Crashing Mira’s Family Vacation in Sauble Beach

Crashing Mira’s Family Vacation in Sauble Beach

Also known as Tofa and Natalie’s Hallock family initiation.

After roughing it for three days in the wilderness, as was documented in our Glamping in a Poor Man’s Muskoka article, we made it our summer goal to have at least one positive experience associated with the outdoors. So, when Mira’s father said he was organizing a family trip to Sauble Beach, Natalie knew she had to get it on it. Inviting Nat and another friend, Tofa, to come along on this bonding experience, Mira surprised her family with, essentially, two complete strangers.

The already extensive group comprised of Mira’s two aunts, grandma, uncle, step-mother, father, step-brother, step-brother’s girlfriend, step-mother’s cousin, and step-brother’s uncle, welcomed the two outcasts with open arms. However, what was supposed to be a heartfelt farewell between Mira and her family turned into the ultimate girls trip, filled with lots of beach time, cooking, and sad attempts at various water sports.

Hitting the road on Saturday at 9AM, we made a quick detour to pick up Tofa, and were able to start our journey up north. In convincing Tofa to come on this trip, we embellished a few of its key details, including its location. However, Tofa was left with no choice but to come as she had already gotten in the car. Another secret that was kept from Tofa was that Mira had a three-hour hair appointment booked in the middle of our road trip, which was an hour detour off of the path.

So, the first few hours of Tofa and Natalie’s trip were spent watching a Toronto bank getting robbed while sitting in an un-airconditioned Nissan Rogue while Mira got pampered.

Four hours later, arriving at the cottage incredibly tired and a little on edge, Mira and Tofa’s spirits were lifted when they realized that Natalie was wearing the exact same hat as both Mira’s father and step-mother, pictured below.

After a few hours of socializing with them, the real bonding began with a game of Barbie-themed Uno that we played against Mira’s step-brother and his girlfriend, whom we shared a cottage with– yet another surprise for Tofa. After a few rounds and some really awkward small talk, we decided to go to bed and prepare for the next day.

Sunday being Mira’s grandmother’s birthday, we knew we had to do something special to help her ring in eighty-four years on earth. Deciding to prepare a Mexican feast for fifteen people, a Nigerian, a Sri Lankan, and an Italian set out to the grocery store to attempt to make the most authentic Mexican food that we were capable of making. This obviously included frozen margaritas. These were honestly life-changing, and you definitely need to try making them at home:

For every single can of Minute Maid Limeaid, blend:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 2 shots (plus a little or a lot extra) of tequila

Slaving away all day preparing the food, it really came together at the end and we were actually super proud of our final product– with chicken tacos, sweet potato and black bean tacos, Spanish rice, and guacamole. After dinner, we took the time to relax, watching TikToks until it was time to go to bed.

Our whole summer led up to this next day.

Waking up on Monday at 7 AM, (surprisingly) we drove to the Blue Heron dock and boarded a ferry to Flowerpot Island. Tofa being the water-safe queen that she is, decided to be the only passenger to bring their own life jacket and wear it the entire ferry-ride there. To be fair, she can’t swim.

However, we knew that we had arrived in paradise when Natalie couldn’t think of some sort of complaint about the island. It was stunning, and this moment was truly the climax of our summer.

Spending our entire time there in the water, Tofa got too caught up in the euphoria of the beautiful scenery that she forgot that she is unable to swim– oftentimes floating a little too far out with her lifejacket. Thankfully, we never had to reel her back into shore.

Devastated to be leaving Flowerpot Island, we knew we still wanted to spend our day on the water, so we used Mira’s stepmother’s kayaks and rowboat to putter around on the lake. Our skills even inspired Mira’s aunt to ask Natalie, the retired coxswain, to take her out on the rowboat. While on the water, the joy of being able to row prompted Mira’s aunt to utter “Thank you Jesus” to the sky several times.

Coming back to shore, we ate dinner and prepared our dessert–s’mores and watermelon. With Natalie roasting the marshmallows to perfection, Mira and Tofa prepared the graham crackers and chocolate on a tray, which Tofa dropped several times.

Mira’s step-mother not knowing which dessert to choose ended up “double-fisting,” as she put it, both a slice of watermelon and a s’more. We couldn’t recommend this more.

On Tuesday, we decided to spend our final day at Lion’s Head beach which gave us the same vibes as Flowerpot Island, but with shorter travel time. The water was the best we had been in the entire summer and we were sad to leave.

However, we had to prepare a charcuterie board so that we could have a little beach aperitif while watching the sunset, which we previously wrote about.

Our final noteworthy event was discovering an old karaoke machine in our cottage. Singing forgotten hits like “Timber,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “Say Something,” we were entertained for hours and finally ended the debate on whether it was Mira or Tofa who took the spot as the second-best singer in the group. We’ll let you figure that one out for yourself.

Driving back to Niagara early the next morning certainly felt a lot shorter, however, this could be due to the fact that Mira surprisingly didn’t have a three-hour-long commitment in the middle of our road trip.

This was the most perfect way to spend our last weekend together before we all head off to school. While we’ll all be apart for a few months, keep an eye out for when we’re back together for our Christmas content. We promise it’ll be worth it.

