Tag Archives: milestones

IKEA Dressers and Birthday Ballroom Bowling

I kicked this weekend off right with a little IKEA breakfast action on Saturday morning.

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First time I’ve ever had breakfast at IKEA but probably not the last. $3.50 for eggs, bacon, sausage, homefries, two pancakes and coffee?! Yowza. That is a deal and half. Is it real food? Probably not. But it was alright and it got the job done.

We were at IKEA to pick up a new dresser, and FINALLY is all I have to say about that. I have been living without an actual dresser for quite some time now and I miss that extra storage in my life. I do have a shelving unit in my closet but it’s just not doing the trick anymore. I want a dresser. It’s time.

So we bought our dresser, came home and tackled putting that sucker together. If you have ever assembled anything from IKEA I’m sure you know exactly how fun that was.

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Evan likes it.

Not very. But, two and half hours and a few splinters later we had this beautiful specimen:

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Evan gets to rent two drawers.

I love it. I’m so excited about it. It is very sturdy and actually real wood! At my old apartment I had one of those slat dressers from IKEA that was mainly particle board and it fell apart within a few months. This one though, it’s a huge step up. We also reinforced everything with wood glue, Evan’s idea (obviously not mine), so hopefully it holds up. I spent another hour on Saturday and most of the day on Sunday organizing my closet and my tower of plastic junk drawers full of makeup and hair gear that I don’t use. Man, did that feel good. So glad I did it.

Saturday night Evan and I headed downtown to celebrate my good friend Joanna’s birthday!

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Jo is beside me in that saucy white number.

A bunch of us met at Milestones to celebrate Jo’s big day, which I was pretty pumped about because you know I love Milestones. I have been invited to two of their menu tastings now, and I had a really good time at both of them. This time I decided to go with the red curry chicken.

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I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my favourite thing I’ve had from there. And it was no Evan curry, that is for sure.

Dessert was absolutely fantastic though. Evan and I split the sampler.

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From left: ganache torte (the pecan crust was to die for, it was my favourite), toasted marshmallow ice cream, blueberry tiramisu, peanut butter & jelly cheesecake. All of it was SO GOOD.

I also had some of Joanna’s white chocolate cheesecake.

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The beautiful birthday girl!

Also quite a yumfest. Milestones is definitely doing dessert right.

After dinner we walked across the street to The Ballroom Bowl, a bowling alley that kind of turns into a club on weekend nights. They also play sports on big screens above the lanes.

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The Ballroom was packed. I’m surprised we got a lane. When we were leaving there was a lineup halfway around the building. But we were early because we’re old now (and because some of the girls were actually going clubbing afterwards).

Bowling was a fun time, and I wasn’t as bad as I expected to be! Though I continue to struggle with finding a ball that is suitable for my fat little Simpson fingers. I’d get a custom ball made but since I’ve been 10 pin bowling exactly 3 times in my life it doesn’t seem like a wise investment.

Evan won at bowling, because he is good at things.

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He scored that sweet medal and 1st place ribbon, and also a Starbucks gift card! Joanna’s so cute, she brought prizes for all the winners.

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From left: Corey with his 2nd place ribbon, then we have Emily with an honourable mention ribbon because she got bit by a cat earlier that day and her right hand was super swollen so she had to bowl with her left (she was a serious trooper), Joanna’s sister Liz came in third, and Evan was the big wiener.

That bowling alley was a good time and I liked it so much better than a typical club. I like to do activities. It was a good idea!

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I hope Jo had a good bday. She had a few last minute cancellations because people were sick (tis the season) and I may have been raving about how I’ve managed to avoid getting sick all winter, and then I spent pretty much the entire day on Sunday sneezing with a stuffy nose. Of course. I shouldn’t have said anything. I am hoping it was just allergies due to the dust when I was cleaning… Fingers crossed!

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Weekend Stuff

I still had a gift card from the Milestones Chef’s Menu tasting that I attended in May. Don’t ask me how, as usually those burn a hole in my pocket. I expected the gift card to be like $20 max, since Milestones had already fed me so much and really owed me nothing. I decided to check the balance online so I knew what I was working with, and I was pleasantly surprised to find $50 on there!

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YES! Date night here we come!

Evan and I found a nearby Milestones and got the party started with a couple pints of Rickard’s White on the patio.

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Milestones is a little bit on the expensive side (not quite Keg, but not far off either), but since we rolling in gift card cash, we went a little crazy and ordered bocconcini garlic bread to start.

