Movember: What you need to Mo

Over the past month, men everywhere have been growing out the little bits of stubble up above their upper lip to raise both money and awareness for men’s health; this phenomena is known as Movember.

Movember began ten years ago in Melbourne, Australia with 30 friends growing out their mos. Over the past decade, Movember has expanded across the world; it first reached Canada in 2007 and there are now over 1.1 million participants across the world helping to raise money.

Movember is very twenty-something oriented. Each year, the majority of my twenty-something guy friends get involved and I feel like it becomes earlier and earlier each year that they start talking about it. There are also a variety of events which take place across the city to celebrate the end of Movember; women are excited for the impending clean faces and men are excited to show off their Mo-sterpiece.

Here are three awesome Movember events taking place in the next week throughout the city:

  1. Toronto Gala Parté – Friday, November 29th @ Kool Haus – This is the OFFICIAL Movember Finale event in Toronto. Thousands will come together to show off their mo and attempt to win a variety of very cool titles. Tickets are only $20, but some Mo-bro’s receive complimentary tickets for various fundraising milestones.
  2. Movember Challenge Karaoke – Thursday, November 28th @ Winchester Kitchen & Bar – At the 4th annual event, a $5 donation allows your to rock out to your favourite tune or $20 will allow for a group performance! Follow the performances on Twitter via #MoChaKaTO.
  3. eHealth Barber’s Shaving Auction – Thursday, November 28th @ The Duke of Somerset – Every lady’s dream at the end of the month is to watch the mo’s come off! Watch it happen, while continuing to raise money!

My friends and I are headed to the Toronto Gala Parté next Friday with hopes of winning the ‘Ultimate Mo’ title. I can’t share with you our theme yet, but I promise to blog about it after.

If you are attending one of the above, or perhaps a different party, please let me know.

Don’t forget there is still time to donate towards Movember’s cause!! If you haven’t already done so and maybe don’t know of a fundraising mo, donate to my favourite moustache in town – my cousin Rob who fundraisers in honour of his dad (my uncle).

A mo in pro(gress)

A mo in pro(gress)

For more about this history of Movember, visit: http://ca.movember.com/about
For more Toronto Movember events, visit: http://ca.movember.com/events/

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Navigating TO’s GWFE

This past weekend was Toronto’s annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo (GFWE). The event, which takes place each year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, is positioned to be one of the biggest food and drink events of the year, welcoming over 45,000 Torontonians and tourists over the event’s 4-day run.

For an event so large, with so much promotional marketing and so many big name sponsors, I honestly was not very impressed with the overall execution. The event was severely overcrowded, almost impossible to navigate and certainly did not have the typical atmosphere anyone would expect for anything gourmet.

When Lisa and I first arrived we were excited to get inside to start eating and drinking (we were starving). After navigating our way through the Convention Centre we finally arrived at the event’s entrance and the massive line that came with it. We arrived at 6:00 PM, thinking it was a reasonable time to arrive given that our tickets were for 5:00 PM or later, and assuming the majority of ticket holders would show up later before heading out to a club, bar or party. There were probably about 1,000 people or more in front of us in line and we almost left, worried that we would be waiting for over an hour to get in. Both luckily and surprisingly, the line moved fairly quickly and we were at the front, happy we didn’t ditch our plans.

But all of the people previously in front of us in line were now inside the event. The place was packed; what I had hoped to be a casual stroll through the venue to try a variety of wines and foods ended up being a struggle through the crowds just to see what each booth had to offer. There were also a few booths that I wanted to go back to, but they were hard to relocate in the jungle that was the GFWE. Perhaps next year it would be helpful if there were maps that listed where each of the exhibitors were located.

In terms of service, it was obviously very busy and for the most part the vendors were doing as much as they could to serve customers in a friendly manner; except for some. Clearly the Alcohol & Gaming Commission was not out to play at this event, otherwise some of the vendors probably would have thought twice about drinking while on the job. I get it, it’s a wine tasting event, but that doesn’t mean the staff working it should be more inebriated than the guests. There were more than a few instances where you could tell that some of the staff had been drinking; at one booth I fully witnessed a vendor crack open a Budweiser, pour the contents into his glass and chug without shame!! Totally unprofessional!! Obviously these people do not directly work for GFWE, but there should be a strict policy put into place for these situations.