How to Create Your Own Boujee Beach Picnic

How to Create Your Own Boujee Beach Picnic

Because there has literally been nothing else to do this summer other than eat and sit outside.

We’re not quite sure how it happened, but it seems that the summer of 2020 has turned into the summer of charcuterie boards. We cannot even begin to count how many people we’ve seen post about their take on this board- eating them in every location possible, from the trunk of their car to the beach. So we decided that we wanted to make our own charcuterie board and attempt to live our most boujee beach lives these last few weeks that we have here in Ontario.

Since this is titled a “boujee” beach picnic, we knew that our local Superstore or Walmart wouldn’t cut it. So we embarked on a journey to the most boujee and lavish grocery store there is in Ontario- Whole Foods, also known as Nat’s personal heaven.

There’s something about even the air of Whole Foods that just hits different. With a variety of options, they seriously have everything for every dietary restriction on the planet. Walking around the store, we were able to find all the items we needed and even a couple of surprise items that we weren’t planning on getting.

So without further ado, let’s break this board down.

The first thing you’ll need is some sort of cracker or bread. Browsing the pristine aisles of Whole Foods, we decided upon three different kinds- classic pita chips, cranberry pumpkin seed crackers, and a fruit and nut sourdough bread that Natalie made beforehand. We’d definitely recommend getting a variety of plain and more flavoured crackers!

The next thing that you’ll need is to find some good meats and cheeses. Mira decided on a combination of brie cheese, kasseri cheese, and prosciutto. Since Natalie is essentially vegan, she purchased a vegan cheddar cheese, which was surprisingly great and proves that you can actually make a delicious vegan charcuterie board.

The third thing you’ll need is some kind of sweet element for your board. While this is not essential, if you have a sweet tooth like Nat, then having only cheese and crackers might not sound too exciting. She’d much rather prefer a board filled entirely with Dunkaroos and Fuzzy Peaches. Therefore, we decided to purchase both fruit and dried fruit to diversify the flavour palate of our board. For dried fruit, we chose figs and mangoes, however, there are so many other great dried fruits out there- like persimmons, apples, and peaches that would work as well. For real fruit, we decided to get some grapes. To be honest, Natalie has PTSD from one of her third grade classmates peeling their grapes and throwing the peels all over the floor leaving a sticky residue, but decided to suck it up because any other type of fresh fruit on the board would’ve looked aesthetically displeasing.

Nat also saw some vegan caramel dark chocolate balls and knew immediately that she had to purchase them. So, those kind of became a part of the sweet section of our board whether Mira liked it or not.

Finally, the last thing you’ll need is some sort of dip. For this, we’d highly recommend hummus. Instead of buying hummus from Whole Foods though, we brought an edamame garlic hummus we made at home that is seriously delicious.

We also decided to throw in some spicy corn nuts for fun because they looked cool and we thought we needed to add a little bit of spice to our board.

Once you’ve purchased all of your items, you can then move on to the most exciting part- arranging your items on a cutting board! This is where you can let your creativity take the reins, and lay out the delicious snacks you bought in any way that you want.

Check out the full visual of our board below:

PRO TIP: In order to ensure safe transportation of your board, we’d suggest using clear bowls for items that seem like they wouldn’t stick well to a cutting board. Also, for softer cheeses like brie, we’d recommend bringing a cheese knife and possibly other utensils, like a spoon, for dips and any other elements that would be hard to access otherwise.

If you’re interested in making your own sourdough and edamame garlic hummus like we did, check out the following recipes:

Other random essentials that you will want to bring include a blanket or mats, champagne (a MUST), and a speaker. These will definitely enhance your charcuterie experience.

If you’re looking for a great way to end your summer, pull up to your local Whole Foods, grab a bottle of Champagne, and go crazy. Much like bucket hats and silly bands, we have a feeling that this charcuterie trend might go out of style soon, so jump on it while it’s still hot!

10 Things KING DAVIID Can’t Live Without

10 Things KING DAVIID Can’t Live Without

We weren’t lying when we said we went to school with swarms of SoundCloud rappers.

Releasing his new EP, STUNNINOSTALGIA, earlier this month, KING DAVIID has made clear his intentions to create meaningful and influential music. As creatives ourselves, we thought it would be interesting to hear about David’s experience navigating the music industry to learn more about what it entails. Thus, we decided to create our own take on GQ’s infamous “10 Things” YouTube series, where rappers and celebrities alike compile a list of ten things that they can’t live without– except our version comes with significantly less clout. So, we asked David to send us a list of his everyday essentials, along with funny anecdotes and stories that relate to these objects.

What kind of technical equipment does David use? How does his skin stay so moisturized? Did Drake’s producer recently reach out to him? All of your questions about David will be answered below– but you’ll have to DM him to find out the answer to that last one.

In the meantime, feel free to browse this GQ knockoff and learn a little bit more about up and coming rapper and producer, David Akinyemi.

1. Apple Farm (iPhone, MacBook, and iPad)

This is basically the core foundation of all my daily activities. Where would I be without my farm? Obviously, I chose the Apple brand because all their devices work seamlessly together, which makes transferring files and photos so easy– especially since I make music and need to transfer music from my Mac to my phone very often.

