Happy Friday: A Day Off, Backyard Birthday Party & Lunchtime Spring Walks

Happy rainy and dreary Friday! When I woke up this morning and saw how dark it was, all I wanted to do was cuddle back in my covers and go back to sleep. No cigar. Thank goodness for strong espresso and honey lemon tea from Tim Hortons. Here's what I've been up to this past week!:

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Friday Fun

Between the Ed Sheeran concert last weekend, celebrating a birthday, and Brian having the weekend off (which rarely happens these days!), I was definitely kept busy on my toes. Last Friday, Brian and I made a note to spend the day together. It's actually very rare for us to share an entire day together because we have such clashing schedules: I work during the day and he works more at night, even on weekends. Between trying to make time for a social life and our own quiet time, it can definitely be tough to make time for just us! So I took last Friday off and we ended up spending a nice, relaxing day together.

Beautiful flowers on the walk over.

I love going over to Brian's place. (Not even just because he's my boyfriend...) but I always feel very comfortable and cozy in his house. I'm always welcomed with a newly brewed cup of coffee and his mom always insists on putting some desserts out (even though I'm not a huge dessert-person!)

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We had decided for a few weeks that we would have a nice, Friday afternoon outside sharing some yummy snacks, sipping on some wine and just enjoying ourselves. Brian got his backyard patio all nice and cleaned up for the occasion.

I took care of the wine (and forgot the mozzarella sticks...) while Brian picked up some kielbasa, cheese, and shrimp for some yummy afternoon appetizers.

We put the kielbasa, brie and chedder cheese onto a platter (later adding some crackers) and voilà! How great does this look! :)

Next, Brian drizzled some olive oil onto a few pieces of sliced garlic bread, and topped them with chopped tomatoes, onions and grinded cheese.

We heated up the garlic bread for a few minutes on the barbecue to melt the cheese nicely and cut them up into smaller pieces.

Next, was the shrimp!

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We cooked them on the stove for a few minutes, adding a splash of olive oil to the mix.

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Afterwards, Brian sprinkled on some garlic, salt, pepper and oregano for some exquisite flavour. We tried to replicate the yummy grilled shrimp we had on our Wine Tours day trip a month earlier.

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Once cooked, we brought everything out onto the deck, paired with some of our {newly favourite!} Henry of Pelham white wine, and had ourselves a little patio-picnic.

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It was a perfect way to spend some much needed down time!

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That night, my neighbour Michelle hosted a backyard birthday party. Every year she has one and it always manages to turn out great, despite the weather channel telling us that rain is expected all the time (we somehow manage to avoid it though!)

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Miche and I sharing some pre-drinks at my place. It's very handy to have a fun backyard party just next door- our biggest form of transportation was merely hopping the fence!

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I love the fire-pit in the back part, paired with the lovely twinkle lights in the trees. Makes for fun stories and a cozy spot to warm up at.

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This picture kills me! I look as if a mattress was placed in front of me, I'd gladly take the offer for a nap - and Michelle's dog, Mylo is clearly intrigued by our drinks.

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Andrea with Mylo: who's expression says everything.

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Michelle's boyfriend is a DJ so every year, he turns her garage into a little mini night club with fun music and strobe lights. Or in this case, purple lights.

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Playing some beer pong (and losing quite miserably, might I add).

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Paulo and Miche, buddies since high school.

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The birthday girl and her DJ boyfriend.

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The group! It's crazy seeing this picture and realizing just how many people fit into her backyard! We're lucky the neighbours seemed to be alright with our fun shenanigans... and ghost-like eyes as it were.

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Saturday Night Concert

Saturday night was of course, the Ed Sheeran amazing concert I wrote about in my last post.

Calming Sunday

On Sunday morning, I woke up to these beautiful yellow roses. My mom had gone out with her sister the night before and the owner of the pub they went to gave these out to every woman there. I rarely see roses in a yellow colour, and I absolutely loved them!

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That evening, Brian and I met his cousin and aunt at a homey little bistro called The Indie Ale House. Posted above our table was the popular drinks menu - have you ever heard of any of these?! Roll in the Hay, Broken Hipster and Takes Two to Mango.

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When ordering Tasting Flight, you can pick any 5 of the above flavours and they serve them to you in this rustic wooden crate.

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It was a nice way to spend a Sunday evening.

Ending Off The Week

And now I'm ending off my week by working in one of my favourite office locations, Little Italy, Toronto. I love the buzzy atmosphere down here and that there's so many amazing food places to go to. Yesterday was a gorgeous, perfect Spring-almost-Summer day so on my lunch break, I took a little stroll through one of their many beautiful dog parks.

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I was actually here back in the winter and did a small post on how this park looked in the snow. It's funny how I wrote I needed to come back in the Spring next time; mission accomplished I guess!

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I love the neighbourhood around here, too. It's actually where Amanda from Small Home Big Start (or, "blog idol" as Brian calls her to me...) first lived when she started her blog back in October 2009. At the time, I had no idea! Until she mentioned to me one day that this was in fact her old neighbourhood. No wonder I loved it so much: good taste goes hand-in-hand.

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And this is how we seem to be ending our week:

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(This was actually taken a few days ago when it was pouring outside. But you get the idea).

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I hope you all have a nice weekend! Any fun plans lined up?