it’s not very often i am a guest at events, my line of work usually has me behind the scenes making sure things go smoothly for the client.

so it was my intention at The Sunday Social TO, to sit back in the rustic venue, enjoy the sunshine and admire the fashion and hair of the women around me.

once Catriona of Coco & Cowe sat down with Grammy-award winning (and Guyanese-bred, Toronto-raised) songstress Melanie Fiona, something told me the voice note app was going to be clutch and i need to make sure i captured the life that was going to be given.

it’s always nice when celebrates who have sung you through long commutes and heartbreaks, are down-to-earth and funny. a snapshot of some of the questions and quotables:

on entrepreneurship:

you need a team. you cannot do it on your own. have a great support system of friends and family around you. build and use your network. objectives and goals are important, know what you what you want to do. don’t be afraid to ask for help. find a team of people who feel like you, same sensibility like you, will protect your integrity and vision for your company like you do.
i believe in the power of intention, the power of what is for you, is for you, tapping into yourself is so important. when you operate from that place – there’s nothing that can stop that. no one. no rut. no downfall that can stop your story. if you are driven by money – you will fail every time.

on social media:

Catriona: instagram is like your life’s greatest hits, how do you deal with the pressure to be perfect?

not being afraid to be imperfect, because there is no perfect. when you are confident in who you are and what you have, that shines through. i have way more twitter follower than instagram followers, which actually makes me happy because people are more interested in what i have to say, rather than what i look like or what have to show them.

on writing and creating:

best time to write – is when i am inspired and isolated. no distractions. i wish i could be a songwriter that says: today, i’m going to write a song. [but] i have to be in a mood. whether that’s angry or in my feelings. my truth comes out from the genuine emotion that comes out of me.

(Melanie swears she’s me!. i can’t blog/post for the sake of. i need to be emotionally moved and motivated to write. the idea of monetizing that in the effort to take this blog to the next level..concerns me though)

her celebrity crush: Will Smith. i admire what’s done career wise and he really loves his wife which is always sexy.

dream collabo: Kanye West

guilty pleasure: eating. including potatoes. (but not really)

unwinding: burning incense and watching cartoons

recent movie: i origins

yours truly was able to kick off the question period by asking if her love of potatoes includes vodka. we had a teachable moment there. #themoreyouknow

on goals outside of music:

singing and music is my gift. but my purpose is evolving to positively affect people which includes starting a foundation this year to include women’s initiatives. labours of love and passion. and maybe do Broadway?!

on getting out of a rut:

i’m inspired by sharing what i go through. being able to tell my truth. my strength comes from my lowest moments: writing, talking, sharing, falling in and out of love. crying. if i cant express myself through words or music, i hit the stage. the exchange of positive energy. oh and eating good food.

on speaking on social issues:

i comment all the time. if people can comment on people’s shoes, i can comment on police killing black men. it’s important because i have a platform, we know celebs with 25 million followers, but stand for nothing but a selfie. even if people are arguing in the comments, at least there’s a conversation happening.

(insert praise break here)

there was so much more to the conversation (part 2 maybe?), but this post would be 5000 words (though full of awesomeness). it’s always awesome ‘meeting’ a celeb and feeling you just spent an hour with a girlfriend. it was uplifting, and powerful. so much of what she spoke on, mirrored how i feel about my progression and growth as a writer.

i’ve always written. it’s something i’ve always been good at. it’s my passion. my purpose. where it will take me – who knows. but i know it’s something i must do. not for fame, or fortune – but to complete my purpose.

people (well ladies based on the gender count in the room) are always on the hunt for elevated events that brings together people from different pockets of the city, walks of life and points of view.

if this edition of The Sunday Social is any indication, i have a feeling it will be here to stay.


The Sunday Social presented by Moroccan Oil


  • Dermalogica
  • Annabelle Cosmetics
  • Flow Water


  • Luxelife Toronto
  • Coco & Cowe
  • ReservedX
  • Just For You Events
  • CityXNights


The Boiler House, Distillery District

I live in a great city.

Toronto is home to great food, diverse culture, art, music, entertainment (and did I mention food?)

But one of its downsides, that I would think about before having a child was how financially inaccessible the city can be.

When the Terra Cotta Warriors special exhibit was in town at the Royal Ontario Museum, I remember being slightly annoyed that there were two fees to get in. I wondered to myself – if that’s the cost as a single person – what does a family of 4 do?

I’ve wondered that ever since with very little answers other than – they probably don’t.

So I was excited when I heard about the Children’s Discovery Centre. I was pleased to see the very reasonable price of admission ($13) and happy to make the trek to Liberty Village to check out the space on their grand opening day to the public.

First test: transportation. Is it easy to get to? Will having a stroller be the bane of your existence? The answer is yes and no. Just a short walk from King West, the streetcar stop lets you off on the same side of the street the venue is on. The venue itself is 1 level, wheelchair accessible and stroller friendly. There’s even various parking lots for them. A bright and airy main lobby welcomes you into the space.

