Friday, 24 March 2017

Art & History Your Thing? Then @OntLakeCountry Is For You #OLC #LetsGoMaple

We're All Connected - Art, Culture, History. Discover how in Ontario's Lake Country. 


Nothing more Canadian than Maple Syrup!

Canada - Maple Tree - Maple Leaf - Maple Syrup ... 
Do you see the pattern? The common denominator: Maple! Once I got home from the fabulous #LetsGoMaple experience I found myself feeling like I was in the Maple version of Six Degrees of Separation. All that was missing was Kevin Bacon ... did I mention that bacon tastes really really good with maple syrup. It occurred to me #LetsGoMaple is the perfect hashtag when talking about the art, history, and culture of Ontario's Lake Country and Canada as a whole. 
If you know me, you know I'm all about sharing and linking information, ideas, and people, and I see links all over the place in Ontario's Lake Country and this area's art, history and culture.
Disclosure: I was invited to join a group of bloggers and influencers for a 2 day/3 night getaway to Ontario's Lake Country to sample some of the many and wonderful activities and attractions this area has to offer so I might share my experience with my readers. 

Ontario's Lake Country: Casino Rama Resort, Shaws Maple Syrup Bush, and Orillia Museum of Art and History are all in Ontario's Lake Country. 
Casino Rama Resort is located in the Town of Rama on Chippewas of Rama reserve land.


~Art & History~
Casino Rama is filled with art inspired or created to reflect the rich history and heritage of the Rama First Nation. Everywhere you look you'll find breathtaking art work that tells the history and stories of the area and the Rama First Nation.




~Culture & History~
The Gathering"The Chippewas of Rama First Nation (Rama) has been known as 'the gathering' place throughout history, where travellers journey to trade, to seek counsel or medicines, and to attend meetings. Today, it is home to Casino Rama Resort" and, not surprisingly, it continues to be known as a 'gathering place' for friends and family to meet. 


~Culture & History~
Chippewas of Rama First Nation: The Weirs (Rama is a Chippewa word meaning fish fence) The Mnjikaning Fish Weirs (a system of underwater fences used to capture fish) was recognized as a National Historic Site in 1982. The fish fence at Atherley Narrows is located close to Rama First Nation. Carbon dating of samples taken of the fish fence stakes were found to be as old as 5000 years. We are talking Pyramids old. For a young country we have some old history. 


~Culture & History~ 
Maple Syrup and First Nations: Maple trees, and maple syrup played an important role and food source for the First Nations people of Ontario's Lake Country long before European settlers came to the region. (There is a Haudenosaunee/Iroquois legend that explains the discovery of maple syrup). In fact early settlers to the area learned from First Nations how to collect sap and produce maple syrup. 

~Culture & History~ 
Shaws Maple Syrup Bush has been tapping maples and producing maple syrup since 1904. Five generations of Shaws have been maple syrup producers with the sixth in training. They tap more than 4000 maples each year. It's clear the maple tree and maple syrup have historical significance and played an important role in the area. Maple syrup and the maple tree have become recognized symbols of Canada, Canadian culture, and being Canadian and are therefore significant to all Canadians.


~Culture & History~
Orillia Museum of Art and History: The building was completed in 1894 is home to more than 12,000 artifacts. The collection includes works of art, objects, archival documents and photos that have historical significance to Orillia and the surrounding areas, and Canada.  


~Art & History~
I found it interesting that OMAH is both backward and forward looking in that along with its many historical pieces, it's also home to an entire floor dedicated to contemporary art. Archival objects and documents are used for historical research and education about the art, history and culture of the area, while the dedicated space for art lessons helps to develop the skills of future artists


Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building, which presently houses the Orillia Museum of Art and History, has also been used as a Post Office and Customs House, by the Orillia Police Force, as a Court House & Jail (the cells are still in basement), by the Sir Sam Steele Art Gallery.