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It was SO good. It may have been the cheesiest garlic bread I have ever witnessed. Nothing wrong with that. Milestones is doing garlic bread right, that is for sure.

I was thinking about trying an item on the Chef’s menu to see if it was as good as when I sampled everything, but then the butternut squash ravioli with goat cheese and spiced pecans caught my eye and I knew that’s what I wanted.

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It was an interesting presentation, and I was actually concerned that wouldn’t fill me up. But no worries there, it was very misleading. I was full after about three bites and I couldn’t quite finish it. I loved it. The addition of goat cheese really made it for me.

On Saturday after the Nana party, Evan and I decided to check out Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area in Aurora, since my Nana lives around there.

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It was a nice day (though HOT!), and pretty gorgeous there, so we had fun exploring it. I was also really impressed with this:

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A fitness trail! Exercise stations right on the trail. What a great idea. I want this in my neighbourhood.

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I would definitely do this if I lived around here. Sure beats the gym.

We also did a little geocaching, which is basically like an outdoor scavenger hunt around the world, if you have never heard of it. Here’s a handy video about it.

I have the free app on my phone that will show you the three nearest geocaches, and we were quickly able to spot them.

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Having an app for this was a lot easier than my old method of geocaching, which was google the general location of the cache before you leave the house and then attempt to find it once you were outside. That really did not work out very well sometimes, and I spent hours and hours looking for a few caches in my old neighbourhood. The app was a dream compared to that, as the compass will lead you directly where the cache is hidden. It was Evan’s first time geocaching though, so I do kind of wish at least one wasn’t so easy to find.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some stuff for dinner, and we noticed that brie was on sale. Certainly can’t pass that up.

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That was pre dinner. Dinner was this amazing black bean dip that Evan made and a bunch of cut up vegetables, plus some rosemary pork.

On Saturday we decided to escape the city and head up to Sibbald Point Provincial Park on Lake Simcoe for some beach time. It’s convenient because it’s fairly close to the city, but far enough away that it has the feel of cottage country.

No one else had the idea of going there at all. No one.

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That’s like Florida beach busy! That was a surprise since I thought we were stumbling across some unknown gem, but it looks like everyone in the city knows about it.

Ah well. We were able to find a spot for our beach blanket that wasn’t too rammed.

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It was a gorgeous day and we spent the afternoon swimming and leisuring around in the sun.

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I was happy to finally have a sun day, because so far this summer hasn’t been ideal for that. And I’ll take busy beach over no beach any time.

And that was my weekend. Fun times.

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Eat All the Food and Drink All the Wine

On Monday evening I was invited to Milestones Empress Walk in Toronto for “an exclusive evening of culinary creations prepared by Milestones’ Executive Chef Jason Rosso.” According to the email I received, Milestones would be serving a six-course tasting menu inspired by their upcoming Summer Chef Menu, and each course was going to be accompanied by a selection of Constellation Brands’ finest wines.

I’m sure you can guess what I said to that invitation. Food + wine? Yes and yes, count me in. I roped my beautiful friend Dawn into joining me for the evening (she didn’t need a lot of convincing).

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I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a Milestones. It’s been years for sure. And I didn’t even know what was on their menu, to be honest, so I was excited for some exclusive tasting action.

I was immediately impressed with how professional this event was. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by the Chief Operating Officer of Milestones, Montana’s, and Kelsey’s, Mark Findlay, and also Dave Grant, Strategic Account Manager at Constellation Brands (producers of wine. Wiiiine). Usually when I am invited to events like this it is run by a PR company, so I mainly interact with them. There may be a representative from the actual company in attendance, but the COO? Well now, that is just impressive. Everyone was very nice, and they seemed to enjoy talking with us and asked us lots of questions.

All was going well until one of them asked me what my favourite restaurant was.

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I just didn’t know what to say. As I love food so much (I don’t want to call myself a “foodie”), I wanted to seem worldly and cultured and say a trendy place that was well-known without being too popular, you know? But all I could think was chain restaurants, and I didn’t want to name one.

And this was interesting, because one of the reasons for this evening of food was to change our opinion of chain restaurants. There is definitely a bit of a stigma surrounding them, that they may not be as good as independent restaurants. I have been noticing this a lot more lately. When I lived in the suburbs I used to eat at chains all the time, and all my friends did also. But now that I am in the city I am starting to become a little bit of a restaurant snob, and I am not sure why this is happening. Maybe because there are many independent restaurants located close to me? I don’t know.

