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The Best Gin and Tonic

My friends! I am on vacation, ready to read, write, and relax for a week straight, and it’s World Gin Day! I wasn’t planning to post today, but I am a sucker for a themed drink day… plus, after over four hours in the car, I just had to pour myself something delicious and share with you all the best gin and tonic recipe. It’s super simple, so let’s get right into it!

Seriously… it’s the BEST Gin and Tonic

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Who would have imagined that on Day 12 of the beer exchange and Day 23 of blogmas, I would still be sitting here writing? Not me, haha. This consistency has been so good for me! And here I am, watching Thor and drinking the last bits of Beer 12. So… let’s just get right into it, shall we?

Beer 12 in fire place
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Oof, this post is going to be a late one going up. (Though… still on the correct day! It’s still going to be Day 21, which is the day it is supposed to be going up. Which makes me a success!)

Anyway, today I finally watched Tick Tick Boom, which I should have watched a month ago because 15 year old me would have been aghast that it took so long to watch a thing about Jonathan Larson, but life is life and here we are. I loved it.

I also watched Spiderman: No Way Home but I will say absolutely nothing about it because I understand very much that people have feelings about spoilers.

So, with all that nothingness out of the way, let’s move onto the penultimate beer of the Beer Exchange – Beer 11! Follow me through the cut, mes amis!

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It’s Day 10 of the beer exchange, Day 19 of blogmas and are things getting a little crazy?

Okay, they are not. Crazy is a wild overstatement.

But I am definitely in the place where I am trying my very best to try to make things as interesting for me as possible.

Beer 10 wrapped

Taking overly artistic beer photos? Oh, yes, I am here. (And thank goodness my partner-in-crime brother, Kevin, was up for developing something artsy.) Now, what beer is beneath that beautiful wrapping? Well… follow me through the cut…

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Beer 9 Wrapped

Can we talk about how cute the wrapping for Beer 9 is!? There has been a lot of great wrappings during the Beer Exchange (and a super borderline one that I did not post for my beer), but there is something about that gift tag that just tickled my fancy.

It indicated that there was something special about Beer 9 and it did not lie.

(Note: More information about the beer after the cut. But also more information about Survivor so just… like… read through with caution if you don’t want to be spoiled.)

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Can we just talk about how nice it is to spend a night at home sometimes, even during the holiday season? I know FOMO can be a very real thing (Rylee gets crazy FOMO when it’s time to go to bed). But, like… what if the thing you are missing out on is some quality time in your home that you spend a lot of money to live in?

I had originally planned to run a few errands tonight, maybe take a barre class, but it was crazy cold out and I just did not have it in me. Instead I had a super lovely evening in, with my treadmill, candles and a bath with a good book. I went super low-key for dinner (bagged salad with chicken strips on it) and soon it’s time for the season finale of Survivor. (Again… still Team Erika.)

But today’s post… today’s post is not about my nice night at home. Today’s post is about Beer Exchange Day 8.

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Y’all! Y’all! How are we here on Beer Exchange Day 7? How are we so far into this month?

And how has it been such a nice December? I feel like this time of year is often frantic and crazy. And, while this December has definitely been very full of social events and projects, it’s felt very manageable. I’ve been wondering if part of the reason it’s been like this is because I’ve been taking a few moments daily to come and check into this space?

I don’t know, y’all, but it’s been nice.

Beer Exchange Day 7 - Wrapped
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Oh my gosh, I am for real sneaking this one in just under the wire. I have had a busy day of holiday baking, podcast recording, toddler babysitting, and sibling game night with very little time to write… and when I got home, I discovered that I had left my laptop at my siblings’ house. Luckily my brother Kevin was way, way too kind and rushed it over to me just in time.

And it’s mildly appropriate to today’s post because today’s post features pictures of my family!

Beer 6 Wrapped

The best picture is the one with the mildly creepy Santa that Kevin is totally not in, even though he probably should have been there. (Was he scared of creepy Santa? Probably.)

But anyway, today is not about the Santa pictures… today is about the beer.

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beer 5 wrapped

Day 5! We’re nearing the halfway point of the beer exchange, which means we’re also inching ever closer to being halfway through Blogmas. (I realize I’m still three days away but… it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s totally fine. Haha.) As I mentioned in the Day 4 post, I finally decorated for the holidays and I really am beginning to feel festive. (It didn’t hurt that in the barre class I took yesterday morning had some solid Christmas music sprinkled throughout the playlist as well…)

Anyway, we are going a bit back in time here because it was on the day that I posted about Beer 4, that I drank… Beer 5.

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I need to start this post with a little apology, before I start recounting the lovely brunch I had at Calgary’s River Cafe this past weekend. I am so sorry that I am only a medium blogger and literally forget to take pictures all the time. Hahaha.

River Cafe in the Winter
Picture 100% not courtesy of me, because I am a medium blogger. It is directly from River Cafe and on Saturday, it looked a lot like this. Only much greyer and also it was actively snowing. So maybe it’s better that I use their picture.

Every December, my fantastic friends Claire, Kendra and I have a special festive get together. We even managed to pull it off last year, amid COVID restrictions, by watching a live streamed play “together” (but separately, in our individual homes) and getting ready “together” (over Zoom). This year, the restrictions allow us to see each other in person again! So we decided to mix it up a little with brunch at River Cafe!

River Cafe, located on Prince’s Island Park, looks and feels exactly like a little cabin tucked away in the woods. It is rustic, but high-end, with a seasonal menu that is dedicated to Canadian cuisine. And the best thing about going there for brunch?

River Cafe Brunch Menu

The prices are super comparable to any other weekend brunch… but you get all the high-end luxury of being in the beautiful setting. Look at that cutlery! (And the not pictured snow, lightly falling by the window. Like something out of a gosh-darn fairy tale… if only this mediocre blogger had taken a picture…)

Island Fizz

We hold the belief that brunch isn’t brunch without mimosas so, of course, we ordered their take on the brunch classic. The Island Fizz – prosecco and Okanogan fruit juice! (If it’s real fruit juice, it can’t be bad for you, right?)

Artic Char Eggs Benedict

Speaking of brunch needs – I almost always go for Eggs Benedict, especially if there is a smoked salmon option. Of course, River Cafe puts a local twist on an old classic. Under that beautiful Hollandaise was a delicious cured artic char and under the artic char was a roasted garlic and rosemary biscuit. So, so good! (However, a part of me kind of wanted some basic chunky roasted hashbrowns… though the potato rösti was definitely delicious. I’m just basic sometimes.)


Here’s an important holiday question for you! Which do you prefer – a holiday brunch or holiday bar?