~Art & History~
Thomas Fuller, the original architect of the Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building also worked on Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, where the our federal government sits. Both the maple leaf and maple syrup are recognized as symbols of Canada and being Canadian. The maple leaf theme is woven into the culture, art, and history of Canada. It can found on our flag, and was on all our coins from 1876 until 1901, and on the our penny (until the it was phased out in 2012). Three maple leaves also appear on the Ontario Coat of Arms. 


And there's the Beaver ... also a recognized symbol of Canada and being Canadian. (of course there's moose, but I digress) Beaver - Beaver Fur - Fur Trade - The Gathering - Rama First Nation - Ontario's Lake Country ... 



And we're back to the beginning again. 

Personally I find all the connections through art, culture, and history fascinating since it is the connections we make with people, and places, and through experiences that makes us as individuals, and Canadians, and as a country wonderful. I highly recommend you connect with some of the art, culture, and history Ontario's Lake Country has to offer. 

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about art, culture, and history ... oh, and bacon ... the maple kind.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

All You Foodies: Ontario's Lake Country Is For You! #OLC #LetsGoMaple

Savour the Flavours of Orillia, Ontario's and Ontario's Lake Country.


Disclosure: I was invited to join a group of bloggers and influencers for a 2 day/3 night getaway to the Ontario's Lakes Country to sample some of the many and wonderful activities, attractions, and eateries this area has to offer. Special thanks to Julie and Stacey of SJ Consulting for organizing and hosting this fabulous experience, and the sponsors for providing an exceptional experience to share with my readers. 

Supreme Cuisine was the Order of the Day(s):
You'll find no shortage of cuisine options at every price point in Ontario's Lake Country. I had the pleasure of sampling seven different eateries, participate in a local craft beer demonstration, a pizza making demonstration, a cooking with chocolate demonstration, Apres Ski with hot chocolates and DIY S'mores, AND nightly sweet treats delivered to my room. Each taste experience was different and delightful in its own way. Our visit coincided with the beginning of Tap into Maple that celebrates and showcases the area's tradition of producing maple syrup. Some producers like the Shaws have been tapping maples for more than a 100 years. 

St Germain's (at CasinoRama) served our group a mouth watering meal, that from appetizer to dessert was both delicious and beautifully presented. Keeping with the maple theme many of the dishes were infused with the flavour of maple, including the Maple Braised Ribs. The chefs and kitchen staff at St Germain's create visually beautiful dishes that are a feast for your eyes and your taste buds, including selections of AAA Alberta beef, lobster, sea bass, and salmon. It also boasts an award winning wine list, an awarding winning pastry chef, and top notch service and wait staff.  


Shaw's Maple Syrup Bush treated our group to a breakfast of maple tea, pancakes, maple beans, and sausages served with maple syrup produced from the 4000 trees they own and tap each year. (Pancakes are served from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm daily during the season.) Five generations of Shaws have been producing maple syrup and tapping maples since 1904. During Maple Tapping season walking trails are open, as well as horse drawn wagon rides on weekends. I think you'll find the experience to be both delicious, educational and a perfect family activity. 


Crazy Horse Sports Bar & Grill at Horseshoe Resort served us a delicious lunch that was much appreciated after the appetite we built up from Fat Biking, Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, and Tubing. After lunch we enjoyed some Apres Ski time making S'mores, and sipping hot chocolate. Not only was the lunch scrumptious the service was great. 



Rustica Pizza Vino (in Orillia) created an exceptional dinner adventure which included a Pizza Making Demonstration about the pizza oven, dough, and pizza making, and a demonstration from Horseshoe Valley Brewing Company. I personally sampled at least 4 kinds of pizza and would recommend all of them. The salad with pears and Gorgonzola was to die for. And it seems I do drink beer after all. Much thanks HSV Brew Co for helping me see the light. 



Photo courtesy of Julie (Try Small Things)

Room Service (at CasinoRama) was such a treat. I had a wonderful bacon and eggs breakfast with fancy Rye bread delivered right to my door. Good thing since I basically refused to get out of bed. 




The Weirs Restaurant (at CasinoRama) serves a Greek Salad that's a salad lover's dream, but Shannon better keep an eye on her Beet Salad because it definitely look worthy of risking the consequences of a grab and dash. Our server was both engaging and efficient, just the way I like it. 



