Wednesday, 10 September 2014

My #BigDayDowntown

Just in the nick of time, and fresh from the wedding altar, I present to you the results of my Big Day Downtown! Thanks to some great suggestions over Twitter, I developed the theme "Pre-Wedding Indulgence" for my day (evening) downtown. Pardon the image quality, as I only had my older (read: many a tumble) iPhone on hand. The indulgence included:

1. Food - naturally: Got a bite to eat at Baba Ghanouj Café on Barrington Street, where I was treated to wonderful and friendly service from the owner and head chef himself, and the best - BEST - falafel I've ever had in Halifax. I even got a hot and straight-outta-the-oil falafel to snack on while my falafel sandwich was being prepared. Moist, fresh and downright delish.

How cute is this place?

2. Dessert - bien sûr: a 1/2 dozen beautiful cupcakes from Layers Cakes that I took home and shared with my (then) fiancé, parents, and niece and nephew who were visiting. It was the end of the day, but even still, I scored two Coconut, two Raspberry White Chocolate, and two Vanilla Bean, all of which were a big hit at home.

3. Shopping - couldn't resist: I purchased these adorable cards from Paper Chase and Biscuit General Store, as well as a sweet, sweet necklace from Biscuit that seemed rather fitting a week before saying my "I dos". Can you blame a girl for feeling sentimental?

4. Pampering - the ultimate indulgence: I had an express manicure from Fancy Nails (located in the basement of the Maritime Center on Barrington) and a blow-out from Urban 30 Blowdry Bar before my bachelorette party. Unfortunately, my fresh 'do fell out about 10 minutes later, but it was lovely while it lasted, and given I'm a curly head and didn't have to do my hair myself (not to be understated), it was still something fun and different for a special night out.

I had a fabulous time visiting each of these downtown businesses. With the exception of Biscuit and Paper Chase, each business was new to me and ones I had been eye-balling for a while, so I'm glad to have finally scratched the itch. I already can't wait for my next taste of Baba Ghanouj's falafel!

I actually still have a bit of a balance left on my cards, as this was all I could fit into one evening, so it shows that you can certainly do a lot for $150 downtown. If you're prepping for your bachelorette party, for example, just an FYI: you can do every bit of it downtown. I even shopped for a white dress at Biscuit, and because it was the end of the season, there were a ton of dresses on sale for $39. Unfortunately I didn't find what I was looking for, but I easily could have fit the dress into my $150 indulgence budget!

Check out the Downtown Halifax website to see what the other 29 bloggers did with their $150, and/or follow #BigDayDowntown on Twitter for updates and links!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Big Day Downtown 2014 (Prologue)

<tap tap tap>

This thing on?

Anybody out there?


Imagine my surprise when logging in to my blog today - for the first time in ages - to learn that I still get quite a few hits every day. Warmed my heart!

For those of you wondering where the heck I've been since July 2012, the story of my blog's life and subsequent absence goes something like this:

2011: Aimee starts food blog for fun; enjoys immensely. She and F. instantly gain 10 pounds (give or take). Hears about local event called "Big Day Downtown" and desperately wants to play some year.
2012: Aimee gets a fancy new blog with help from talented IT friend.
2012: Aimee gets a very, very busy new job. Writes sporadic blog posts. Anxious.
2012: Aimee & F. sell house, get new one. Blog utterly sidelined. Still tweets, instagrams, and eats, but doesn't write.
2013: Aimee & F. get engaged. New blog gets permanently deleted from cyberspace, along with those sporadic posts. Life is very, very full.
2014: Aimee & F. are two weeks from wedded bliss. Surprised when contacted by Downtown Halifax Business Commission to participate in "Big Day Downtown." Aimee practices by saying, "Yes!" and "I do!"

There you have it. Lured in by the promise of 150 bucks to play in Downtown Halifax, Food Je t'Aimée gets resurrected.

With so many life projects now underway or complete, it seems timely to pick this little project back up anyway. I've really missed it!

So what say you, people of Halifax (should you still be reading): How shall I spend my gold? Leave me a comment with suggestions!

*For those outside of Halifax, "Big Day Downtown" is an initiative by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission and works like this:
  • They identify 30 bloggers who were a good fit for Downtown – each blogger gets $150 in pre-paid Visa gift cards to spend anywhere in Downtown Halifax.
  • The annual twist and theme is: “People’s Choice.” They’re asking each blogger to crowdsource creative ideas for their Big Day Downtown.
  • Where is the Downtown area? East-West, it’s from the Halifax Waterfront up to Brunswick Street. North-South it’s from the Casino to the Port of Halifax. 
  • Each blogger has until September 12 to go on their Big Day Downtown and then blog about it.
  • Follow @DowntownHalifax and #BigDayDowntown for updates and news.
  • Later, the general public can win their own $100 to spend Downtown. Follow Downtown Halifax on Facebook, Twitter and via website to learn when the contest launches!
Here’s a list of all the participating blog sites for 2014: