Friday Night at the ROM

Friday Night Live at the ROM FNLDrinks. Dancing. Dinosaurs. That’s what you can expect at Friday Night Live at the ROM. A few of my friends decided to go last summer and we LOVED LOVED LOVED it! If you’re looking for a fun, unique place to go in Toronto on a Friday night, I’d highly recommend it. They are holding these events every Friday until Dec 6. Tickets are $12 dollars, or $10 if you have a student card. Here are a few tips that we learned from last year. 

Tips for Friday Night Live at the ROM

  • Although you can drink on the different floors, you can’t carry your drink from one floor to the next due to restrictions in their alcohol permit. I learned this the hard way when I bought 2 beers at the bar on the main floor and wanted to go up to meet my friends on the second. I was left with the decision to abandon my drinks… or quickly in a very non-classy way, quickly double fist/chug my drinks at the bottom of the stairs… **EDIT** apparently you can bring your drinks on the stairs now! 
  • You have to buy drink tickets, and then use those tickets to buy drinks. So don’t waste your time waiting at the bar if you don’t already have tickets, only to get to the front to find out that they will not take your money.
  • It might be different this year, but last year the last call was pretty early. I think it was at 11pm, and then the event ends at midnight. You’ll want to get in line before 11 though since people will be frantically lining up, trying to use up the last of their drink tickets.
  • The main floor bar is really busy! If you’re planning on going to the other floors anyways, I’d recommend just ordering your drinks up there where it’s not as crazy.
  • Get their early! Doors open at 7. The lines are LONG. REALLY LONG! I think we went around 9:30 and had to wait in line for 45 mins.

Overall it was a really fun experience so grab a couple of your friends for a fun night dancing with the dinosaurs.

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Oliver & Bonacini: Canoe

So a couple years back when I had just moved to Toronto, and barely able to keep my bank account out of the red, we’d always joke about going to eat at Canoe. Only because with my negative bank account, I pretty much survived off of instant noodles so spending a weeks’ worth of food budget on a single meal at Canoe was never even a real option.

Four years later (OG has it been that long?!), I’m lucky enough to have a stable job, and have paid off my student debt. I can’t say I’ve given up instant noodles entirely (who am I kidding? It’s my go to hangover food), but I have increased my food budget ever so slightly. Even still, I’ve never been to canoe.

So one night, the bf called and told me to put on something nice, because he made reservations for us at Canoe for our anniversary. When he came to pick me up, there were dresses everywhere, and my grumpy butt sitting there frustrated that the 12 extra pounds I now carry around has somehow made almost every single dress I own to no longer fit. I’m convinced that somehow, everything I own has shrunk.. I mean.. with the humidity.. and the summer heat… that’s possible right? Right?

Anyways, I finally settled on a loose backless dress and off we went.

We started off with a half order of the canoe raw bar that included oysters, juicy prawns, smoked salmon, two different kinds of ceviche, plus poached lobster salad. OMG. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good. For $35 dollars, it was a great appetizer plate to share.

CanoeRawBar

To drink, we had a gin fizz (gin, lemon, sugar, egg white & soda), and a few glasses of red wine (Delaforce Touriga Nacional Douro Valley from Portugal). The bf was a little clueless about how to smell and taste the wine so our wonderful server gave us a mini lesson.

My entrée was mackerel and ridiculously buttery melt in your mouth lobster on top of buttered turnips, algonquin grits, and spinach. It was so rich and although it didn’t look like a lot of food, left me feeling quite satisfied.

me

The bf got alberta lamb which came in 3 different cuts. Also really yummy but didn’t even come close to how amazing my dish was.

Though the desserts looked delicious, I was too stuffed from the appetizer and entree so I decided to pass. To finish off the meal, our server brought over this little surprise. Look at how cute this is!
anniverary

The whole dinner was amazing. Our server was wonderful and gave us just the right amount of attention. He made wonderful recommendations and really added to the whole experience.

I’m now determined to save my pennies so I can splurge on nice meals like this more often!