I currently have the MacBook Pro, iPhone 7, and iPad air. Of course, I have the Apple Pencil too and take all my lecture notes with it. My favourite app to use is my Bible app and I have an iPhone 7 because 7 is the number of perfection.

2. Glasses

I’ve been wearing glasses for nine years now. My left eye is quite messed up and I can’t read that well without them, but I can see you making fun of me. I used to have these thick black ray bans when I was obsessed with Ray Bans, but they always blocked my peripheral vision, so in 2019 I got these random glasses from the optician. I don’t even know the brand, but I like the slimmer frame. It also has a blue (or green) filter because I spend a lot of time on my laptop everyday.

3. Presto Card

If you live in Toronto, or even Ontario, you should know what this is, and how important it is. There’s one thing for certain. I can never get lost in Toronto. Even though I’m quite lavish when it comes to food, I’m relatively frugal when it comes to transportation. I only take an Uber if it is absolutely necessary.

A Presto card is basically a bus or subway pass. I load money onto it often, so if I need to make a quick TTC trip I’m always assured. I pride myself on the fact that I still have the older green colored one.

4. Both of my Speakers

I consider myself an audiophile, and I own Apple earphones, mixing headphones, wireless earbuds (mostly for running), Anker bluetooth speakers, and a pair of Kali Audio Studio Monitors (6”). I consume twice as much music as the average person, so I need to have my bluetooth speakers with me so I can bump something really loud in any environment I find myself. I mostly use it in the shower though.

My studio monitors, however, are mostly for my music production. For me it’s not really about the loudness but the clarity that makes me love them so much. Come to my home studio one day and you’ll know what I mean.

5. Hard Drive

This baby is a lifesaver. The most annoying thing is working on a song, or downloading something and not having enough space on your Mac. I’ve entered that ‘free up storage’ dark hole many times and it’s not fun. I got this recently after my older hard drive bailed on me when I needed her the most. Now, I have the Lacie Rugged Mini which is industry standard for musicians and it’s 2TB, and I still have 1.9 TB left. I hope that lasts long.

6. Nike Shoes

The ones I have right now are the grey Nike React Element 55s. My sister got me these for my 19th birthday and they’re basically my go-to shoes for quick outings. They’re comfy, flexible and good for multiple purposes. I’ve worn them in the snow, to play soccer, for running– pretty much anything. They’re starting to chip a bit in the front but that’s normal. I’ve had them for a year and a half and they’ve been through a lot.

I’ll wait till these get wrecked before I get a new pair.

7. Nutrition Bars

Remember when I said I’m frugal with transportation but lavish with food? Well, I eat a lot, and I have a bad habit of just eating random things in sight, so to make sure I’m getting good nutrients while still randomly snacking, I usually take my nutrition bars which have a balanced nutrient makeup of proteins, carbs and vitamins, so I have no guilt. I like the ones from Nutrilite a lot for the reasons I mentioned above.

8. Moisturizer/Hand Cream

If you’re really close to me, you’ll know that I generally have dry skin. Hence, the reason why I moisturize my face and hands well. I have a whole skincare routine but my moisturizer is my favorite element. I like the one from Artistry Men because it’s really light on my face and it lasts really long. The hand cream I use is from G&H and they have two different versions based on the weather. The one I’m using right now is the G&H: Nourish which is lighter on the skin especially because it’s summer. That way my hands are not sweaty when I shake people, nor are they dry every other minute.

9. Cargo Pants

These are the real OGs right here. I recently started wearing loose-fitting pants after a long dedication to skinny pants. The cargo pants from H&M work with almost anything and any weather. I’m not kidding. I wear them comfortably in both summer and winter. Of course, they’re primarily casual but they go with my air forces really well so that’s a plus for me.

I actually ordered them online and mistakenly got one size too large because my theory is that I’d rather wear something that’s too big than something that’s too small. But, I still rock them even though the waist is too big for me.

10. Power Bank

I don’t even need to brag much about this one. Your friends will love you if you’re the guy who gives them power when you’re going out and their phone is almost dead. This really comes in clutch at concerts. I got the one from Anker which can charge my phone fully up to five times which is pretty sweet and it can charge two phones at the same time. I wish it had a smaller casing, but I can’t really complain.

If you want to hear more from David, head over to iTunes or Spotify to check out his EP and browse his socials below:

Instagram: @david.akinyemi

Twitter: @hailkingdaviid

Forget Instagram Pop-Ups, Try a Sunflower Maze

Forget Instagram Pop-Ups, Try a Sunflower Maze

FYI: Whoever supports the pictures of you posing in a giant neon bathtub is not your real friend.

As two people who will literally do anything for the ‘gram, after hearing about the Hanes Corn Maze and Tiny Shop Bakery, we knew that we needed to check it out.

Located in Hamilton, Ontario, not only are their sunflower fields an amazing spot for Instagram photos, but they double as an engaging maze, as well. With clues to collect as you go through the maze, there is a surprise theme at the end that you have to try and decode. Though, we won’t tell you what the theme is in this article– not because we don’t want to spoil it, but because we didn’t finish the maze.