After paying for a ticket (which you can also do online) – the fun begins. You don’t know where to start, but that’s half the fun! The centre is broken into various zones, assigned by colour to guide you where you’d like to go!

While tempted to go into the Blue Imagination Station, I was drawn into the hustle and bustle of the Mini City! Bikes, scooters and wagons for all ages available for kids to drive around the streets. There were a few red lights run – but no serious offences. The Mini City was authentic and true to Toronto with a construction zone gravel pit in the middle.

Art Hive – a quiet but great place for budding artists to get messy and have fun. The plexi-easels are probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and kinda want one for my house.

Campground, by far was my favorite. The forest mural on the wall, the grass and big canoe in the middle, the tent were great touches. But the beaver dam, big enough for the biggest of kids (aka me) is a place I would’ve stayed in all day!

Other areas include:

  • Boom Room: think mixing bowls + spatula (aka keep the kids busy while you prep dinner). Different noise makers from around the world will stimulate all the senses
  • Eat Street: a grocery store, kitchen (complete with the cutest chef hats and aprons) area. It was great to see boys and girls in this space.
  • Make Believe: I envision lots of fairy tale productions in this great theatre space, with a large stage area. Bravo!
  • Pet Vet: shelves of furry creatures (of the stuffed variety), an x-ray wall and the green uniforms lets me know they talked to someone in the business to make this room as authentic as possible!
  • Storyland: if this place existed when I was a child, this would be the place my mom would know where to find me. Cozy nooks to sit and read? CAN I GET ONE OF THOSE IN MY HOUSE PLEASE?

There’s a large party room for what will be a very popular birthday party spot, a huge open space for future exhibitions and clean, wide-door unisex/family friendly bathrooms EVERYWHERE. I especially like that it’s for kids 6 and under. Any parent that has taken their toddlers to a drop-in of any sort – knows the gritted teeth and frozen smiles one puts on as school-age children knocks over the smaller toddlers around them. There are specific baby crawl areas for them to play in to reduce this stress on all parties.

It’s an extremely amazing place, with very engaging and friendly staff. You can tell that it was designed by a parent for other parents. I was able to chat briefly with CEO Jeanhy Shim about the project when on my way out. Surprisingly, it’s only a temporary spot until a permanent place is found. Why that’s exceptionally impressive is because there is nothing that says temporary about the space. There are no unfinished touches to the naked (or event planner/mommy) eye. It’s a grassroots endeavour, generously supported by various corporations and community at large.

There’s a big space for families to sit and enjoy a snack that you can bring from home. This is noteworthy as there are many places that try to restrict outside food (for several valid and IMO not-so-valid reasons). I’d love to see the permanent place (or this one) have healthy snacks for sale.

There are always plenty of things to do in the city if you have kids, but either the cost, location (or both) can be prohibitive. This centre addresses both those things and more. I can see myself going quite a few times before it closes in September.

Welcome to the city CDC, we hope you stay awhile.


Children’s Discovery Centre

45 Strachan Ave, Toronto

Open daily – 9:30am-4:30pm


Note: this is not a sponsored post. the opinions and review is entirely because i wanted to write about it! i promise the kiddo having fun was the primary goal for going 🙂

So between attending Blogging While Brown, BlogHer and assorted webinars and various other moves – it’s safe to say that one of my goals for this year is to monetize my writing. i’ve already written about how i’ve changed gears in where i see my future going. i went from knowing and being an event planner, to wanting to pursue writing.

So when Secrets of a Side Hustler decided to have an entire week of local and online events – i knew that i needed to attend. SoaSH is a business and community whose objective is to empower and support those who are working full-time while trying to develop their side hustle. this is done via weekly Twitter chats, mentorship and networking events.

Sunday was the official kick off event, held in a cool new downtown venue. the hook to this event? each guest was to bring a book that inspires them to add to the book swap pool. so let’s recap: a chance to support an awesome and growing community/business, a new event space and a book? of course!

What i loved was the opportunity to catch up with old friends, chat with people from various walks of life and make new friends and connections as well. there was a gentleman who will take care of the accounting while you take care of building, someone who has a marketing and branding company, a couple of authors, event planners and so many from different walks of life!

For me – i sometime feel like I’m behind and going backwards in regards to actually turning writing into a business. so it was nice to chat with people who managed to turn their side hustle into a full-time thing. and while my leaps and risks have to be measured and small for now as to not negatively impact my son – i feel they will pay off in the end.

Tonight the learning and side hustle continues – and im excited to learn more and grow.

Some tickets for some events are still available, visit here for more details.


What’s your word? Do you have a side hustle? Are side hustles only for people unhappy with their full-time jobs? Do you think it’ll become something full time? What’s stopping you? Hustle over to the comments!

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