Oliver & Bonacini: Canoe

So a couple years back when I had just moved to Toronto, and barely able to keep my bank account out of the red, we’d always joke about going to eat at Canoe. Only because with my negative bank account, I pretty much survived off of instant noodles so spending a weeks’ worth of food budget on a single meal at Canoe was never even a real option.

Four years later (OG has it been that long?!), I’m lucky enough to have a stable job, and have paid off my student debt. I can’t say I’ve given up instant noodles entirely (who am I kidding? It’s my go to hangover food), but I have increased my food budget ever so slightly. Even still, I’ve never been to canoe.

So one night, the bf called and told me to put on something nice, because he made reservations for us at Canoe for our anniversary. When he came to pick me up, there were dresses everywhere, and my grumpy butt sitting there frustrated that the 12 extra pounds I now carry around has somehow made almost every single dress I own to no longer fit. I’m convinced that somehow, everything I own has shrunk.. I mean.. with the humidity.. and the summer heat… that’s possible right? Right?

Anyways, I finally settled on a loose backless dress and off we went.

We started off with a half order of the canoe raw bar that included oysters, juicy prawns, smoked salmon, two different kinds of ceviche, plus poached lobster salad. OMG. SOOOOOOOOOOOO good. For $35 dollars, it was a great appetizer plate to share.

CanoeRawBar

To drink, we had a gin fizz (gin, lemon, sugar, egg white & soda), and a few glasses of red wine (Delaforce Touriga Nacional Douro Valley from Portugal). The bf was a little clueless about how to smell and taste the wine so our wonderful server gave us a mini lesson.

My entrée was mackerel and ridiculously buttery melt in your mouth lobster on top of buttered turnips, algonquin grits, and spinach. It was so rich and although it didn’t look like a lot of food, left me feeling quite satisfied.

me

The bf got alberta lamb which came in 3 different cuts. Also really yummy but didn’t even come close to how amazing my dish was.

Though the desserts looked delicious, I was too stuffed from the appetizer and entree so I decided to pass. To finish off the meal, our server brought over this little surprise. Look at how cute this is!
anniverary

The whole dinner was amazing. Our server was wonderful and gave us just the right amount of attention. He made wonderful recommendations and really added to the whole experience.

I’m now determined to save my pennies so I can splurge on nice meals like this more often!

Science North wedding

posterNgoc Nguyen SoundsLikeKnock at a wedding

This past weekend, I made the trek up to Sudbury, Ontario to celebrate yet another wedding. URG SUDBURY… why must you be sooo cold?!

Anyways, I think this might have been one of my favourite venues for a wedding, to date. It was held at Science North, and my inner science dork LOVED it. I mean, when else can you have cocktails while petting flying squirrels and making friends with Drifter the beaver and Quillan the porcupine?!  SoundsLikeKnock Ngoc Nguyen petting a flying squirrelbeaver

The dinner was held in the Cavern which gave a nice earthy, intimate yet fantasy kind of feel to the evening. The space holds up to 200 guests and can be rented out for only $1000! Compare this to around $5000 for the Science Centre in Toronto. Yikes!

IMG_7962small

cavern

I mean, where else can you celebrate a marriage surrounded by rocks, and airplanes!

Unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying the wedding that I didn’t think to take a lot of photos to show you guys just how fantastic this venue was.

If you’re considering Science North as a venue for your wedding, here are a few pros and cons that I noticed as a guest

Pros

  • really cool atmosphere that guests will remember
  • even with very little decorations, the space would still look really nice
  • cocktails with animals = awesome
  • hotels within walking distance for guests
  • cars can be left in the parking lot over night
  • giant screen that you can use for videos
  • the service was great

Cons

  • the only option for caterering is Curious Thymes (their salads and dessert were quite nice but the main entrees were hit and miss so pick your items carefully)
  • depending on the time of year, it does get a little chilly in the venue. I’d imagine it would be hard to keep the cavern heated

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Kathryn Condotta.

Science North
100 Ramsey Lake Rd., Ontario, Canada, P3E 5S9

705.522.3701 ext.: 343

www.sciencenorth.ca

Calgary, Alberta

You know that phase of your life where it feels like every single person you know is all googly eye’d and getting married? Well that’s exactly what my life feels like right now. I’ve been to about 14 weddings and counting, and yet every single one has managed to be different and has had so much of the couple’s personality in-twined into all the little details. So there I was, on a plane, heading to the Silver Tip in Canmore to watch one of the cutest couples in the world get married.

Check out a few of the adorable photos of their intimate mountain side wedding.

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Soundslikeknock first wedding dance photo

first wedding dance photography

Fun reception idea:

Instead of throwing the bouquet and garter, the couple asked all the single people to come on to the dance floor, and surprised us all with a shot to help get the party started.1267743_10100614953561157_50676252_o

Since we were already in Canmore, the next morning, we hopped over to Banff to take a quick dip in the hot springs. Lesson of the day: I do not like hot springs. I’m not sure why exactly but the springs made me feel incredibly nauseous. My heart rate started to increase and after 10 minutes, the whole experience was quite unpleasant. The view was beautiful but I probably wouldn’t do it again.

springs

After the springs, we made our way to Cross Zee ranch to saddle up. For $89/person, you get a two hour ride through the mountains.

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It was a relaxing experience. Though I had hoped there would be galloping or at least a light trot. None the less, it was fun and definitely something I’d recommend trying. After our two hour ride, I finally understand the term “walking like a cowboy”. Wow does it ever make your thighs and knees sore.

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The bf was insistent that I needed to have some Alberta beef so we headed to Rush in downtown Calgary for a nice evening out. We decided to share the chef’s cut, which was a 30 oz tomahawk. A tomahawk is a rib-eye cut with the bone still in tack. I don’t know how anyone in the world could possibly finish that plate on their own. It was extremely flavourful but I probably could have done with a smaller portion and larger sides.tomahawk alberta steak

Overall it was a wonderful 4 days spent relaxing, eating, and spending time with good friends.

J'adore Paris.

paris is always a good idea

Paris, je t’aime…

I’ve never been one to dream about Paris or have ever felt the need to go. But as soon as I stepped foot into this magical city, I was hooked.

After having a very difficult time booking trains from Amsterdamn into Paris, we finally arrived.. with absolutely no idea where we were going to stay. We bumped into a fellow Canuck at the train station who suggested a hostel near Monte Martre. Rach and I hopped on the metro (after almost being scammed) and made our way there only to find out that of course they were completely booked up. A little discouraged, we plopped ourselves right outside that hostel to “borrow” their wifi so we could find some kind of shelter before the sun set. Turns out, this hostel being booked up was the luckiest thing to happen to us in Europe. Because it was booked up, we ended up going to St. Christophers and meeting our all time favourite travellers.

The Hostel.

I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend St. Christopher’s if you’re looking for a social hostel where you can easily meet people. They have a great bar that fills up at night time with tons of friendly travelers. We had managed to get to the hostel after dinner and immediately met our new friend Alex who we instantly hit it off with over some cheap and delicious Parisian wine.

The bedrooms were clean and have cages underneath the bed for you to lock up your stuff. Careful though.. the hydrolics on ours were broken and out of no where, they can come slamming down at a ridiculous force. I laughed real hard when it happened to Rachel because with her clumsy nature, it was such a typical thing to have happen. But jokes on me because the next day, I had a nice bump on my head as evidence to show how easy it was to get knocked out by one. They also have paid lockers in their lobby so you can leave your bag there when you check out if you don’t plan on catching a train/plane until later in the day.

I opted to just hand wash my clothes in the sink and hang them in the hostel. If you’re much classier than I am and would like to not have your undies hanging out all over the place, there is a laundromat just a couple blocks down.

One of the things that I loved was how casual they were about bringing your own drinks and sitting at their bar. We would always just walk down the street to a convenience store, pick up a cheap bottle of delicious wine and have the bartender open it for us.

The food.

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Crepes, cheese, pastries, bread, and wine were the only things that went in my little belly. For a girl that doesn’t typically eat bread, I couldn’t get enough of it. The smells of freshly baked pastries as you walked by the shoppes were just intoxicating. If you want to stick close to the hostel, I’d recommend grabbing a bottle of wine from the nearby convenience store, some glasses and sit out on the canal and enjoy the fresh air.

