Beer Exchange Day 12

OMG. There are no words for how excited I am about the beer for Day 12. I saved it until as close to Christmas as possible, but popped it open last night to record – mostly because I was working at Moveology this morning and knew things would be crazy today. I was so delighted that I had Kevin to share the “opening the wrapping” moment with, even if I had to explain my delight to him.

Beer 12 wrapped

So here’s Beer 12, sitting in my recording spot… and let’s go through the cut.

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Beer Exchange Day 11

Can I just say how many times I recounted today to confirm it was actually Day 11? It just does not feel like December 22. It does feel like the Christmas season (for me at least), but it doesn’t seem that close to the actual big day. I think I usually wrap on this day every year and it’s like 9 pm and I haven’t pulled that together yet so… um… probably not? Somehow I’ll figure that out tomorrow. I work at the studio and I need to record MOA, but as y’all know – I’m really good at fitting a lot of things into one day. 

Beer 11 Wrapped

But not today! Today is not about wrapping presents. Today is about talking about Beer 11, which I obviously drank while watching the Survivor season finale. Behind the cut is beer spoilers and also Survivor spoilers. You’ve been warned.

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Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up – Redux!

What a good day yesterday was! It was jam-packed, but it had so much good theatre, friends, drinks, and food. And you read it here first – Sarah Nearing is not just a fantastic vocal instructor, she is going to take the playwriting world by storm sooner than you might expect. But I am non-sequitering. And Sarah’s play is Sarah’s story to share when she’s ready to share. So instead, I’m going to hop back to Friday and talk about Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa pop-up bar – redux!

Some of you may remember two years ago when my MEd friends and I did the Sippin’ Santa pop up at Ricardo’s Hideaway. (What you may or may not know is that I’ve still never actually been to Ricardo’s for their regular menu. It’s fine. I’ll get it together one day.) That year, it was a specifically scheduled, fairly planned out, event. This year? Totally spontaneous plans!

I had a bit of an odd day at work on Friday and Megan and Hans were recovering from getting some seasonal vaccines. We needed seasonal fun to distract ourselves! So we swung by Market Collective to pick up a few gifts, then headed over to Ricardo’s because festive drinks.

Ricardo's Lobby

Now, let me make it clear that we were very lucky when we arrived at Ricardo’s. It is a very small space and, at least on Friday, they were not keeping a list. Which, I get it. They don’t really have a lobby that people can hang in while waiting. But we happened to be weighing our options right as a group at the bar paid – and glory was ours!

The Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa Drinks

Okay, this is fun. While much of the glassware is the same, the drinks are actually different this year. (With the exception of the signature Sippin’ Santa. Which… I get it.) This is genius, at it lets the mixologists who design the menu get creative but also keeps the people coming back.

You know. If they realize it’s different. Which I didn’t until now. But that’s a me problem, not a them problem.

This year instead of going for a hot booze option (even though I love hot booze), I selected the Yule Tide almost exclusively for the adorable mermaid Santa mug. However, I do like tequila and cranberry, and I drank this delicious boy maybe a little bit too fast.

Speaking of adorable, Megan and Hans shared the North Pole Bowl. It maybe took us a little bit too long to figure out that the figurines are Santa and a reindeer having a little soak. We thought crocodile, pig, wolf… It’s fine. We’re fine. I snagged a sip and it was yummy – very much as if a gingerbread cookie and black tea were a cold beverage.

The Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa Decor

Sippin’ Santa continues to be festive and vibe-y, with sparkles everywhere. There is a ton to look at, definitely a good conversation starter if you’re worried about running out of things to talk about. It’s cute. And not too loud! 

(We also went to National on 17th, which was both loud and not festive. Give it a skip for now.) 


So, I need to know. There are lots of pop-ups in town – which would you go for? Classic cocktails? Tiki drinks? Beer? There’s something for everyone!

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Beer Exchange Day 8

I feel like you all can kind of guess what’s coming. This is the point in December where days are getting busy. We have nine (9!!!) days until Christmas and my schedule is starting to get jam-packed with plans. In fact, I’m darting off this post quickly before I go to see blog favourite, Forte Musical Theatre’s Naughty… But Nice!, enjoy my yearly festive get-together with Claire and Kendra, and then read a new play by one of my favourite new collaborators.

Beer 8 wrapped

So, you can imagine – I was looking for a little bit of consistency, familiarity, and comfort this week. Beer Eight gave me exactly what I needed as I settled in to watch another episode of Survivor. (And significantly less infuriating than last week’s episode! What a delight!) Though Austin should definitely be making that penitent face that he is making in this photo.

Beer 8 unwrapped - Sea Change Brewing Company's Prairie Fairy
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Beer Exchange Day 7

Hello and welcome to Day 14 of Blogmas, Day 7 of the Beer Exchange and another festive outing on A Flimsy Plan! Remember last year when I enjoyed a Wave Pool at my friend’s Hanukkah party? Well, Beer 7 was yet another beer that paired super well with latkes. 

Beer 7 Wrapped (Jenkins Grapefruit Ale)

All in all, it was an amazing, lowkey, party with amazing blini/smoked salmon based appetizers courtesy of Jenny, good conversation… and an adorable new baby!