Anyway, upon our arrival we were immediately set up with two  of Milestones’ new cocktails.

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I can’t remember either of their names, but that raspberry one on the left was amazing. Definitely my favourite. The cucumber martini on the right was good also, but Dawnald and I agreed that it was just a little too sweet.

There were also some pretty great appetizers floating around.

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Mozzarella Cheese Balls

There are few things in life I enjoy more than a good cheese ball, and those did not disappoint. Dawn and I both ate four of them.

And then we were all ushered upstairs for dinner.

I originally expected to be sitting with only Dawn and enjoying a romantic dinner for two, but this was not the case. There were about 20 people in attendance, and we all sat together at one long table. Just an intimate dinner with people who are way more important than me. No big deal. I am really not sure how I got invited to this event (wait, yes I am, ahem Stephanie Fusco, you cheeky minx), because I certainly am not that important.

Dawn and I were sitting with a handful of chefs. Real chefs, who actually cook for a living. I am in serious awe of them. Like Rossy Earle, who coincidentally is the chef at Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, which I visited in January. We talked about how hilarious Prince Charmin is. And Joshna Maharaj, who is probably the biggest celebrity chef I’ve ever met.

Someone asked me if I was a chef.

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No no friends. I just like to eat. I could never be a chef, because you’re never home for dinner! That is very important to me.

So let’s talk about the Milestones Summer Chef’s Menu samples.

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Extensive, and amazing sounding. But the funniest thing about this photo is my place card, Lindsey Evanhoff. That is not my name. It’s just Evanoff. No H. But this was exceptionally funny to me because at my previous job one of my coworkers thought my last name was spelled “Evanhoff” for four months. When she called me that in emails I thought she was joking, until she wrote “Evanhoff” on my birthday card and I realized she really thought that was my last name.

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Just Evanoff. But I do understand how it could be confused, so no worries.

Anyway, moving along. Check out this food. It was AMAZING.

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Crispy quinoa shrimp with chimmi churri aioli and vegetable slaw

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Panko blue crab cakes with fennel and arugula salad

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Spicy Thai basil stir fry

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Grilled Japanese tuna Tutaki with asparagus and fennel slaw

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“Surf and turf” – grilled flat iron and lobster fricassee

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Avocado and lime tart

Six courses in total. I really need to say that everything was fantastic. Everything. Honestly. Best meal I have had in a long time. I cleaned every single plate and it was so good I probably could have eaten more, even though I was dying of fullness. I truly would order any one of those dishes, and they were all even better than I was expecting. Chef Rosso and friends do not mess around.

My favourites were probably the stir fry, because it tasted like curry, and the tuna Tutaki. Sweet baby cheeses and all things holy and delicious, that tuna… Dawn was studying the menu before everything came out and she mentioned to me she probably wasn’t going to be a fan of the tuna, and then it ended up being her favourite. It was so good.

Also surprisingly good was the avocado and lime tart. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that but I loved it. It tasted like a lime meringue pie to me.

Dawn and I were so impressed with everything that obviously we had to pay our compliments to the chef.

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Excellent job Chef Rosso. If you would like to move in with me and be my personal chef I would be very okay with that. I think I could eat that stir fry every day of my life. But I’ll allow you to cook me new things also. I’m not picky.

Oh, and the wine! I can’t forget to mention the wine. There was so much of it!

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I can’t remember all the selections, but each dish was perfectly paired with a glass of wine ranging from pinot grigio, to pinot noir, to sparkling wine, to ice wine. I am not a huge wine connoisseur, but I do love it. They all tasted great to me, though red is always my favourite.

I eventually arrived home after our night of gourmet eating and face-planted onto my bed, unbelievably full and a little bit drunk. Milestones, I don’t know what I thought of you before, but I’ll tell you what I think of you now. You are delicious. I like you, and I like you a lot. I am coming back and I am eating all the things and I am telling all my friends. Thank you so much for having me! You have definitely changed my opinion of chains in general.

In other news, though kind of related, the subway stop where this Milestones is located is THE subway stop where Dawn and I had our unfortunate accident 15 years ago. Perhaps you will recognize these doors. They are the ones we got stuck in.

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I drew them, though my memory was off slightly.

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Ah, memories. If you don’t know that story you can read it here.

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