There is a little crepe shop right by the hostel near Crimee station that is so fantastic. Most of the restaurants just north east of the hostel are catered to locals so the staff very rarely speak English. It was definitely at these restaurants that we had the most phenomenal meals though.

The sites

Walking tours. There are a few free walking tours in Paris. I can’t remember the one we went on exactly but it started at our hostel. These tours are a great way to meet other travellers and see many of the top sites in Paris. That’s where we met our super group, Jeff, Katie, Liam, and Alex who definitely made our Paris trip memorable.

eiffle tower

The Eiffle Tower. It was like being a movie. We opted to climb the stairs instead of waiting in the seriously long line to use the elevator lift. My fear of heights was a serious hindrance during the climb as you are very aware of your surroundings and how high you are.

IMG_8575 copyNotre dame. So nice! This was the first of the churches that we visited and it was definitely in the top of the list. We got there bright and early after our pub crawl because we heard they had free English tours. Unless you are very very very passionate about history and religion… I WOULD NOT GO ON THAT TOUR! Our super group was so excited when the tour started.. our tour guide started out by giving a very detailed description of this one area of the outside of the building… and 20 mins later when the lady was still describing the same area, I knew if I stayed for another minute, I’d fall asleep while standing. I glanced around and saw the pain in my other friend’s faces. Jeff caught my eye and without a word, we not so discretely slipped away to find some other adventures, abandoning our poor friends to this torture. I later found out that they only lasted another 30 minutes before they too could not take it anymore.

IMG_8682 copyThe Louvre. While our other friends stayed at the Notre Dame tour, Jeff and I made our way to the Louvre. We must have the best timing because there was absolutely no line to get in. I hate to admit it but I just don’t appreciate art as much as I should. Especially being a photographer. I’m not a huge fan of museums and definitely have the mentality that if you’ve seen one naked statue.. you’ve seen them all. Don’t hate me. Luckily for me, Jeff had a very similar mentality so we grabbed one of the booklets from the front that listed all the popular pieces and decided to hit up all the “top” exhibits in as little time as possible. To spice things up a bit, he suggested we play a game where we give the paintings new names. If there’s one thing I’m terrible at, it’s being creative on the spot. Jeff who is so quick came up with names that they had me in tears from laughing. I on the other hand had the imagination of a rock and felt serious anxiety every time it was my turn to name anything. All and all, one of the best museum visits of my life.

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Monte Martre. LOVE. This is the Paris that you see in the movies. We grabbed some baguettes and laid on the grassy hill and took in the sun. Note: there were a bunch of signs all over the grass that said something in French that I didn’t understand.. but I suspect it said something about staying off the grass…

smallmontemarteJeff Tosoian in Monte Martre

 

Jeff Tosoian in Monte Martre

Parc des Buttes Chaumont – GO TO THIS PARK! Preferably early in the morning. It was so beautiful and relaxing with the mist coming off of the lake, runners jogging past, and artists with their paints and canvasses. It was absolutely the perfect place to write in your journal. It may have been one of my favourite locations in all of Paris.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont, paris, france

I can’t say enough amazing things about Paris. The food, the friends and the sights made this city unforgettable.

J’adore Paris.

paris is always a good idea

Paris, je t’aime…

I’ve never been one to dream about Paris or have ever felt the need to go. But as soon as I stepped foot into this magical city, I was hooked.

After having a very difficult time booking trains from Amsterdamn into Paris, we finally arrived.. with absolutely no idea where we were going to stay. We bumped into a fellow Canuck at the train station who suggested a hostel near Monte Martre. Rach and I hopped on the metro (after almost being scammed) and made our way there only to find out that of course they were completely booked up. A little discouraged, we plopped ourselves right outside that hostel to “borrow” their wifi so we could find some kind of shelter before the sun set. Turns out, this hostel being booked up was the luckiest thing to happen to us in Europe. Because it was booked up, we ended up going to St. Christophers and meeting our all time favourite travellers.

The Hostel.