That being said, there are many benefits of taking your Instagram photos at a location like this instead of paying to go to an Instagram pop-up shop. To fully convince you of this, we’ve compiled a list of reasons to spare you the embarrassment of looking back at streams of cringe-worthy photos.

1. Contrary to an Instagram pop-up shop, taking photos in this sunflower field was not embarrassing at all.

Everyone is walking around with professional cameras and there are so many different paths you can take that you don’t need to be near a bunch of other people to take a photo. This is truly a judgement-free zone, filled with wannabe influencers and the odd child who’s truly there to make their way through the maze.

2. This one is pretty self-explanatory, however, the natural lighting and backdrop of the sunflower field make for amazing photos.

This day and age, people are looking to take more candid and natural photos. Walking around in these fields is the perfect opportunity to snap that million-dollar shot. Even though this might be a little staged, I’m sure your followers would rather see you sauntering around the sunflower fields than sitting in a ball pit filled with emojiis.

3. As of right now, these sunflower pictures don’t seem to be very mainstream–yet.

All of you Insta-thots, please stop reading this article and find somewhere else to take pictures.

4. This activity was actually very reasonably priced and makes for a nice excuse to get out of the house.

For $15 each, we received a pass to access the maze for the entire day, which is an incredibly fair price compared to the $40 you’d pay just to go once inside of a pop-up shop. Quarantine friendly, the maze is not only outside, but most people are wearing masks and remain socially distant from each other.

If you really want to step up your sunflower maze game, you can even bring a blanket, some snacks for a picnic, or a speaker to enhance your overall experience. However, if you do choose to go to a sunflower maze, please be respectful. There should be a limit to what you would do for the ‘gram and that involves refraining from stepping on or breaking the sunflowers just to get the perfect angle.

We loved our experience and highly recommend that you go check out the maze! There’s truly nothing better than coming here at golden hour to try and subtly flex on your followers.

A Comprehensive Review of Niagara Beaches

A Comprehensive Review of Niagara Beaches

Written by two people who have been to a beach only a handful of times in their lives.

To spare you the pain of driving hours to visit Niagara’s sub-par beaches, we took it upon ourselves to visit them for you and come up with a list of our favourites. As two people who are wholly unqualified to review beaches, we decided on the following five criteria to help us distinguish which one was the best: cleanliness, crowdedness, sketch-factor, the “Is there actually sand?” factor, and “Would we get in the water?” factor.

Our cleanliness ratings are based off of the general cleanliness of the beach and whether or not there’s a lot of litter; a score of 10/10 being the most clean. Our crowdedness ratings are based off of how busy the beach is with a score of 10/10 being extremely and unbearably crowded. Our sketch-factor ratings relate to the overall sketchiness of the beach, with a 10/10 score meaning that this beach gives us some very questionable vibes. The last two criteria are pretty self-explanatory and take the form of two questions that can be simply answered with a yes or no.

Sunset Beach- Overall Rating of 4/10

For God knows whatever reason, whenever someone suggests going to the beach for a day, Sunset Beach is always brought up. Why, you might ask? That was a genuine question because we truly don’t understand why someone would choose to go to this beach out of all the other beaches in the Niagara region. This is the St. Catharines version of the Jersey Shore, but it doesn’t even do that well. It is littered with high school students and their draw string bags, that are most-likely holding their one Mike’s Hard Lemonade. If we’re at the beach, we have no desire to see sixteen year olds talking about “how much they feel it” after one cooler.

Niagara-On-The-Lake Beach- Overall Rating of 5/10

This location is undoubtedly picturesque. With a little bit of image-doctoring, VSCO presets, and Lightroom, you can convince your friends that you’re actually further up in Northern Ontario. The only downside is that you probably will have a tourist sitting on the rocks behind you in your photos. With a tiny strip of sand, this is not the best place to go to if you’re looking to sunbathe, however, the water is much cleaner than anywhere else in this region.

Port Dalhousie Beach- Overall Rating of 2/10

The Port Dalhousie beach gives us strong Florida vibes, but not in the white sandy beaches and turquoise-water type of way. What’s similar about these two places is the lack of understanding that we are in a pandemic, and that social distancing is a requirement to protect the safety of ourselves and others. Packed with an inappropriate amount of sunbathers, children, and volleyball players, this beach is truly a circus– even equipped with a functional Merry-Go-Round.

Centennial Beach- Overall Rating of 7/10

We have very low hopes for any beach in Niagara, but this beach truly surpassed our expectations. Pleasantly surprised that the water was clean, we actually were bold enough to go in. This beach made us forget that we were actually in Lake Ontario– because we were in Lake Erie. With a perfect ratio of sand and water, this is really Port Colborne’s hidden gem and we’ll definitely be back.

Interviewing the Best SoundCloud Rappers From Our High School

Interviewing the Best SoundCloud Rappers From Our High School

We tried to get Roddy Ricch but he wouldn’t answer our DMs.

Going to a small high school, you would be surprised by how many aspiring SoundCloud rappers there were roaming our halls and sending out streams of emails to the entire school advertising their latest singles. While we respected their hustle, these emails clogged up our inboxes and were a nuisance to everyone in the school. However, a select few of them were actually worth listening to- two of them being our dear friends, Kay Kwan and Paul Rosenbaum.

