The Cottage Isn’t The Cottage Without…

An escape from the city was needed. Toronto makes me rush all the time –  to work, at work, and after work to get to whatever sports game that I have that night. It’s the same thing for Cy, and sometimes the odd night in is a relief – this means lying on the sofa and playing Candy Crush or Plants vs Zombies.

Judy and Cyrus 5 Reasons to Cottage in the Fall OurTorontoLife

While the drive up to the cottage was long (holy 4 hours), it was completely worth it. We are serious about our cottageing, and it was going to be a stress-free, make up-free, and carefree kind of weekend in Tobermory with our friends, R, O, C, and D.

Cyrus 5 reasons to cottage in the fall ourtorontolife

Look at Cy run, jump and climb his away around Tobermory!

5 reasons to cottage in the fall ourtorontolife

Besides all that running around, we were also able to slow down. Our cottage weekend was made up of so many simple pleasures, like these:

  • Waking up to a sunny day and fresh coffee
  • Hiking around Bruce Peninsula National Park and seeing The Grotto for the first time
  • Eating countless handfuls of chips while watching satellite tv (we don’t have this at home)
  • Gazing at the dark skies full of countless stars
  • Sharing hot chocolate and popcorn around a fire

And, all of the above is better shared with friends. After all, the cottage isn’t the cottage without friends.

FYI: There are wineries outside Niagara On The Lake

Judy Cyrus Grange Prince Edward County Winery OurTorontoLife

Pinterest was invented for pictures to be taken at The Grange of Prince Edward, a winery about 2 hours east of Toronto. Cy and I snapped away as we enjoyed our “Day in the Life” tour as part of our fun times to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary. Really, it felt like yesterday when Cy was doing cartwheels at our wedding reception!

Rustic Grange Prince Edward County OurTorontoLife

After a breakfast fuel up for our tour (and cartwheels), we were led outdoors to get started. You would think that the owner would be way too busy to take a small tour of four people (Cy, me, and our new and charming friends, T and D) for an entire morning and afternoon. But, no. The Grange of Prince Edward is run by Caroline Granger who is so hands on with her operation of the estate vineyards and winery. She gets and respects the field-to-table mentality with a sustainable spin on it all.

For example, all wine is produced from the on-site vineyards grown free of nasty pesticides – nature helps nature with alfalfa plants used to attract insect pests away from the grapes.

Blended Wine Grange Prince Edward County OurTorontoLife

After touring the lush vineyards, we went to an organic chem. lab. Well, it felt like it with the beakers and graduated cylinders when it came to the blending exercise with white wines including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling . After three tries, we perfected something that actually tasted sweet, light and didn’t burn our throats! Caroline said that it was a “racy” wine blend.

Check out our bottles with our homemade labels – Cy and I created the ones with the castle die cuts (such keeners).

Lunch Grange Prince Edward County Winery OurTorontoLife No Filter

Next up was lunch! Chef Kyle prepared a too-cute picnic basket packed to the brim with goodies like with egg salad sandwiches (the eggs were freshly laid earlier that morn!) rainbow beet salad, Seed to Sausage meats and desserts – maple brioche “tim bits” and pear cheesecake with fresh cheese.

Caroline Grange Prince Edward County Winery OurTorontoLife

The tour continued with a view into the entire wine production process and a wine tasting! I recommend the Grange Fumé Blanc for it’s smokey and fruit taste.

After everything, we were pooped! Thank you, Caroline for your passion for honest-to-goodness approach to “craft” winery that turns the other cheek to the “corporate” ways of producing delicious wines.

NOTE: Cy and I were lucky to have enjoyed this experience as affiliate bloggers for Buytopia! Thank you to Melissa and her team there.

Girl Geeks Toronto | To Infinity and Beyond: The Next Generation of Space Travel with Talmon Firestone and Natalie Panek

Sourced from Girl Geeks Toronto To Infinity and Beyond The Next Generation of Space Travel with Talmon Firestone and Natalie Panek

In this blog post, I want you to put yourself firmly into the shoes of your 5 year old self. Dreams were boundless then. What did you want to be when you grew up? If you asked me, I would have said artist because I loved drawing especially animals (then, I became a marketing professional).

Maybe you would have said something like doctor? Or maybe teacher, marine biologist or astronaut?

If you didn’t dream of being an astronaut, have you ever been fascinated by the night skies? They are full of mysteries besides the illuminating stars, planets, and suns. It’s even an entire Hollywood genre with the biggest and baddest movies Star Wars, Star Trek, and Space Balls (this was just bad).

I was lucky to have the opportunity to learn more about space at the latest Girl Geeks Toronto event. Caroline McGregor, Lindsay Munro and Tutu Ilelaboye presented the space aces, Talmon Firestone and Natalie Panek. In their separate conversations, they introduced the ideas and concepts around aerospace that once started as someone’s dreams.

Talmon Firestone from RE-Labs, Emerging Technology Entrepreneur

Astronomy 101 changed his life. It was easy because he was passionate about it like these big names: Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Robert Bigelow. These big names came with big pockets, and their respective projects in suborbital travel  have garnered attention around the globe. Some of them competed for the Ansari X Prize, and won.

