anndrea scavenger hunt than what I wanted.

Insert other tiring activities I had to do which includes more digging, looking for cat toys (btw they had not anticipated that cat toy to be at 3 different places in the store…), going to a bookstore and looking for erotica.

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They had me order a drink at Starbucks and had me tell the barista to write down OMG SEXI LEXI. I think my friends and I have different thresholds of embarrassing.

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Finished the puzzle with BP’s help!! We finished this in an senior center… or something.

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Oh, they sent me to Metro to buy condoms, a cucumber, lube and that’s supposed to embarrass me…

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When I got home, it wasn’t done. There was this box waiting for me where I had to put on some sash, some glasses that sad fuk u fuk me (why) and I had some scepter too! And I had to go to the restaurant wearing all this. Actually this part wasn’t so much embarrassing but uncomfortable.

There at the restaurant, my group of friends were waiting for me!

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While it may have sounded like I had a terrible time – okay, I may not have enjoyed doing all those things in the cold – I must say that I am touched and really grateful that all my friends worked together and went through the trouble of planning this birthday party for me. Love you guys.

The Glory Hole

My friends and I spent our Saturday afternoon at the Glory Hole which by the way is not something dirty but in fact a doughnut shop in Parkdale.

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When we arrived, there were no doughnuts available. They were actually making their fourth (and last) batch of the day. The wait time was about 45 minutes and we had been given a number to indicate our place in line to order the doughnuts.

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Here is their menu! They are unable to customize your doughnut but you’re free to add bacon to your doughnut for $1.

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Just a random picture that I had to include in this post because it was cute.

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While waiting, we sat at the counter which had 3 stools. They had a guestbook and people doodled over it. It was a great way to pass your time while you wait impatiently for your doughnuts to come out. So the girls and I decided to write a little story. You can read it here: Gloryhole. Hopefully another group of people try to continue our story about Mandy and her trek to the Land of Happiness. Haha!

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You may enjoy your doughnuts with organic Fair Trade Coffee.

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Or tea! (even better)

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Finally, the doughnuts came out but we were 15th in line! Look at the glorious Elvis doughnut. I couldn’t eat it for several reasons: 1) Bacon, 2) it was covered in peanut butter, 3) they were gone by the time we got to order… So if you do get a chance to try it, let me know! I really wanted the marshmallow. I think their double chocolate smores were also sold out by then.

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We order half a dozen doughnuts: (from top left, clockwise) Pretzel, Cinnamon sugar, Banana cream pie, Beer, Butter and toast, and Cookies and cream. It came to $20.

All my friends picked the Butter and toast as their favourite, while I would have to say that the Beer doughnut was the best. I love nuts! We also enjoyed the cinnamon sugar. However, we all agreed that the Pretzel was our least favourite. It was all too normal! By the time we finished the fifth doughnut, we had absolutely no room for the Banana Cream Pie.

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Good bye Banana Cream Pie.

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This post would be incomplete without this picture of my friend’s finger in a hole. (Beer doughnut)

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It was definitely worth a trek to Parkdale! Make sure to try one of their specials and let me know how your visit went. Make sure you arrive early! There were several people who came later in the afternoon who had to leave Glory Hole Doughnuts empty handed. šŸ™

Glory Hole Doughnuts
1596 Queen St. West, Toronto
Website
twitter: @gholedoughnuts

Hola (On cruise ships and hiking…)

I got back from my cruise trip on the Jewel of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) to Costa Maya and Cozumel a while ago but just never got the chance to blog. Prior to my trip I was extremely upset because I got a stye (some eyelid infection). FML! I couldn’t wear make up for a few days. I didn’t want to show my face to the outside world! It persisted until day 3 of my trip?

Anyway, blablabla (insert airport fiasco that I don’t really care to talk about because there’s a dedicated post over at my bff’s blog).

So the ship was bigger than I expected. And it was far nicer than I thought it would be. I mean, I heard what people have told me and what I’ve read on reviews so I was a bit apprehensive about the cabins, the carpeting, the quality of stuff etc etc.

Here is my green suitcase full of clothes and .. well Duffy clothes as well! I am definitely not one of those light packers. I try and get everything into the suitcase so my hand carry bag is just my passport, food, and Duffy. This time i packed a bunch of magazines too. In the end, I was too tired to read any of the magazines. I have read 3 out of the 6 I brought along. Two of which, I read in the airport before take off. And 1, I read at home just a few days ago. Mr. S and I, however, did spend a good amount of time on the crosswords, kenken, and logic activity booklet I made before we went. (There even was a colouring book section and I also bought crayons).

First off – here are pictures of the cruise.

There are 13 floors on this ship!


You had the option to eat at different places on the ship. Here is the main dining room where we usually have dinner. This picture was taken after breakfast.


The pool deck on the 11th floor. This is where the outdoor pool is and the hot tubs. There’s also another pool indoors for adults only, and a kiddie pool on the 12th floor). Oh P.S. If you are afraid of heights, going that high up in the darkness is not a great idea… It was windy when Mr.S and I went on the 13th floor – outside deck. I was pretty freaked out.