The Grape and Olive Wine & Martini Bistro (in Orillia) delighted our group with a selection of dining options created by award winning Chef Derek Mayes. I chose the pasta, but it was a tough choice between that and the chicken. The salad was a work of art, and the apple crisp dessert tasted like home. To complete our dining experience the group was treated to a sweet cooking with chocolate demonstration by the pastry chef.



Sweet Treats courtesy of CasinoRama:
Each night we were treated to a delivery of delectable sweet treats. Talk about being spoiled!  


More sweetness courtesy of Julie from Try Small Things baked us #LetsGoMaple cookies, and they were delicious! Be sure to check out Julie's #LetsGoMaple post about her experience.


Salad Summary: Being a salad lover it seems only right to share my #LetGoMaple salad experience.


Once again I would like to thank our #LetsGoMaple hosts and sponsors for making this such a memorable experience. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of activities, attractions, things to do, and places to eat in Orillia and Ontario's Lake Country. 

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about good eats and sweet treats. 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Netflix-Cheating Excuse #46: "I was liaising between you and the show" #Ad #Streamteam @Netflix_CA

I wasn't cheating! I was acting as liaison between you and that show. 

... and Other Netflix-Cheating Excuses.


As a Netflix Streamteam membe I receive special perks for my participation. All opinions are my own.

Who? Why? Where? When?

The above infographic clearly shows if you're a cheater cheater netflixing pumpkin eater, you're not alone. And really is a "lie by omission" really a lie, or merely a tiny oversight on your part to disclose you accidentally watched a show you promised to watch together? 

Sometimes a well executed apology is your best approach: 
Since realistically the majority of Netflix-Cheaters can expect to eventually get caught, brushing up on a heartfelt apology before hand just makes good sense. As can be seen by Michael Bolton's video there are many ways in which to personalize your apology. 


Hypothetically (don't hold your breath) these Netflix-Cheating excuses might also work:
  • I derived no pleasure from it, but as liaison it's my job. 
  • I'm a Netflix gigolo and currently looking into rehab options. 
  • It's not my fault, it was an accident. 
  • The devil made me do it.
  • You can trust me ... honest.
  • Did I? That's weird because I don't remember watching it? Are you sure?
  • I'll never do it again.
  • I DID NOT! PROVE IT! PROVE IT! PROVE IT! 
But chances are they will be met with this type of response:
  • Your position as liaison as been rendered redundant, and your services in this regard are no longer needed. 
  • I heard you're a player. Well hello player player, I'm the coach and you're benched! I'm looking for a Netnogomous* relationship, and clearly this isn't it.
  • An accident?! An accident is falling off your bike. Nobody trips and accidentally hits play on Netflix for an entire episode. 
  • Then you should be in a Streamationship** with the Devil not me! 
  • Just because you didn't tell me, doesn't mean I won't find out. I have spidey senses.
  • Now you're just insulting my intelligence pretending you didn't do it. Who are you? Shaggy? What's next a personal rendition of "It Wasn't Me"?
  • That's what you said last time, and the time before that. I grow bored with your lies. 
  • "Some people create their own storms and then get mad when it rains." and to clarify by some people I mean you.
*Netnogamous: A monogamous streaming relationship. 
**Streamationship: A close relationship between two people based on and related to viewing streaming and watching Netflix together.

Hacks for Netflix-Cheating:
Having said all that, if you're still intent on Netflix-Cheating the video below may be helpful since it's filled with hacks and tips for successfully Netflix-Cheating. 


A final note to Netflix-Cheaters:
If you're going to Netflix-Cheat make sure it's with a show that's truly worthy. Close your eyes, and just for a minute imagine your netnogamous* partner gave you a 24 hour "hall pass" ... what one show above all others do you consider binge worthy enough to use that "hall pass" on? That one show passes the "hall pass" test and is truly worthy. Personally I'd use my "Hall Pass" on Sherlock or Spotless.  

 Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about Netflix and "Hall Passes". 

Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Streamteam I receive special perks for my participation, posts and sharing. All opinions are my own.