For the space noob like me, here are some definitions that came from Wikipedia.

Suborbital travel according to Wikipedia: A sub-orbital space flight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it does not complete one orbital revolution.

Ansari X Prize according to Wikipedia: The Ansari X Prize was a space competition in which the X Prize Foundation offered a US$10,000,000 prize for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.

How do you get involved?

@GirlGeeksTO: Seems the best way to become a millionaire in the space industry is to start by being a billionaire. #girlgeeksto

Natalie Panek from MDA Space Missions, Robotic Operator and Aerospace Engineer

Solar Cell 101 changed her life. She studied solar cells, devices that convert light energy directly into energy. In fact, she was part of a team that built a solar-powered car from scratch. That ride was raced across North America, and it sparked some thoughts.

@lizoke: #solar #cars could become mainstream soon #GirlGeeksTO

From solar-powered cars to space, Natalie works on the next generation of the Canada Arm. Did you know that  the delay of the arm control from Earth is only a few seconds?

Mind blown? Here is the team that did that for me. Presenting from L-R: Talmon Firestone, Lindsay Munro, Natalie Panek, Caroline McGregor, and Tutu Ilelaboye.

 Girl Geeks Toronto To Infinity and Beyond The Next Generation of Space Travel with Talmon Firestone Natalie Panek Caroline McGregor Tutu Ilelaboye Lindsay Munro

Thank you to Girl Geeks Toronto. Not only do they fill your brain with possibilities, you also get fed at the same time. Sandwiches, yummy Holly Lew cookies and drinks! The next event? Find it here.

Until the next event, keep dreaming.

I went back home

@judyelee vancouver ourtorontolife

I’m sorry if I didn’t let everyone know, but I was in Vancouver for a one-day work event. The Art of Leadership was held last Thursday, and my coworker/friend A ballz and I were there to take it in. One highlight was watching Susan Cain who first crossed my YouTube screen first in a Ted talk on the power of introverts.

Another highlight was just being home. My entire family lives in Vancouver, and it’s almost a treat to go back due to limited vacation time and the ridiculous airline fees to/from Toronto. This past trip, I went on my own while Cy stayed in Toronto. I spent time with my family and in laws, and even caught some very quick bites with some very close friends.

While I was home, it was comfortable yet strange at the same time. I was surrounded by a once familiar life that I left behind nearly 3 years ago. Meals that my mom would make, the interactions with my family, the smell and taste of her cooking, old clothing from my university days, the neighbourhood that I’ve known so well that proudly boasts one of my favourite bakeries in the city…and more.

Even with all of these things, I was missing something and someone – my home that I made with Cy. It makes me think, what does home really mean to me now?

I scored my first goal!

Judy and Cyrus play floor hockey at Just 4 Fun TSSC-OurTorontoLifeHappy dance! I scored my first goal this season on the very last floor hockey game. Cy had an assist, and he was the one yelling at me to shove it in. What a dirty goal, but it was clearly in.

As you can guess, I’m not a great player. I’m just gritty, and Cy has some smooth offense – he scored a goal this game too.

This past season, we played with Black Ice 2: Hit The Skids as part of the Toronto Sports & Social Club (TSSC). Our team mates included some old friends including Arta, Theo and Eunice; and, some new friends including Bert, Lucy, Cheryl, Joe, Bernard, Wolfie, and Stan.

Next up, we have playoffs! Then, Cy and I tackle our usual summer sports – softball and ultimate!

We got tickets to Ms Mr at Wrong Bar!

Ms Mr from on OurTorontoLife
Back in the Van, Cy and I went to a lot of concerts together. Before we were “steady” (so Saved By The Bell), he asked me to the Weezer concert (2008) which was a whole month down the road. What a tricky situation,  where you think to yourself – “are we still going to be together then?!” But, it worked out. I mean, we’ve gone more smokey, hoarse-throated concerts since then.

Now, that we are in Toronto. I feel like we haven’t taken advantage of all the different shows that come into town – or, even the cool, little venues.

Places like Echo Beach, Sound Academy, Lee’s Palace, Massey Hall, The Garrison, Drake Underground and other places that people tell us about.

Finally, we finally did something about it. We got pre-sale tickets today, and I’m excited.


SXSW to Toronto, Ms Mr is playing on May 22nd at Wrong Bar. My ears got a hold of them on a random playlist (probably something tagged as indie pop and rock). And, I LOVE this duo.

The Ms does the vocals while the Mr does the music.

What else do you need to know?
They are from NY.
Filed under indie, pop and rock.
Sounds like Florence and The Machine.
Listen to Bones (from Game of Thrones soundtrack), Hurricane

Ms Mr from OurTorontoLife
One of the best part parts? The tickets are only $12.50 (you can get them via Facebook presale today until 10PM via Live Nation with the access code of “ticket” – or, get them tomorrow via Ticketweb). Hello, do it!

Only 61 days until the show.