Oh my gosh, you guys, the holiday activities have been filling every little inch of my life recently. Which is why I’m writing this post at a casual 11 pm, very chill posting time. Normal choices. If you read yesterday’s post, you kind of have an idea of what I’ve been up to. I did, in fact, do all of those things listed in that opening spiel. Plus, Claire and I headed over to ONE18 Empire for fancy Old Fashioneds and truffle everything after our show. (This is the go to place in Calgary if you want a smoky Old Fashioned.) And then I recorded Mystery, Outsiders, and Abs. Okay, that last one isn’t festive, but still it added to the very full vibe of my life right now. I’m sure many of you are in the same place… which is why I want to share something that might make your life a little bit easier.
Home Alone Taproom Pop-Up at Eighty-Eight (and Day 7 of the Advent Calendar)
What’s up, y’all! It’s T-minus 11 days until Christmas, Hanukkah is starting at nightfall on Sunday, Kwanzaa in 12 days, and numerous other celebrations are popping up all over the place. Time is just racing now and, here in the holiday of Blogmas, we’re already at another beer on the beer advent calendar.
I don’t have a particularly interesting story about what I did while drinking this beer (and it’s one that I’m familiar with, so no fun beer facts to discover)… so instead I’m going to talk about something super cool that is happening at the Eighty-Eight taproom during these upcoming busy 11 days.
Home Alone Taproom Pop-Up at Eighty-Eight Brewing
Yesss, that’s right! Kevin McAllister, the Wet Bandits, and all your favourite Home Alone easter eggs have settled in at Eighty-Eight and it is truly epic. The amount of work they must have put in to transform this space (which is always pretty stunning) is truly incredible. Like… look up there! They re-created the flight board!
Every inch of the space is covered in wrapping paper, presents, and other Home Alone related Easter Eggs. I mean, there are cardboard figure cutouts up against the second floor windows, so that when you are outside it looks like there is a party on, in classic Kevin McAllister fashion. And if that’s not enough, there is a full-on Home Alone Easter Egg scavenger hunt to keep you busy!
Home Alone Taproom Pop-Up Menu
Oh yeah, they’ve also made some little changes to the menu. The Wet Bandits – not just movie villains, but also a super intense beer. It’s a Triple IPA, with a 10.1% ABV and an 88 IBU. Yes, I am scared of it, thank you. For those like me who can’t commit to a full 10% beer, they are also offering Marv and Harry pre-set flights.
And they’ve really committed to the bit by giving their menu a little visual makeover too. Look! The cheese pizza is renamed. We love commitment to a theme. (As a quick note, I hit up Eighty-Eight with Claire and Megan the other day to enjoy some brews and pizza. The cheese pizza is amazing.)
Omg, I still have a whole beer to reveal here! I promise, I’ll keep it quick.
Day Seven Clue
Day Seven’s clue read “Relax, put down the work, it’s holiday time”. Hmmm..
Miracle on 1st Street (Proof) – Pop-up Holiday Bar
Readers from last year’s Blogmas will remember that I truly love a pop-up holiday bar. I love kitsch, I love special drinks, I love a theme – how could I not be head over heels for a pop-up? Last year, I was all about the tiki drinks but this year Claire and I decided to go a little bit more upscale and check out the Miracle on 1st Street pop-up at Proof!
I forgot to take any pictures of the decor, so thank goodness for being able to embed instagram posts!
Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Day Two
It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holiday season! Sometimes, when you don’t have kids who are getting hyped for the holidays, it can be hard to inspire yourself to decorate seasonally. (Okay, when I say “sometimes”, I mean “sometimes for me”. I know there are a lot of fantastic single ladies out there who are very into changing their decor when the seasons change. But I fear change, so it is not me.)
But! I publicly announced that I needed to declutter my living room this weekend, which meant that I was very shamed into actually doing it. And once I was already moving things around, I might as well decorate. And by “decorate”, I mostly mean “put Christmas balls on surfaces”. I like to optimize the little decor I have. And I also like sparkly things.
And I also like enjoying a beer from my advent calendar while I’m haphazardly decorating!
Day Two Clue
The Day Two clue read “Just wanna have fun”.
I actually just spent an evening at Eighty-Eight with friends of the blog, Megan and Claire, and I know they have a really fantastic seasonal White Wine Spritzer IPA called “Cyndi”…
Brunch at the River Cafe
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.
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?
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…)
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?)
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?
Beer Exchange Day 3
It’s an odd numbered day, so y’all know what that means on this girl’s march towards Christmas… another reveal of another beer from the holiday beer exchange! (And if you squint reaaaaallly hard, you can get an insider look at the nonsense notes I take for MOA. I usually handwrite them because I love notebooks but I just wanted to make it legible for you today.)
This beer came courtesy of friend of the blog, Claire, and she was pretty open with me that she just picked it for the label. What is this beautiful label? Did this method of picking a beer work? Follow me through the “Read More” page break (#nospoilers) to find out…
No-Spend April – Week Three
I keep thinking I skipped writing about No-Spend Week Three and I’ve messed up – and then I realize that I’m currently in Week Four and April has just been a bit of a runaway blur. I still have over a week left! I should be less smug about “no-spend”.