Greg, Becky, Alec and Menorah
Can we all acknowledge how OVER it this little baby looks!?

Look at how cute and grownup my friends Becky and Greg look with their little boy. Can you believe that they hosted a full-on Hanukkah party at their home… and made the latkes? And provided the most delicious sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, dreidels, and menorahs? 

Sugar cookies. Boring but delicious

We kept the evening mostly lowkey, for obvious reasons, but I did take the beat to drink Beer 7. And to find out more about it, follow me through the cut…

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Beer Exchange Day 6

Beer 6 wrapped

It’s sort of delightful kismet that I’m posting about Beer 6 today. As you may be able to tell from the above photo (if you’re a Full Circle Theatre super fan and follow our YouTube channel), Beer 6 was enjoyed while I was live streaming! On Sunday night, a group of Riverona performers got together to play some games and chat about the show to raise awareness of our IndieGoGo Campaign. And tonight our campaign closes! Such synergy! 

But this post is not about Riverona. You have already read enough posts about that show. (And you’ve definitely read more in the future.) This post is about Beer 6… well, technically Beer 4, but I drank it as Beer 6 because of Weir reasons. Anyway, I’m not going to overcomplicate it. Just follow me through the cut!

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Beer Exchange Day 5 (and a Friendmas Party!)

You know when you have one of those life experiences that makes you stop and think “We’re the grownups now”? I fully just had one of those last night. It was nothing serious, nothing life-changing. In fact, it was something I have done lots of times in the past. Together with friends of the blog, Megan and Hans, I went to a Friendmas party at our friends’, Scott and Dee’s, place.

I know. I really hyped this up and it’s just a fun holiday party.

But here’s the thing. I distinctly remember always going to a yearly holiday party that one of my dad’s coworkers put on when I was a kid. I remember a table of snacks, peanut butter marshmallow squares, adults wearing Christmas sweaters, and singing Christmas songs while his wife played the piano. And this party felt very much like that. (Minus the singing with the piano. I feel like very few people are actually that wholesome.)

But, you know. We talked about mortgages and our to-go easy meals for weekdays. We played a (modified) version of Name that Tune. There were cute outfits and holiday-themed sweaters everywhere. People brought their very well behaved dogs! Dee and Scott put together a super aesthetic selection of delicious snacks (peanut butter marshmallow squares not pictured but definitely included).

Oh! And I drank Beer 5!

Beer 5 wrapped (Cabin Brewing's Escape Plan)
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Beer Exchange Day 4

My beautiful friends! Today has been so much of a day. So good, but very energy consuming. We had a major work retreat at the Jubilee Auditorium today with a ton of great knowledge transfer, resource discussion, and QI exploration. 

Also, I delivered an hour long presentation on effective communication to reduce cognitive load and supporting struggling learners to a type of audience I’ve never presented to before. 

Also also, I found out that a poster presentation abstract I submitted to an international congress in April was accepted. (It’s times like these that I am so glad that I have the blog. It will one day be so nice to have a record of exactly which day all of this happened, so I don’t have to rely exclusively on my memory.) 

But it’s also days like today where I am so glad that I have the Beer Exchange as a content avenue during Blogmas, so I don’t have to come up with something new to write about today with my very tired brain.

So without further ado, let’s get into it! Beer 4, here we come!

Beer 4 Wrapped
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Beer Exchange Day 3

You know what’s super fun about doing the Beer Exchange instead of an advent calendar

The community! (You’ll notice this is going to be an on-going theme throughout Blogmas this year. Community, surrounding myself with people, is just what I’m looking for in this season of my life.) As I write this post, we’re all typing away in our group chat, discussing the beers by number and not name so there’s no spoilers. The conclusion from everyone who has experienced Beer 3 so far is that it is a whole lot of beer in one single tall can.

No, we didn’t get to have the kick-off party, but we’re still a team and that’s so cool. There are a couple things that we took away from our years in our homes that are, like, not the worst. (Look, I know that is the most tepid statement ever, but I said what I said.)

Beer 3 Wrapped

So why don’t we just move onto Beer 3 instead? You know what to do… follow me on through the cut.

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Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Beer Eleven

I learned how to adjust my desk chair at my office today! I’ve been in this office for a few weeks, but it still feels like “not mine” – this small little change has made such a difference towards making me feel like I have ownership over the space I work within. And just in time for the holiday break, lol. Classic Erin moment. 

Today’s blog post is not about classic Erin moments. (Though… that might not be a terrible idea for the future?) Today’s post is about the second last beer of my Eighty-Eight beer advent calendar. How are we already here!? 

I will take a moment to reflect on the experience before I move into the beer. I do think it was well worth the money ($88, naturally) and I appreciated the opportunity to try new beers at a place I am familiar with but have a “go to” beer. I think next year, if there is no beer exchange, I will buy another advent calendar. However, I think I would be more likely to buy one of the ones from a liquor store so I could be exposed to new breweries as well. 

All that to say… onto the beer!

Day Eleven Clue

Beer Eleven clue

The Day Eleven clue read “Don’t forget the water wings”. Well, I had a pretty good idea of what this one might be – could it be the classic “Wave Pool”?

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