Commonly Misused or Misspelled Words Beginning With The Letter N #GrowYourVocab

Words Beginning With the Letter N Commonly Misused, Confused or Misspelled.


I'm back trying to clarify and demystify more words that are commonly confused, misused or misspelled. This post has been brought to you by the Letter "N".

Naive vs. Naivete: (usage) Naive is used to describe a person or action showing a "lack of worldly experience and understanding" or "lack of sophistication or critical judgement" (adjective) "Naivete is the state of being naive" or unsophisticated, inexperienced, uncritical, innocent or even gullible. It refers to a naive person or action. (noun)

Naught vs. Not vs. Knot: (usage) Naught means nothing or nonexistent. Not is used to express negation, denial or refusal. Knot refers to a nautical unit of speed, fastening something by tying two parts together, a tightening of something, or a circular hard section or lump of a tree that is visible in cut lumber. 

Nebulous: (meaning) Nebulous means "hazy, vague, indistinct or confused". Not clearly defined or easily understood. 

Necessitate vs. Necessity: (usage) Necessitate means to "require, compel, force or to make necessary or unavoidable". Necessary means "needed to achieve a certain effect or result".

Nefarious: (meaning) Nefarious means to be extremely evil or wicked. 

Neighbour vs. Neighbor: (spelling) Neighbour is the British spelling, whereas Neighbor is the American spelling and refers to someone living nearby. Both spellings are correct. 

Neither vs. Either: (usage) Neither can mean "not one or the other" or "also or similarly not". For example: Neither movie appeals to Joan, and if she doesn't want to go to the movies neither do I. Either can mean "one or the other" or "likewise or also". For example: We can either stay in and watch TV or go out to the movies, but if you're not going out I won't either. 

Neophyte: (meaning) Neophyte refers to someone recently or "newly converted to a belief or religion", or a "novice or beginner". 

Nine, Ninth, Ninety, Ninetieth: (spelling) Notice that only when spelling ninth is the e dropped. Most tricky of all is the spelling of ninetieth. 

Nonfiction vs. Non-fiction vs. Non Fiction: (spelling, usage) Both nonfiction and non-fiction are correct. I referred this to an expert in the field and he explained it this way: "This question is exemplary of a broader question concerning the use of hyphens in compound words. My impression is that the use of hyphenated words greatly increased in the twentieth century as the jargon from very technical vocabularies entered common parlance: military-industrial, socio-economic, crypto-fascist etcetera. I notice that spellcheck regularly recommends the use of hyphens." So there you have it folks both options are correct and look for parlance to be in the upcoming Letter "P" Grow Your Vocab post.  

Nonplussed: (spelling, usage) Nonplussed means to be bewildered and unsure how to react, or at a loss as to how to react, or to think say or do in reaction to.

Noticeable: (spelling) Noticeable is spelt with an e. 

If you haven't already (like that could ever happen) be sure to check out the Grow Your Vocab posts brought to you by other letters.
Definitions via Free Dictionary 


Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about the letter "N".
Special thanks to my brother for his expertise and insights on my Grow Your Vocab posts.

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. The purpose of the post is merely to share with my readers information I think might be of interest to my readers. 

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Princess Movies to Stream on #Movie Knight #WhatToWatch #What2Watch

Grab Your Tiaras People! It's time to Channel Your Inner Princess! 

 

It's hump day and time for another What To Watch Post, and this one is all about Princesses. So find a cozy place in your palace to settle in for a knight (pun intended) of Princess Movies.

Cinderella

Ella Enchanted

Enchanted 

Into the Woods

Maleficent

Mirror Mirror 

Sleeping Beauty 

Tangled

The Princess and the Frog

The Princess Bride

BONUS: Comedy Series:
Galavant (2016, TV-PG, 2 sessions - Musical)
Wishing everyone an enchanting movie knight. 

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about Tiaras.