I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend St. Christopher’s if you’re looking for a social hostel where you can easily meet people. They have a great bar that fills up at night time with tons of friendly travelers. We had managed to get to the hostel after dinner and immediately met our new friend Alex who we instantly hit it off with over some cheap and delicious Parisian wine.

The bedrooms were clean and have cages underneath the bed for you to lock up your stuff. Careful though.. the hydrolics on ours were broken and out of no where, they can come slamming down at a ridiculous force. I laughed real hard when it happened to Rachel because with her clumsy nature, it was such a typical thing to have happen. But jokes on me because the next day, I had a nice bump on my head as evidence to show how easy it was to get knocked out by one. They also have paid lockers in their lobby so you can leave your bag there when you check out if you don’t plan on catching a train/plane until later in the day.

I opted to just hand wash my clothes in the sink and hang them in the hostel. If you’re much classier than I am and would like to not have your undies hanging out all over the place, there is a laundromat just a couple blocks down.

One of the things that I loved was how casual they were about bringing your own drinks and sitting at their bar. We would always just walk down the street to a convenience store, pick up a cheap bottle of delicious wine and have the bartender open it for us.

The food.

Raclette in Paris France

Crepes, cheese, pastries, bread, and wine were the only things that went in my little belly. For a girl that doesn’t typically eat bread, I couldn’t get enough of it. The smells of freshly baked pastries as you walked by the shoppes were just intoxicating. If you want to stick close to the hostel, I’d recommend grabbing a bottle of wine from the nearby convenience store, some glasses and sit out on the canal and enjoy the fresh air.

There is a little crepe shop right by the hostel near Crimee station that is so fantastic. Most of the restaurants just north east of the hostel are catered to locals so the staff very rarely speak English. It was definitely at these restaurants that we had the most phenomenal meals though.

 

The sites

Walking tours. There are a few free walking tours in Paris. I can’t remember the one we went on exactly but it started at our hostel. These tours are a great way to meet other travellers and see many of the top sites in Paris. That’s where we met our super group, Jeff, Katie, Liam, and Alex who definitely made our Paris trip memorable.

eiffle tower in paris france

The Eiffle Tower. It was like being a movie. We opted to climb the stairs instead of waiting in the seriously long line to use the elevator lift. My fear of heights was a serious hindrance during the climb as you are very aware of your surroundings and how high you are.

Notre Dame in Paris FranceNotre dame. So nice! This was the first of the churches that we visited and it was definitely in the top of the list. We got there bright and early after our pub crawl because we heard they had free English tours. Unless you are very very very passionate about history and religion… I WOULD NOT GO ON THAT TOUR! Our super group was so excited when the tour started.. our tour guide started out giving a very detailed description of this one area of the outside of the building… and 20 mins later when the lady was still describing the same area, I knew if I stayed for another minute, I’d fall asleep while standing. I glanced around and saw the pain in my other friend’s faces. Jeff caught my eye and without a word, we not so discretely slipped away to find some other adventures, abandoning our poor friends to this torture. I later found out that they only lasted another 30 minutes before they too could not take it anymore.

The Louvre. While our other friends stayed at the Notre Dame tour, Jeff and I made our way to the Louvre. We must have the best timing because there was absolutely no line to get in. I hate to admit it but I just don’t appreciate art as much as I should. Especially being a photographer. I’m not a huge fan of museums and definitely have the mentality that if you’ve seen one naked statue.. you’ve seen them all. Don’t hate me. Luckily for me, Jeff had a very similar mentality so we grabbed one of the booklets from the front that listed all the popular pieces and decided to hit up all the “top” exhibits in as little time as possible. To spice things up a bit, he suggested we play a game where we give the paintings new names. If there’s one thing I’m terrible at, it’s being creative on the spot. Jeff who is so quick came up with names that they had me in tears from laughing. I on the other hand had the imagination of a rock and felt serious anxiety every time it was my turn to name anything. All and all, one of the best museum visits of my life.

Painting at the Louvre - Sad Clown

No idea what this picture is actually titled.. but ‘sad clown’ is my sad attempt at renaming it..