Now, not everything was terrible; the food was phenomenal. I tried a variety of different dishes including a cheddar, brie and cranberry grilled cheese, vegetable spring rolls, flat bread, cannolis, rice, a variety of Matt & Steve’s Extreme Bean items and a very delicious ‘eco-taco’ from Feel Good Guru.

Delicious!

Eco-Taco!!

GFWE

Yummies @ GFWE!!

In theory this event is a great concept and a phenomenal business opportunity for up and coming brands to get their name out in Toronto. A $25 entry fee is fairly reasonable – especially since the summer version of this event, Beerfest, was outdoors but double the price. The idea of selling $1 tickets to be used towards food and drink allows for speedy service without the hustle and wait time for change. Hosting at the Metro Convention Centre rather than somewhere else in the city, such as Exhibition place, is also great because it is easily accessible via Union Station and its many modes of transportation (TTC, GO, VIA).

As for next year, I think I’m going to sit this one out. If you decide to test your luck (and remember this post while doing so), please feel free to let me know if they’ve made any positive changes.

For more about the Gourmet Wine & Food Expo, visit: http://www.foodandwineexpo.ca

Get in touch, with Uniiverse.

Hi Blogisphere 🙂

I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend!!

My friend Kelsey recently shared the link to a new hybrid social-networking/events site known as Uniiverse and I thought I’d share it with my friends of the world wide web. The two i’s are not a typo; they represent two people coming together, which is what the site is all about.

Uniiverse is a networking platform which allows you to ‘discover’ and ‘create’ a variety of social gatherings to share which are posted online and attended in person. Upon first visiting the site, there were a variety of events – from cooking classes, comedy shows, professional mixers and more! The site also shows where the venue is, how far it is from your current location and how many people have signed up through Uniiverse so far.

The site also automatically logged into my Facebook account (which is automatically logged onto my laptop), this way I can see which events my friends are attending.

Like most things in life, the majority of these events are not free. However, for the most part, the events I saw were less than $50 and some were even free. Not only that, but you can safely pay online with your credit card. Extremely convenient.

There are so many options to choose from, I’m not sure what I want to attend first!! But rest assured, although currently indecisive, I will ultimately choose something to attend and be sure to share it here on #twentiesTO.

(Courtesy of  collaborativeliving)

Have you used Uniiverse before? I’d love to hear your feedback 🙂

For more information on Uniiverse, visit: http://www.uniiverse.com/

Boobyball, Toga Style.

This past Friday (October, 18th) my girlfriends and I headed to Boobyball, a fun and trendy event targeting twenty-somethings and in support of young women battling breast cancer.

This was my first year attending this event, and it certainly will not be my last. The “What to Wear” page states “Go Greek. Go geek. Go campus chic.” My girlfriends and I decided to go Greek; and although some went geek and most went chic, we totally rocked our togas with pride!

Lisa & I in our togas, pre-Boobyball

Lisa & I in our togas, pre-Boobyball

The event itself was nothing short of spectacular (and this coming from someone whose job includes event planning). Highlights include:

  • $30 Uber Car Service – my place to Sound Academy was $24, so basically we got a free ride in a luxurious SUV;
  • Nail station, hair station and make-up station, each strategically placed next to one of 3 photo booths (dressed up girls LOVE photos);
  • Open bar including Yellow Tail pink champagne and a variety of Beam brands, balanced with a variety of yummy apps throughout the evening;
  • Cool music and entertainment; and
  • Amazing loot bag – including another Uber voucher, various other gift cards, gym passes, food samples and an assortment of other fabulous treats!!

I truly wish there were more amazing events like this in Toronto – targeted towards the young working female, while affordable. If you know of any upcoming that I should check out, please, please, please let me know.

Friends & I at Booby U!

Friends & I at Booby U!

For more information, visit: http://www.boobyball.com/toronto/#

Next up: find out why and how I played trampoline dodgeball the evening following Boobyball