All in community

Meet The French 76

When Big Brothers Big Sisters asked me to create a signature cocktail for their "Local Celebrity Bartending Challenge" taking place next Wednesday (p.s. Don't tell them I'm not a celebrity, okay guys? Just go with it!), I knew it would be a play on the best drink around: the French 75. If you've enjoyed a French 75 before, you may know it's the most delightful blend of champagne, simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin (or formerly, cognac). The plan was to do one better than the 75 and working alongside my bartender mentor Jake of Congress Beerhouse, we managed to elevate that near-perfect drink to the apex of deliciousness... all while adding a local twist c/o Lucky Bastard Distillery. No matter if you're able to make it to the fundraiser next Wednesday at Congress or not, you'll want the French 76 recipe for yourself and today, that's just what I'm serving up. 

Photos by Erin Crooks Photography

Donate to the Big Brothers Big Sisters campaign (think of it as a tip for this amazing drink) HERE. Thanks in advance!

WRKSHP FTW

When I first wrote about WRKSHP Creative's first event, it was still upcoming and although I knew it would be beautiful, it deserves a visual recap to fully express why you ought to book your spot for this weekend's encore flower crown workshop at Tonic. The crowns we made were divine, the drinks were delish, the treats tasted as fantastic as they looked, and no detail was overlooked (as you'll see). Apart from aesthetics, one of the most wonderful aspects was spending time with women who I felt I *should* have known before-- people who are doing great things in the community and with similar interests to me. It was a joy to learn a little about them and enjoy the afternoon together. Not a wonder there's a second chance at this event, but it'll fill up quick so get your ticket already! Here's a peek at the prettiness and a couple more glowing reviews of the event from OCM's Kelsi and Desiree. 

The Joy of Play

Before this year, I hadn’t played sports for ages. I remember quitting sports about 8 years ago and thinking I’d never play again. I was burnt out, it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I had played competitive sports since I was a kid and I was sick of being critiqued and compared to the player I used to be. All of the good things playing gave me were lost on me. At the time, I would have rather filled my evenings with nothing at all. No schedule, nowhere to be, it was so freeing.

Women Empowering Women

I love being a woman. 

I have had the blessing of being supported and inspired by some very amazing women in my life. I feel that International Women's Day is a way of celebrating all women and how far things have come but also still bringing much needed awareness to how far things still must go. I truly believe that if we continue to share, support and advocate for other women here and the rest of the world the more our voices will be heard.

It starts in our community and how we all support each other as women. It also starts at home in how we are raising our children and what core values we are teaching them and showing them. As the mom of three boys I feel a huge sense of responsibility in how I educate them about women. I feel that same sense of responsibility with the women in my life both personally & professionally.

In saying that I am inspired everyday by so many brilliant women in my life. I love my job as I am able to connect with women everyday and learn about their lives and hear their stories. I asked a few women who inspire & uplift me to share what International Women's Day means to them and I love getting to share all their beautiful responses. 

Here is what International Women's Day means to these inspiring women:

Teal Pumpkins Welcoming All Kids To Trick or Treat

Halloween's gotta be a tough time for kiddos with allergies. I thought my husband and I were doing our part in being inclusive by having one bowl of treat bags full of our personal favourites (Reese and M&Ms) and one bowl of nut-free baggies with Mars and other minis that feature a red slash through an illustrated nut. In the past four years in my neighborhood, we average a hundred kids at our door and only one per year has opted for the nut-free, so I was kinda patting myself on the back for going out of my way to accommodate the 1%. But did you know that 1 in 13 kids has a food allergy? And that, more to the point, it's not always nuts.

Dairy, gluten, dyes, and other food allergies make trick-or-treating so challenging for some families that they might just be opting to stay home and have their own Halloween fun rather than risk being in contact with their allergens. Since 2014, Food Allergy Research and Education (F.A.R.E.)'s Teal Pumpkin Project has aimed to make Halloween inclusive for all kids, encouraging people to display a teal pumpkin to signal that there are non-food treats available as an option. This campaign has also been a godsend for the parents of kids who can't eat orally and would otherwise be left out. Well, I might be two years late but I'm jumping on the teal pumpkin wagon by registering my address as a Teal Pumpkin home and I invite you to do the same if you haven't beat me to the (dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free) punch.