How to meet your neighbours

BizCard_thumb_80x80I live in Mimico, an established community in the South West part of Toronto, with wide, tree-lined streets, small houses and friendly neighbours. Our street is one of many mini-communities of young families with kids, who never run short of playmates and are always busy in neighbour’s yards and driveways. But with kids comes STUFF, so come spring, everyone starts purging the toys, games and STUFF our kids have grown out of and start thinking about Garage Sales! (OK… so maybe the “big kids” have some stuff to purge too!) This year, some residents on our street decided that it would be a great idea to pool our garage sales into one big Street Sale, give it a street festival vibe and maximize the foot traffic to help make everyone’s sale a success.

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A solemn tribute

BizCard_thumb_80x80I will never forget the first three months of 2014. Never in my life have I been so proud of my Ukrainian roots, and never before have I cherished the human rights and freedom that I enjoy every day as a Canadian citizen. The events of the Euromaidan revolution, ongoing since November 2013, are history in the making. I’ve been moved to tears almost each and every day on reading and hearing stories of the brave people of my ancestral homeland who have been peacefully protesting for months now, their futures unknown, yet full of hope.

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Ukrainian Valentine’s Day…whaaa??

BizCard_thumb_80x80Ukrainian Valentine’s Day – really??  I bet you’ve heard of Ukrainians celebrating “Ukrainian Christmas” on January 7 instead of December 25… or “Ukrainian Easter”, typically a few weeks after the rest of the christian world.  But do you know why we celebrate on different days? And when exactly IS Ukrainian Valentine’s Day? Continue reading “Ukrainian Valentine’s Day…whaaa??”

It’s Bridal Shower time!

BizCard_thumb_80x80Ah, February. Thank goodness you are the shortest month of the year! As most of us get ready to bid farewell to the last of the white stuff, bridesmaids, mothers, and Maids of Honour everywhere aren’t even noticing the freezing temperatures – they’re all busy planning Bridal Showers! Continue reading “It’s Bridal Shower time!”

Ancient reindeers & Christmas cheer!

BizCard_thumb_80x80It’s that time of the year again – Christmas preparations are underway!  It amazes me to think that we spend nearly an entire month each year (almost two months for ukrainians) revelling in the spirit of Christmas!  Think about it: holiday shopping, decorating our homes, St.Nicholas concerts, baking, Christmas carols, visiting loved ones, and my personal favourite… Christmas cards! Continue reading “Ancient reindeers & Christmas cheer!”

Art deco wedding – but no flappers please!

BizCard_thumb_80x80Sometimes a wedding venue will dictate the overall theme of the event, and sometimes, it’s just a place to party!  Such was the case for Larisa and Andrej, who had their wedding reception at Toronto’s historic Palais Royale – a gorgeous art deco era ballroom situated right on beautiful Lake Ontario. Continue reading “Art deco wedding – but no flappers please!”

Wine and (no) cheese please!

BizCard_thumb_80x80So  you’re hosting an event and it’s based on a theme. Fun! Now, how do you keep it from getting “cheesy”? Seems that most parties, showers, etc. that are coordinated based on a theme easily cross the border into Tacky-land and get…well, a little cheesy. Kids’ parties are different!  In fact, the cheesier the better. Quite frankly, giving kids a theme will ramp up their excitement about the party and spur their imaginations, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that! But let’s talk about grownups… And brides in particular. Continue reading “Wine and (no) cheese please!”

Balzac’s wedding!

BizCard_thumb_80x80October is wedding month!  At least, in our house it is. So many of our closest friends and family celebrate their marriage this month, it feels like we’ve always got a reason to party, never mind Thanksgiving and Halloween too!

For my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, their October 2009 wedding at Balzac’s Café in Toronto’s historic Distillery district was one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever been to.  Also, the smallest! Melanie and Matthew are such a great couple – laid-back, unpretentious, funny, and just so easy to hang out with. So was their wedding! Continue reading “Balzac’s wedding!”

School house wedding

BizCard_thumb_80x80Our good friends (and neighbours!) Roman & Katherine got married at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, a historic old schoolhouse in downtown Toronto in 2010 . This vintage building was perfect for their non-traditional wedding: elegant, warm, cozy and beautiful, but by no means were they having a “schoolhouse theme wedding”. So to get in the vintage mood, I put my hair up in a bun, grabbed my wooden ruler, and channelled my inner-19th-century-school-marm… Continue reading “School house wedding”

In the dancing spirit…

Tanya'sThoughtsIn 2007, The Ukrainian Academy of Dance celebrated it’s 20th anniversary of ukrainian dance instruction in Toronto and published a limited-edition book to commemorate this historic event: In the Dancing Spirit… Celebrating 20 years of The Ukrainian Academy of Dance. Having been a dancer and office assistant at the Academy for many years, the school’s history was deeply intertwined with my own, and I was grateful to be a part of preserving this dynamic organization’s legacy. Continue reading “In the dancing spirit…”