Note: My What To Watch posts are not sponsored, nor do I receive  compensation in any form for these. The purpose of these posts is merely to share something I believe interests my readers. Please also note, these posts are separate and unrelated to my participation with the Netflix Streamteam. Movies Images courtesy of Netflix. Other images courtesy of Pixabay.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Here Are Seven Fabulous #Ottawa Eateries #WhereToEat #Yum

Add these Delicious Ottawa Restaurants to Your Must Try List. 



*With the exception of The Lone Star seating is limited so reservations are highly recommended. Note: These Restaurants have been listed in alphabetical order and not necessarily by preference, because let's face it ... that would be just too hard to do!

Baan Thai 
(Ottawa, Centrepoint near Baseline Rd, open for lunch and dinner, closed Sunday)
Thai Cuisine 
Baan Thai is a lovely little restaurant tucked away in the Centrepointe area. In the many years I have been going here I have never had a meal I haven't thoroughly enjoyed with service to match. My favourite is the Lunch Special which is served on a lazy-susan! The contrast of the sweet and spicy in the mango salad is particularly delicious!

Coconut Lagoon 
(Ottawa, St. Laurent near St. Laurent Shopping Ctr, open for lunch and dinner)
South Indian Cuisine
Even before I arrived I suspected my meal would be stellar, and award winning Chef Joe Thottungal and the staff at Coconut Lagoon didn't disappoint. You can't miss the passion Chef Joe puts into preparing his delicious dishes while sharing the inspiration behind each recipe. From appetizer to dessert Coconut Lagoon serves up delicious Indian cuisine that is sure to impress. 


Jericho Lebanese Food 
(Ottawa, Bank St - The Glebe, 11:00 am - 10:00 pm, Sun 9:00 pm)
Mediterranean & Lebanese Cuisine 
I thoroughly enjoyed my Chicken Wrap House Special, and the several (okay many) bites from my friend's Falafel Plate that may have accidentally landed in my mouth when she wasn't looking ... oops ... accidents happen. The owner serves up some of the best Falafels in town. I found the owner-chef to be an engaging and wonderful host, and the decor and ceiling paintings unique and charming. 


Lone Star Texas Grill 
(Ottawa, Fisher & Baseline, 11:00 am - 11:00 or later most nights)
Serving up Tex-Mex fare 
Fajitas served family style. For years the Lone Star has been a family favourite for birthday celebrations. The ingredients are fresh and the staff friendly. Although there are several locations my favourite is still the original one located at Fisher & Baseline. 


Occo Kitchen 
(Orleans, Innes Rd, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Fri/Sat 11:00 pm)
Cuisine made from scratch using local quality ingredients
The menu at Occo Kitchen is an eclectic mix of casual dining options such as Fish Tacos, Burgers and Fish & Chips paired with sauces made in-house. The Fish & Chips I had were definitely delicious but the Fish Tacos looked amazing! It was a hard decision. The food presentation was beautiful and the service excellent and the decor stylish. 

Ox Head Restaurant 2 
(Kanata, Carling Ave & March Rd, open 10:00 am - 8:00 pm, Fri/Sat 9:00, closed Sundays)
Vietnamese Cuisine 
My go to meal choice at Ox Head is what I refer to as the bird's nest bowl aka as Stir Fried Egg Noodle with Chicken (Mi Xao Don Ga). Meals are served with green tea. The food tastes as good as it looks. You really can't go wrong with fresh ingredients and friendly service.


Taj Indian Cuisine 
(Ottawa, Carling Ave - near Bayshore Shopping Ctr, open for lunch and dinner)
North Indian Cuisine 
For almost 30 years Taj Indian Cuisine has been serving up delicious meals from recipes created by owner Indu Bakshi. I'm slowly working my way through the entire menu, having sampled to date Butter Chicken, Chicken Bhuna, Lamb Bhuna, Beef Curry, Tandoori Chicken, Vegetable Biryani,  Paneer Pakoras, and copious amounts of naan bread. When you enter a restaurant for your second visit and are greeted by the owner by name ... well in my opinion service doesn't get better than that. 


Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about where to get delicious eats in Ottawa.

Note: I was not compensated for this post. The purpose of this post is merely to share information I think is of interest or relevant to my readers.