So there are a lot of things to do on the cruise. If I may say so – a lot more than a resort. Well mostly because we’d rather bask in the sun on the beach for the most part. Anyway, one of the days, they had a cake decorating thing.

One instructor, one guy who is a pro, one is a staff member who is not a pro, and an audience member.


I mean, it’s not what I expected. I expected fondant and whatever but I love me some Black Forest cake!


One of the things that is common with resorts or in this case, cruises are towel animals. Some fun hotels do it too but let me tell you, the Hilton does not. Lol.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me – ready for Tropical night! Yep, the cruise has theme nights for dinner! Fun!

Tell me, what do you do to keep yourself company on the plane? What items do you always have to pack?

šŸ™‚

Amazing birthday weekend! Part I | A tale of failed bbqs and the art of macaronnage :)

Amazing bday weekend trumps a Catalina Island complaint post so …. yeah!

Dec 2nd | Okay, so it’s not part of my birthday weekend but it’s part of the weekend that my birthday falls under so… We went to dinner to Swish by Han on Wellington. I DO NOT recommend going there. Lol. I mean I dislike fusion restaurants, and not too keen on korean food to begin with. BUT I thought because it’s fusion korean, it should fix it. I poured through their limited menu a few times before going there. Anyway, first complaint, dude greeted me with whats up! I don’t like that. LOL. Next, refused to accept my Open Table cert. Okay so I didn’t call ahead to tell you, but I made a reservation. What’s the big deal? It’s cash-value. It’s not like I’m giving you some discount thing or whatever. (Plus the cheque said the restaurant had to honour it) And why do they need to know in advance? Does that mean they’re giving us lesser quality food? I understand if it’s a prix-fixe thing and whatnot but this is regular meal and the Open Table cert./cheque is like cash. WTF! What upset me was his attitude when he declined it and did not apologize. APOLOGIZE TO ME! Anyway, seafood crepes were not up to standard. I can get this for cheaper somewhere else and it will satisfy me. Where’s the seafood crepe sauce btw? Next, the main was like some bbq table set (“galbi” or so I said to the server) that comes with apps and whatnot. I got the apps but what about the whatnot or my wantnots. I was expecting tofu stew, and some other set. I wasn’t able to complain at that time since I did not remember it came with those things (til reviewing the menu at home after I was fuming). So no tofu stew for Anndie and Mr.S. Okay, so we wouldn’t have eaten it BUT the fact of the matter is – it did not come. Furthermore, the “galbi” was square little pieces of meat. Wasn’t super tender, nor was the marinate to die for… so I don’t see the price = quality. It’s like price > quality. The bill was $61 (tax and tip included, I guess) for 1 app, 1 main, and 1 drink (which is 3 shots). We normally get 3 rolls, and 2 orders of sashimi for less than that and we would be like stuffed by then. Craving meat? Go to the Korean Grill house (many locations) for $14.99/pp + tax & tip instead. Or if you don’t want to cook your food, go to Copacabana on Eglinton for $40/pp + tax & tip.

Dec 3 | After our 10 hour sleep (we woke for an hour to eat some snack), I woke up got ready and cleaned the condo. So Mr.S did most of the cleaning but I did some stuff too ya know. For example, I hid the basket of clothes in the laundry room… among other things… My bff, Yuki came over with her DBF, YC (dear boyfriend for those who are not in the know lol). YC brought over a big present! The sheets from Potter Barn. Love! <3 And to add to that love, they brought over a cake. (pic later). We rushed out to the streetcar stop and headed to Le Dolci. We would’ve gotten there earlier had we gone on the earlier streetcar (whatever nbd), and had I not just stood there looking at my phone. I mean, I really should trust my instincts. We were right in front of the place, I just didn’t see the address to confirm my instincts. First impression – what a freaking beautiful lobby!!!!!! Second thing – we were late OMFG! Lol..


Beautiful lobby. Why can’t our condo do that? I mean … they probably spent so much money on those garbage paintings. (There was a painting I was eyeing on Galerie Christin the other day and found out it costs $5500 … so I assume they’re mostly around that price range). Seriously!


My bff, Yuki, and I. <3
Amanda and I <3
Tis me, measuring icing sugar on the electric scale. Buy me one? It’s $10 at Canadian Tire. šŸ™‚


We’re all taking turns with the measuring!


First appearance of Mr.S and YC for this post! Woop. Some more measuring involved… hahaa


Random yummy pics – but of course those are on display and not for eating.

So we did two macarons. One is pumpkin and one is a mint chocolate. I have not tasted them yet… I am quite scared LOL. Anyway, we got to do the piping of the macarons. (Learned the proper technique) Plus, we also did the piping of the filling. I’m disappointed it wasn’t as hands on as I thought but I should’ve gotten that from the fact that it was only 2 hours. And there was the issue about the oven malfunctioning. It was losing heat. I can tell it really frazzled the instructor. From her sweet personality, you can see hints of OMFGIAMSOANNOYEDWITHTHISRN peaking out.


Mint chocolate!


The right macaron size? Haha. Actually, this may be a little too tiny.

Nevertheless, I had loads of fun. I’ll continue this tomorrow with stories from the evening and the actual birthday. Wheee.