Monte Martre in Paris, France

Monte Martre. LOVE. This is the Paris that you see in the movies. We grabbed some baguettes and laid on the grassy hill and took in the sun. Note: there were a bunch of signs all over the grass that said something in French that I didn’t understand.. but I suspect it said something about staying off the grass…

smallmontemarteJeff Tosoian in Monte Martre

Parc des Buttes Chaumont – GO TO THIS PARK! Preferably early in the morning. It was so beautiful and relaxing with the mist coming off of the lake, runners jogging past, and artists with their paints and canvasses. It was absolutely the perfect place to write in your journal. It may have been one of my favourite locations in all of Paris.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont, paris, france

I can’t say enough amazing things about Paris. The food, the friends and the sights made this city unforgettable.

Organ donation

After writing my post about the super hero party I threw a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d share a story about a real life hero.

chiMy uncle (pictured above) did something amazing this year that is definitely worthy of sharing. His dad had been sick and learned that his kidneys were functioning at a very low level and would need to go on dialysis until it was his turn on the transplant list.

My uncle, who married into the family only a few years ago, but whom I’ve known for as long as I can remember (he dated my aunt for 12 years before getting married!) has always been caring, selfless, and generous. He’s the owner of Academia Tutoring Services and has a passion for teaching and inspiring kids to learn and strive for success.

Well when he learned that his dad would have to go on dialysis,  he didn’t think twice before asking to get tested to see if he would be a match for a live kidney donation. What happened in the next 3 weeks was a complete whirlwind. Within 1 week of getting tested, they called and told him that he was a match, and that they could schedule him in for the surgery 10 days later. Only letting his wife, and his boss know, he quietly went about taking care of all the loose ends that would need to be taken care of before the surgery. Being the humble and thoughtful person that he is, he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and didn’t want to worry the whole family. The wonderful doctors at Toronto General did a great job and when I popped by to visit him after his surgery, even through the pain, he was in good spirits and was generously offering me a bite of his apparently “delicious” sugarless jello. 

His recovery took about 7 weeks where he had to be careful about over exerting himself, and avoid lifting heavy objects. But with some TLC from my aunt, he now he looks and functions as good as new! And his dad has also made a very quick recovery and is doing extremely well!

I can’t begin to say how much I admire what he did and can only hope that there is some serious good karma coming his way soon. If you haven’t thought about registering for Organ donation, I’d highly recommend at least reading into it and considering how your consent could potentially one day save up to 8 lives.

DIY Spray painting a picture frame

rachel spieceMy lovely friend Rachel celebrated her once in a lifetime champagne birthday last weekend. I knew I wanted to frame one of our travelling photos for her in a bright yellow (her fav colour) frame. After much searching, I quickly realized that bright yellow frames are ridiculously hard to find. Instead, my spray paint addicted roomie inspired me to go with the DIY approach.

DSCF3435 copyMaterials:

Picture frame – I picked up a 24×36 Umbra one from Blacks.

Spray paint – I just grabbed a can from Canadian tire. I used Rust-Oleum 2x cover and it worked out pretty well.

A hi-res photo – I decided to pick a photo I had taken of the Eiffle Tower in Paris that had Rach discretely in the corner. I then asked all of our favourite travel friends to send me messages for me to incorporate into the picture.

Garbage bags – to protect your flooring as the spray paint goes everywhere

Tape – to take your garbage bags down

How to spray paint a metal frame:

1. Tape down garbage bags. It’s best to do this outside where air can circulate as the fumes from the paint are toxic.

2. Take the backing and glass out of the frame. Just lay down the parts that you want painted.

3. You can use primer as a base, or sand down your frame slightly so that the paint will stick better

4. Read the instructions on the back of your can to know how far away you should be spraying

spraypaint picture frame

5. Let it dry and repeat if you want the colour to be more true, or if you noticed that you missed some spots.

TIPS

  • Avoid painting on a windy day. I had some issues with dirt and residue blowing around and sticking to my frame.
  • Avoid spraying to closely as the paint will go on very thick and will be more likely to drip down the frame.
  • Make sure you give yourself enough time for the frame to dry. I ended up having to wrap up a frame that was still a little ‘tacky’.  

The photo

I typically print my photos at Blacks, but it will usually take them 5-7 business days to print a large poster size. If you’re in a rush, most print shops that have printers on site are able to do it for you in a couple of hours. Note: Often they will charge you a service fee if you bring the file in on a USB/CD to print rather than uploading it yourself online.

Since I was using a photo from when we were in Paris together, I thought it woudl be fun to ask our friends that we met there to include little messages for her to personalize it a little bit.

paris poster gift idea

The finished product!

DIY spray paint picture frame travel poster

Of course I had to wrap it in bright yellow wrapping paper. 

IMG_6058 copy

My bestie LOVED the gift! Thanks to our awesome friends Jeff, Katie, Alex and Liam for helping me put a smile on her face!

DIY spray paint picture frame travel poster Ngoc Nguyen DIY spray paint picture frame travel poster

I also pulled out my trusty kitchenaid mixer to whip together some yellow cupcakes. Fun tip: Use a package of pudding mix to make the cake extra moist.

colourful cupcake wrappers

I love these brightly coloured cupcake wrappers.. however does anyone else notice that after baking.. they all turn into muddy ugly colours?

colourful cupcake wrappers

Best part about baking? Definitely licking the batter!

Ngoc Nguyen baking

I think I’m addicted to spray painting now and will definitely be making a few more big prints for my room. Thanks again to our Paris super group for helping me with this gift!!

Super hero scavenger hunt

Super hero themed party ideas Ngoc NguyenSome of you may remember the super hero party I threw last year for the bf’s birthday. It was a huge success so I had a few friends request that I throw another one. The best thing about already setting a precedence is that no one complained this year about my strict costumes mandatory rule. Instead, they all realized that the more outrageous the costume, the cooler everyone else thought you were. I was so pumped that people went all out on their costumes this year!

To spice things up a little bit, I kicked off the party with a photo scavenger hunt. I made a fun list of things to do, and gave everyone 1 hour to complete as many of the listed items as possible. Although some people were unsure about running around the city in their costumes, by the end of it, everyone had a blast, and now they have all these great photos to show for it. Feel free to download my list for your own party!

Super hero themed photo scavenger hunt ideas

Benefits of a photo scavenger hunt

  1. Great way for people to get to know each other. I made teams at random which forced people to work together with others that they might not normally talk to
  2. Everyone has a competitive edge. And a hunt is a great way to bring that out in people.
  3. Great photos! I’m all for photos and giving people a list to do gives them a reason to be silly in pictures.
  4. It’s fun being a kid. We don’t give enough credit to just doing fun, silly, PG13 kind of activities.

Tips tricks and lessons learned from the scavenger hunt:

  • Give a wide range of tasks in varying difficulties
  • Teams of 4 worked really well – the teams are small enough to easily coordinate and work together, while being big enough that people know that you’re part of a group you’re not a random crazy person walking around the streets in a costume.
  • I gave everyone an hour to complete the list and 2 teams finished all 26 tasks. Next time I’d add probably put at least 30 things on the list with some really hard ones
  • Remember to print off the list beforehand. I was rushed the day of and couldn’t get to a printer in time. Luckily, everyone has smart phones now a days so I just posted it online and had everything download the list to their phones.
  • Picking a hashtag lets everyone post to the same social media channels so they can see how their competition is doing. We used #HeroHunt for ours.
  • If you plan ahead and are tech savy, you can collect everyone’s photos and play a slideshow of all the pictures during the party

Some pictures from the hunt!

Super heroes themed scavenger hunt

scavenger hunt - fireman carry a stranger

Super Heroes doing a scavenger hunt

Super heroes jumping

Super heroes themed photo scavenger hunt

earth worm jim costume

super hero battle in toronto

he man and wonder woman

It’s not every day that you get to party with Sailor Moon and Wonder Woman!

female super hero costume

Or how about Super Dave and Asbestos lady?Super dave costume

And of course the whole crew from Kick-ass decided to join! Kick-ass in toronto costume ideas

Did I mention that I live in Gothum City? 

dark knight and bane costumes

Thanks to Heather from Shameless Vanilla for making these awesome cupcakes!

super hero cupcakes