As a third-year Western University student, Kay has been taking the music world by storm for five years. Releasing his first single in 2018, Get To Packing was revolutionary for the tens of SoundCloud users who listened to it. Followed by the release of Drip, Kay has amassed an impressive discography. Thank God Natalie didn’t end up accidentally killing Kay in South Africa or else he wouldn’t be able to grace us with these absolute bangers (stay tuned for this riveting story in a future blog post).

As third-year University of Toronto student, Paul is the craftier half of the Kay and Paul dynamic duo, responsible for making the beats that back Kay’s rapping. Ultimate frisbee master and saxophone God, there is nothing this boy can’t do.

While the duo doesn’t have any songs out together yet, there are a couple of big projects in the works for 2021. So we decided to catch up with the pair before their big break, and see where they are on their journey to stardom.

Us: How would you describe your sound?

Kay: I’m different. You really can’t put my sound into any type of category. Honestly, I’m a different breed. A different dog. I’m not like these other rappers. I’m in my own lane. I’m like a horse at a horse race– I have blinders on. I don’t see anybody except what’s in front of me. I’m just built differently. 

Us: What is your favorite song you’ve released so far?

Kay: My favorite song that I’ve made is probably “Get to Packing.” This was the first song that I made and the process was a lot of fun. You know that feeling you get when you know you have a fire IG pic and you’re about to post it? That’s the feeling I had when I was making that song. I remember the day I dropped that song, I was sitting in Biology class and I was thinking to myself about the absolute fire track I had. I was about to drop the hottest single of 2018.

Us: What inspired you to start rapping?

Kay: Paul and I planned a trip in Grade 11 to see two different rappers in New York City. The first one was YBN Nahmir and, to be honest, he’s kind of fallen off, but at the time he just released “Rubbin Off The Paint,” which was my favorite song. The second rapper was Playboi Carti, whose first self titled album I listened to religiously. His concert was probably one of the best ones I’ve been to and was what inspired me to start my music career. It seemed like the perfect job; performing in front of people and getting paid to do it. This concert launched me into the SoundCloud dream.

Paul: I like listening to music so the next step was to make some music.

Us: How has your music career affected your relationships?

Kay: The music career hasn’t really affected any of my personal relationships. Honestly, it’s something fun to talk about with people. Most of the people who find out about my SoundCloud are generally supportive. And the people that know about it are pretty cool with it, I think. Plus, I don’t really care what you think of it, to be honest. 

Us: Why haven’t you and Paul collaborated on a song together yet?

Kay: At the height of my career, Paul wasn’t really into rapping, but rather helping me record my music. However, we’ve made some heat together for fun and we’ll probably make some more in the future. I’d say we’re like a Drake and Future combo. I’m Drake in that combo. 

Paul: We have collaborated on songs before, but they’re just marinating at the moment.

Us: What’s up with your hiatus from making music?

Kay: I haven’t really been focusing on music that much because I’ve been pretty busy with school and work, so the music career has kind of taken a backseat. It’s the way of the road. 

Paul: No comment.

Us: What is the biggest obstacle that you’ve faced so far in your music career?

Kay: My biggest obstacle is that I’ve been blackballed by all the labels and the big wigs in the music industry. I can’t get a record deal cause they hate me SMH. Tell 88rising to sign me to a deal right now. I’m not even joking. 

Paul: Learning how to steal software.

Us: What’s the most rewarding thing about making music that you’ve experienced?

Kay: The most rewarding thing was when I played my first song in the car with my friends and it was bumping. That single was so fire it had everybody in the car jumping. Another was when I showed it to my ex at the time and she said she liked it. 

Us: What do you see in the future for your music career?

Kay: Mhmm, hopefully I blow up overnight and become a star– kind of like Lil Yachty or Lil Mosey. I don’t really know, I’m more of an in-the-present kind of a guy. But maybe I’ll start plotting soon. 

If you liked this interview and want to see or hear more of Kay and Paul, you can check them out here:

Instagram: @kaykwan.s, @paul_rosenbaum

SoundCloud: @therealkwan

Diary of Our 1-Day Juice Cleanse

Diary of Our 1-Day Juice Cleanse

And losing our juice cleanse virginities.

To provide our loyal readers with some top-notch content, we decided to take a day off of eating and try a 24-hour juice cleanse. Choosing a local pressed juicery, called Small Batch Co. we went through their cleanse options and settled on one entitled “Standard Cleanse”- which is more difficult than the “Gentle Cleanse” but easier than the “Expert Cleanse” because it has a mix of both sweet and earthy drinks. Clearly our egos got the best of us because we are definitely novices to this juicing trend.

We were hoping to have a day filled with relaxation and reflection on our daily food habits, and looked forward to trying something out of our comfort zones.

Before fully committing to the cleanse, we did our research and decided that we were going to drink a glass of water in between each of the juices to help flush toxins out of our bodies and feel more full. Documenting our thoughts every few hours in the paragraphs below, you’ll know what to expect if you choose to do this at home.