- Truth time: I bought a set of chairs and a new couch last week. (Note: Couch was bought on my mom’s HBC credit card so she can get points and I will be reimbursing her when the bill comes due, so not until May.)
This is literally the opposite of “No Spend”.
But hear me out! I’ve been looking for a new living room set since last summer. Despite being a fully functional adult and actually having a pretty cute house, I’ve never actually picked out my own, new furniture and bought it. Right around January, I picked out the chairs I liked at Ikea and the couch/chaise I loved at The Bay. Since then, I’ve just been waiting for a good price and, coincidentally, Ikea had a living room sale and The Bay put their couches on sale for 55% off, which is the best sale I’ve seen since the summer.
So, since this spend was from savings, it’s something that I would have spent a ton more on if I waited until May and it was mindful… I think it fits into the philosophy of “No-Spend April”.
- This week also contained my pre-selected social outing – it was my friend’s 30th birthday and his girlfriend planned a whole surprise day for him (board game café, beer and chip tasting, Escape Room, Pin Bar). To be honest, I originally wasn’t going to go. I even texted her and was like “Ugggh, it’s No Spend Month!” And then I thought about it. About how I would probably regret it if I missed it, about how I shouldn’t be an anti-social shut in, about how I had budgeted myself one night out this month. And about how, really, life is about moderation and normally I would go out every weekend and have so many self-dates so I was still doing better. So I went and it was so much fun and so good to see my friends.
The No Spends
Groceries were $23 this week and I’m just killing it.
Maybe because I did purchase my new living room set this week (though it won’t be moving in until early June), but this month really isn’t feeling like a No Spend Month anymore. Not in that I’m spending a ton, but I’m just not feeling deprived, which is what I expected. It’s really just about making better choices about what I’m spending my money on and focusing on my goals.
I think I’m going to continue with a No Spend May (I have waaaaay too much stuff in my pantry still that I need to cook through), excluding a shopping day with Claire for my upcoming Vegas trip. I have finally found a roommate that I like, who will be moving in for May, which means a little help on the household expenses, but I don’t want to be going too wild just because of that. Gotta save for the future. Be the ant and not the grasshopper and all that.
I am two days behind on the challenge and I am totally okay with that. I am getting so much better at finding the space in my day and prioritizing my yoga. 30 days to make a habit, right?
I’m In a Play – Secondary Cause of Death – Theatre Thursday
(Caption: This is the face of a girl who slept for four hours during the daytime on Tuesday because she was sent home from work, and went on to kill it at the theatre that night. This is the magic that theatre does.)
I’m in a play!
Let me be real here – this is not a review for the play that I am in. Mostly because I think the show is pretty great but it is nigh impossible to be objective about a play that you are in. This also isn’t really an advertisement or promotion for the show that I’m in – I’ve been doing a ton of that on social media, even including a “tech week selfie” game with Claire since we always seem to manage to be in tech week at the same time. So, what is this? I guess it’s really more of an ode.
I can’t remember the last time I was so thrilled to be in a play – maybe when I did Scorpio Theatre’s world premiere of Blood of the Red Queen, had a role rewritten for me and knew that I was a part of something that was going to just take off? I don’t know… I’m always pleased to be in a play and I always love it (otherwise I wouldn’t do it), but this time I’m just thrilled.
Part of it may be that I was asked to step into this show to fill a role once they lost an actress after rehearsals began – I hadn’t met the director before so I did do a bit of an audition, though nothing like the ones I’ve written about before – and it’s always nice to be needed/wanted.
Another part of it may be that I’m really getting to stretch myself as an actress. I am playing the type of role that I often get cast in (lovely and graceful) but the process hasn’t been “easy” by any means, and I appreciate that. I swing towards bubbly when I act and I’m playing a character who is on the older end of my age range so there is absolutely no room for bubbly. The show also takes place in England in 1939 (and is very British murder mystery in feel) so accents are imperative. I went to U of C, I haven’t learned accents! But I can do one now…
I think the biggest part of it, though, is that I just feel like such a part of things doing this show. I am a shy person by nature (which people always seem to mistake for my being a bit of a bitch and not just rampantly socially awkward) but everyone in this show has just made such an effort to make me not feel like the “new girl” since Day One. There is a camaraderie in the dressing room that I haven’t actually felt since university (other than during Full Circle Theatre shows, but that’s really just me gathering my friends together and going “let’s make a play!”) and I love it, even when I just sit quietly and listen to everyone else. I absolutely trust every person on that stage to pick me up and save me if I forget a line. (Oh gosh, that better not happen… knock on wood!)
I’m in a play. And even though I am going on vacation the day after it closes, I’m going to miss it when it’s done.
If you would like to see the play that has inspired such gushing from me (and hear my sparkling dulcet tones), Simply Theatre’s “Secondary Cause of Death” runs until October 1 and tickets can be purchased by calling 587-575-656 or by visiting http://www.simplytheatre.ca Come see it. It’s worth it. (This is not a promotion, I’m just happy.)