Think It. Code It. Gift It.

Are you a coder, designer or someone that loves to solve problems and find solutions?

Capital One Canada is kicking of a Hackathon on Friday, October 21, 2016 until Sunday, October 23rd, 2016. Join fellow coders, developers & designers as they problem solve & create solutions for six Toronto-based charities. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in a fun way! Participants will be put into teams of four to six people(or can sign up as a team) & challenged to create a technology solution for one of the charities involved. So come on out & make a difference.

It's going to be hosted by Marc Saltzman at Brainstation in downtown Toronto. This is going to be a great opportunity to meet the developer community & partners of the hackathon. Charities being supported are Blake Boultbee, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Prosper Canada, Second Harvest, Toronto Pflag and Women's Habitat.

Here is all the info you need to know for the Gift The Code Hackathon

WHEN: October 21st - October 23rd

WHERE: Brainstation, 460 King St. West (at Spadina), Toronto ON

WHY: Support accessibility for technology & innovation for the six charities!

WHAT: Hackathon - developers, designers & anyone with ideas come together to solve a problem through technology.

WHO: Capital One Canada with support from Hackworks & Brainstation.

So come out & support a great & unique hackathon experience while helping 6 charities make a difference & make an impact in your community! See you there.

Think It! Code It! Gift It!

For more information on the hackathon, or to sign up, visit http://giftthecode.ca

This post was sponsored by Capital One Canada, as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.


The Ontario Oyster Festival 2016

Do you love oysters? This coming Sunday July 17th, Rodney's Oyster House & Ecology Action Centre present the 29th year of the Ontario Oyster Festival. It's going to be a big party in the heart of Toronto. Live music, beer and variety of food options, with the main star being oysters! It's going to be fun in the sun! Here's a glimpse of last year's shucking competition. Don't miss out this year.

Oyster Festival 2015

There will be more than just oysters at this event. You can feast on mussels, burgers, porchetta sandwiches, shrimp rolls and much more! Additional tickets for food and drinks will be $5 each.

Oysters in the half shell.

Get your tickets today to avoid disappointment. To purchase tickets: Oyster Festival

Ticket purchase gets you: 2 drink tickets, 1 food ticket(excluding lobster)

The Ontario Oyster Festival will be held at 469 King Street West - Rodney's Oyster House. Doors open at 1pm (Event ends at 10pm) Come out for a great time!

Disclosure: I receive complimentary passes for this post and all opinions are my own.


Exciting times at the 2016 Queen's Plate

Track side at Woodbine Racetrack

The 2016 Queen's Plate was a summer event to remember. If you didn't attend this year, you'll want to make sure you mark the calendar for 2017. The Queen's Plate is held every summer at Woodbine Racetrack. This is my second time attending the Queen's Plate & 2016 was bigger than the previous. Over 40,000 guests attended with record wager totals.

Upon arrival to Woodbine Racetrack there is already a buzz of anticipation, everyone dressed in fancy dresses and suits added a touch of grandeur to the event. The majority of the women looked like royalty with their array of unique looking hats & fascinators. It's a great day for people watching. Here's a link to the great looks that evening provided by Toronto Life.

Racehorse in paddock area. 

I even had the chance to get close and personal with the horses and jockeys in the "walk about" paddock area. Great spot to soak in the excitement and if you're a handicapper a great way to get a read on your horses to give you any wagering advantage. Did you know that horses sweat? That will be a blog topic for another time but I'll digress for now.

If there is one thing to do at the racetrack on any given day, it's to make a bet on a horse and watch your horse race by track side level. The exhilaration and crowds cheering make up the excitement and fun, and overall atmosphere! Now imagine doing this with a few wobbly pops and friends or family and you're in for a really good time.

Hedley Concert at Woodbine Racetrack.
If it's your first time to a racetrack the Queen's Plate is filled with food trucks, drink stations and various party zones for you to enjoy. It's more than just the horse races. It's a full day of entertainment to take advantage of while there. The 2016 Queen's Plate featured Canadian headliner Hedley, Matthew Good and The Strumbellas.

Make sure to make it out to the Queen's Plate next year or just head down a given night to Woodbine Racetrack for some good times! You'll be delighted that you tried out something new and gained a whole new respect for horse racing.

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack and all opinions are my own.


The Pepsi North American Cup gets bigger every year!

Mohawk Racetrack
I recently attended the Pepsi North American Cup at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario. The Pepsi North American Cup is one of the biggest draws for harness racing fans. The Pepsi North American Cup is in it's 33rd year & it's my 2nd year enjoying this event. 

Have you ever been to a racetrack before? If you've never been, you'll be in for a surprise.
On this annual Pepsi North American Cup there is so much entertainment to enjoy. From the live music entertainment to the selection of food and drink; there is so much fun to be had! If it's your first time, it's great to know that they have ambassadors and staff to help you with your first complimentary bet!

Ambassadors will help you make your first complimentary bet.
This year I made it a point to get the BBQ ribs again. The BBQ ribs are so juicy and mouthwatering. You really need to get messy to enjoy these ribs.