First Juice: Heat Wave at 11:00 A.M.

This juice was by far the best out of all of them and made us contemplate going back to buy more. With maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and distilled water, this juice made us excited to continue the cleanse for the rest of the day.

Second Juice: Magnetic at 1:00 P.M.

This juice was polarizing, to say the least. Mira doesn’t have a big sweet tooth and found this one a little too sweet for her liking, but Natalie is crazy and thoroughly enjoyed this juice. With carrot, orange, pineapple, and turmeric, this juice left us both feeling energized and rejuvenated. However, later on, we definitely experienced a sugar crash.

Third Juice: Garden City at 2:30 P.M.

Mira thought this juice was pretty good and felt like a “skinny-legend” while drinking it because of all the leafy greens in it. However, Nat’s sweet-tooth was not too impressed. With romaine, kale, swiss chard, celery, and lemon, this juice was a little hard to stomach, but left us feeling healthier than we ever have before.

Fourth Juice: Holyfield at 3:30 P.M.

This juice had the best of both worlds (shoutout Hannah Montana), tasting both earthy and sweet, with apple, romaine, swiss chard, celery, parsley, and ginger. However, at this point, our lack of solid food started getting to our heads, making Natalie hear things. We also were amazed at how much we had to pee during this whole experience.

Fifth Juice: Mint Condition at 4:30 P.M.

After reviewing the other juice cleanses Small Batch had to offer us, we began to regret our decision in choosing a more difficult cleanse when clearly we were beginners and should have started with the gentle cleanse. It didn’t help that we kept thinking about how much we would enjoy having the cashew milk that was the fifth juice in the gentle cleanse.

Sixth Juice: Grounded at 6:00 P.M.

With a vendetta against beets, Mira wasn’t too excited to drink this juice, however, Natalie had been anxiously awaiting this moment all day. We were so excited to finally finish the cleanse and get a break from our routine of drinking, complaining, and peeing.

Going from drinking one glass of water a day to six juices and five glasses of water a day definitely left our organs feeling like they were drowning. However, we’ve also left this experience feeling inspired to eat more clean and raw foods, and incorporate drinking juices into our everyday lives.

We’ll definitely be back to Small Batch because some of these juices were absolutely amazing and we’ve developed a strong craving for the Cocoa Maca Cashew milk.

10 Things You Should Know Before Going on a Ghost Walk

10 Things You Should Know Before Going on a Ghost Walk

Spoiler Alert: It is absolutely nothing like the movie Ghostbusters.

Ever since moving to Niagara-On-The-Lake seven years ago, Mira’s mom has consistently asked her to go on a ghost walk– to which she has made up countless excuses to avoid. However, after I secretly bought tickets to The Ghost Walks walking tour, Mira had no option but to drive downtown and participate in this ninety-minute tour that she has tactfully managed to evade for so long.

As a disclaimer, we’re not skeptics of ghosts at all. We just aren’t sold on the idea of a for-profit walking tour. So we decided to check out Canada’s self-proclaimed spookiest city and have a paranormal experience for ourselves.

1. You will not have any paranormal experiences whatsoever.

To our disappointment, we didn’t feel a gust of wind rush by us or the tapping of a small hand on our shoulders. The scariest thing about this tour was that this was the most exercise we’ve gotten since quarantine started.

2. Strangers have no shame and will pretend to be ghosts as you walk through the streets.

Three different groups of locals took the time out of their day to make fun of our decision to spend $16 CAD on a ninety-minute ghost walking tour. Each group would shout, “Boooooo” as loud as possible, and wave around their arms pretending to be ghosts. It was funny the first time, but after hearing it three separate times, the joke got old.

3. Don’t watch videos of the tour on YouTube. It’s the same script as they use now and is much less entertaining hearing it the second time around.

If you’re going on a ghost walk, it’s most likely going to be kind of gimmicky. The jokes on the tour are pretty corny but become less tolerable over time, so spare yourself the pain of hearing them over and over again.

4. People will bring their pets.

Honestly, if your dog is calm enough, this is a great idea. However, just know that you will hear dogs lapping water in the background as you try to engage in the tour guide’s spooky story.

5. A ghost walk is not a cute date idea. And you will have to watch people’s mothers try and crash their date.

It’s already kind of embarrassing that this is what you chose for your date idea, but it makes it even worse if your mom shows up halfway through pretending to be a ghost.

6. People on the street will stare at you the whole time because your tour guide most likely will be dressed in a top hat and cape.

This one is quite understandable because it was 30° C out, and our guide was dressed as if he was trying to survive a harsh and unforgiving 1812 winter.

7. Your guide will tell you stories as if they were nominated for an Oscar.

With unmatched enthusiasm and vast vocal range, our guide made every story as eccentric as possible. He also wasn’t afraid to make use of his surroundings, often banging on the floors for dramatic effect. 10/10 performance.

8. It’s a great place to go and watch the sunset.

On an unrelated note, Lake Ontario at 9:30 pm is genuinely a sight to be seen and adds to the overall experience.

9. Spooky things will not appear in your photographs.

As much your fellow walking-tour buddies would like to believe that there’s paranormal activity changing their camera settings, forcing them to take weird photos, or draining their camera battery– this is just a result of a lack of photography skills and planning. Also, there are no faces in your photos, it’s just how the light works.

10. You’ll want to fact check everything because you’re skeptical of your guide’s “local historian” friends and personal theories.

The whole tour you’ll be questioning who on earth these local historians that your guide keeps referring to are. Also, how do they have the time to come up with all of these unconfirmed theories?

Despite a lot of Niagara-On-The-Lake being a tourist trap, this tour was very reasonably priced and was truly worth every penny. If you’re bored of doing the same quarantine activities repeatedly, this tour is a nice change of pace, and you might learn something along the way about Niagara and its complicated and violent history.

That being said, we’ve decided that we want to try and make our own ghost tour entitled The Spooky Sisters. You can add it to the list of business endeavours that we talk about but will never follow-up on.

We Spent 24 Hours in Toronto

We Spent 24 Hours in Toronto

Our journey to becoming the ultimate 6ix Gods.

Living in a small town can get very repetitive, so we decided to get out of St. Catharines for the weekend and channel our inner city girls on a trip to Toronto. Being the only Canadian city most Americans have ever heard of, Toronto is a vibrant and diverse epicentre for young, ambitious people. We know what you’re thinking– why on earth would we belong here?

Well, on the hour-and-a-half drive to the city, we passed through many different towns; however, each was indistinguishable from the next- having the same plazas comprised of a Walmart, PetSmart, Swiss Chalet, LCBO, and BestBuy. In short, every suburban city in Southern Ontario is precisely the same. Hence, the desire for us to embark on our twenty-four-hour adventure to a place much different than home.

Because of the pandemic, we avoided the typical rush-hour traffic heading to Toronto and even found an excellent place to park. Truly an accomplishment. However, this was quickly overshadowed. Within the first five minutes of arriving, as we were trying to leave the parking garage, we had to overcome our first obstacle– Mira misplaced the keys somewhere inside of the car. Frantically looking for ten minutes, we finally realized that the keys were hidden inside the cupholder. This really set the tone for our entire trip.

While giving us immense stress, this parking garage also gave us a little taste of what the art scene in Toronto has to offer, with the following masterpiece below:

The minute we stepped outside, we regretted our decision to wear pants and long sleeves and missed the comfort of the refreshing air-conditioning system of our Nissan Rogue, though, we were ready to take on the city– starting on Queen Street West.

Downtown Toronto was surprisingly unpopulated, and all of the people we encountered were wearing masks (pop off public health queens).

Our first stop was at the Tribal Rhythm thrift store, which had clothing ranging from 1940s bathing suits to corsets that looked like they’d be on a discount rack at a sex shop. This store truly had everything. We ended up purchasing a cool pair of 2000s-looking sunglasses and a mask (again, pop off public health queens). We’d recommend checking this store out if you’re ever in the area.

Leaning into our newfound passion for thrifting, we decided to visit another thrift store named Black Market Clothing and found some unique pieces, as well, including this questionable top:

After looking at used clothing for hours, we decided that we wanted to ball out and explore Toronto’s luxury and streetwear options. This prompted us to embark on a thirty-six-minute trek to the Off-White store, hoping to buy matching sweaters.

Only visiting Toronto for a handful of school field trips and a Post Malone concert, we really had no idea where we were going or what our surroundings were. The entire walk we assumed every building that was old-looking and relatively large was part of the University of Toronto campus– including the Ontario Parliament building. If we had a drink for every time one of us said, “Oh, that’s U of T,” we would indeed be on the floor.

Finally, arriving at the Off-White store, we were greeted with an exceptional air-conditioning system, questioning why we even bother to go outside in the first place. Though we were initially excited to explore the store and their great sales going on, unfortunately, all of the hoodies they sold said “Toronto” on them– which didn’t really excite us that much. We actively avoided going to the OVO store for this exact reason. We get it, Drake is from Toronto which is cool and all– but this is taking patriotism to a whole new level.

Turning the corner, we realized that we had made it to Yorkville– one of Toronto’s more affluent areas and a hotspot for luxury shopping. While Yorkville is boujee as hell, we felt out of our element– especially because we were walking around with a dirt-cheap thrifted t-shirt that said “C**t” on it among a sea of people carrying the latest Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags.

Stumbling upon a plant-based restaurant, named Planta, that our parents have been talking about for months now, we decided that it would be best to grab a bite at this Yorkville patio.

The food was absolutely amazing and made us contemplate travelling one-and-a-half hours just to be able to eat there again.

At around 6:00, Mira and her fear of driving in the dark prompted us to start our early return to St. Catharines. Walking back to our car, she got a little emotional passing by people enjoying cocktails on Eataly’s Aperol Spritz Patio, stating that “It’s hard to see people living the life you were meant to live.” This sentiment further emphasized our need to return to Toronto soon.

It’s important to note that the drive to Toronto should only take an hour and a half, however with Nat’s navigation skills, an extra hour should be added onto this total. Accidentally having the “Avoid Highways” setting active on Google Maps for the first half hour of the trip back, Nat lived up to her legacy as the most geographically-challenged person on the planet, often getting distracted by her time on aux. It’s truly a tough call deciding whether to play “Whatever You Like” by T.I. or “Graduation” by JuiceWRLD.