Ribs platter to share with the group.
There were several food trucks on site for this event. I really enjoyed the Mac N Cheese with bacon. The weather was great, the food was amazing and it was generally a nice night out that was refreshing from the usual hustle and bustle of the city. It was an opportunity to relax, make a few wagers and enjoy the company in a relaxed atmosphere.

Mac N Cheese from the Food Trucks at Mohawk Racetrack.
If you're new to horse racing or just looking to have a great experience you need to visit a racetrack. If you're in the Ontario area, check out Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. If you missed the Pepsi North American Cup don't worry because this weekend on July 3rd is the Queen's Plate. This is the biggest horse racing event of the year! If the description here for the NA Cup got your attention, you can only imagine how much bigger the Queen's Plate will be.
Official Queen's Plate Poster.

The Queen's Plate is full of entertainment with musical guests such as Hedley and The Strombellas. There will also be a Hats & Horseshoes Party that should bring the most fashionable looking group of people out to the track. Here's an opportunity to experience all the excitement this coming weekend. Don't miss out on all the fun!

Purchase Tickets for Queen's Plate: Queen's Plate Tickets

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack and all opinions are my own.

Fun Times at Woodbine Racetrack!

Handicapping Seminar at Woodbine Racetrack.

I've recently taken interest in horse racing in the last couple of years, and I would like to share everything I have learned so far. This past week I had the opportunity to attend a Handicapping Seminar at Woodbine Racetrack. For those of you that are new to horse racing, "Handicapping is defined as the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning."

I have little experience in handicapping but listening to experts Ron Gierkink & Alex Campbell talk about different terms used in handicapping; it went over my head! It was quite overwhelming yet interesting at the same time to see & listen to the many variables for an outcome of a horse race. There is so much to factor if a horse will finish well in a race. Some contributing factors include things like if a horse is well rested between races, the conditions of track, if a horse sweats, who the jockey is and their trainers, the pedigree of the horse... so many more other factors not mentioned.  It's quite the task to factor all this when making a wager.

With the lack of handicapping experience, I can only hope over time that I will begin to understand the many aspects and become familiar enough to wager confidently. In the meantime, I really enjoy the simplicity of wagering & the experience at the track overall. I find myself leaning on betting on the most interesting name on the racing program or by picking by choosing colours. There's no science behind my wagers thus far but that's all a part of the fun! In a future blog post I'll explain some basic wagers and tips! There is also an exhilarating feeling for just cheering for your horse at the finish line! You have to experience it in person.

So if you are new to horse racing, I encourage you to experience something new! Jump out of your comfort zone and try something different. Bring your friends for an afternoon or evening of entertainment at Woodbine Racetrack. The wagering is minimal with wagers starting as low as 20 cents to $1. So you can really get a bang for you buck! This is a great way to experience a Girls or Guys Night. I'm already making plans to hang with my friends and family this year at North American CupQueen's Plate.

Perfect for a Girls/Guys Night Out!
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack and all opinions are my own.


Let's Get Crackin!

Who doesn't like eggs? Eggs are on my list of favourite food items to enjoy. Some of the best ways that I enjoy eggs are as follows and in no particular order, steak & eggs, plain hard boiled with a little sprinkling of salt, palabok which is a filipino noodle dish with slices of hard boil egg. Eggs are like a staple in most recipes and it's simple to use and cook with.

To share the love of eggs and support local business, Egg Farmers of Ontario & Egg Man Food Truck are running a contest until the end of this month. Diners who order the Crispy Breakfast Quesadilla & "selfie" their experience will be in the running for a weekly gift basket worth $150.00.

To find out where Egg Man Food Truck will be located & selling the Crispy Breakfast Quesadillas around Toronto just follow their twitter stream for details: @Eggmancanada

Now if you don't have a chance to make it to @eggmancanada food truck, you can always make the
recipe at home, just make sure to support your local Ontario farmers & use local eggs! So get cracking and clicking or whatever floats your boat. Good Luck everyone! Winners will be announced each Monday on Twitter.

Here is the recipe of the Crispy Breakfast Quesadillas You can print out the recipe from this link or follow along online. Total preparation from start to finish is about half an hour. Below is the list of ingredients needed. For more recipes with eggs, check out getcracking.ca Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Egg Farmers of Ontario and I received compensation for this post.


WIN tickets to Spring Sessions this weekend

Thanks to the Toronto Beer Festival they have given me a pair of tickets to giveaway for the Spring Sessions being held this coming Sunday, May 22nd (Event runs all weekend May 21-22nd) at Sherbourne Common outdoor space. To purchase tickets to the Spring Sessions: Tickets

There will be great food and lots of beer at this event. This is the 3rd year of this event and it gains popularity every year! It's been sold out every year. So come out to this downtown location and have a great time this May 24 weekend. Celebrate the cottage life in the city.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I have been given tickets for promoting this event in exchange.