All in all, we now have our bearings in this city– so watch out Toronto baddies and CN Tower enthusiasts. We’ll be back.

Glamping in a Poor Man’s Muskoka

Glamping in a Poor Man’s Muskoka

Or so we thought.

Mira and I are two of the least outdoors-oriented people you will ever meet.

From grades seven to twelve, our school forced us to drive four hours up north to Haliburton, Ontario, for a two-day camping trip, where this lack of wilderness knowledge was demonstrated. We would have mandatory bonding sessions on these trips and would have to participate in an endless stream of ice-breaker activities. According to Mira, this was an anxiety-inducing experience that had no benefit whatsoever.

Some of our most harrowing moments on these trips include having a moderate allergic reaction from getting so many mosquito bites, getting scars from falling off of mountain bikes, and sitting on a hornet’s nest– proceeding to get stung a total of seven times. Yes, these were all on the same trip.

Clearly, there is some greater force at work here that doesn’t want us anywhere near nature.

So, when we decided that we wanted to experience the outdoors again, we chose to do it on our terms. With dreams of a waterfront lodge nestled in Canada’s cottage country, we went on Airbnb and found what we thought would be the perfect weekend getaway spot.

Upon arriving at our Airbnb, our dreams were instantly crushed when we realized our cottage was in the middle of a forest– not near any body of water. Before we could set foot in the wilderness to attempt to find our cottage, we came face to face with a bright yellow bear warning sign. This sign made it clear that we were even more out of our element than we thought.

The fuel of our nightmares

Now paranoid that bears would attack us, our one kilometre-long walk to our cottage went by quickly. Or as quickly as possible, considering that I decided to bring a full-blown suitcase containing all of my necessities for the trip– including a bottle of Dom Pérignon and platform heels. Anyone with even a slight background in camping would know that wheels don’t roll well in the forest– resulting in me dragging my suitcase the entire way.

Halfway through our walk, we stumbled upon a very rustic washroom set-up, to say the least, with an outdoor sink and a toilet that reminded Mira of her third grade trip to the Pioneer Village. It also smelled like someone hadn’t cleaned the outhouse since Mira’s third grade trip to the Pioneer Village.

This discovery prompted us to either squat in the woods to pee or if we had time, drive to Tim Hortons and do our business there for the entire trip.

With four mosquito bites each, we finally arrived at our cottage, or as we called it, our “cabin in the woods.” Quickly unpacking, we changed into the least practical outfits for a wilderness retreat and drove to a waterfront restaurant named Dock of the Bay where for an hour or so, we were at peace, eating amazing food and drinking by the lake.

Us, smiling through the pain of a bathroom-free and mosquito filled trip

It became clear that the restaurant’s luxurious and mosquito-free environment was more like what we were expecting. After finishing dinner, we were sad to say goodbye to our lakefront dreams. However, this was quickly overshadowed by our fear of being attacked by bears on the walk back to our cabin. Evidently, we made it back alive.

Though we had expected minimal utilities to come with our Airbnb, we were surprised to find out that basic lighting was not one of them. Turning on the lights truly made no difference to the brightness of the room. So with nothing better to do, we popped our champagne and called it a night, eager to use the Tim Horton’s bathroom in the morning.

When we woke up, we were finally able to appreciate the beauty of the nature that surrounded us for a fleeting moment. As we sat on the porch, we admired the tall trees and greenery that made up the forest and began to enjoy our trip.

With our newly developed wilderness mindsets, we thought we would take a shot at starting a fire. This was clearly set-up to be a fool-proof task because we had a lighter, matches, fire starter, and a fire starter log at our disposal. That being said, neither of us was able to get it started and we both were unable to flick the lighter. As you can tell, we’re not stoners.

Eating our uncooked s’mores, we realized a storm was brewing and ran inside. With the thunderstorm causing a power outage, we had to get ready for bed in absolute darkness, without the assistance of the three pea-sized lights that lit up the room. Setting our alarms extra early with the hopes of getting out of there as soon as possible, we went to bed.

In the morning, dragging our luggage back a kilometre to the car, we accumulated the last of our many mosquito bites. With everything loaded in the trunk, we were finally greeted by the cold breeze of the car’s air conditioning– one of the trip’s highlights.

Advertised as a zen retreat, we truly left more emotionally drained than when we arrived and were happy to not have to worry about when we were going to pee next.

While we did leave with a greater appreciation for nature, this trip reinforced the fact that if we were stranded together in the wilderness, we simply wouldn’t be able to make it out alive– nothing new there. However, our greatest takeaway is the fact that Deep Woods Off bug spray is worthy of a Nobel prize. Seriously, that stuff was our saving grace this entire trip.

Mira and I will be sure to learn from these mistakes we made in anticipation of our next outdoor adventure and hope that you too, enjoyed reading about our mess of a trip.

Is there a clear moral to this story? Probably not. But I think writing about our experience is really just a roundabout way of us saying that if you have a cottage in Muskoka, don’t be selfish. Feel free to invite us. I promise we’ll be a good time.