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How Awesome Is Your City?

Ask yourself this question, what makes your community awesome?

Photo by Awesome Kingston

If you are "devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe" as the Awesome Foundation would say, then you are well on your way to joining many like yourself. Every month $1,000 micro-grants (in brown paper bags) are distributed to projects and their creators with no strings attached. Confused? Well, creative and passionate individuals are given 90-seconds to take the floor and pitch their idea or project and then take questions from the trustees and the audience. After deliberation occurs, one project walks away with the micro-grant. Easy peasy! You might just get inspired and have your creative juices flowing!

So why is Kingston awesome?

Because we have our very own Awesome Foundation chapter! Pitch parties happen on the third Thursday of each month and yesterday's meet up was quite special as it was Awesome Day in Canada! Awesome Kingston along with various Canadian chapters teamed up to celebrate Awesomeness in all aspects. We gathered in Market Square by City Hall where the public was encouraged to come and watch pitches but also take part in fun activities.

The concept of Awesome Kingston is brilliant as this city is vibrant in young individuals who seek to flourish. This was shown through a pitch that stood out to me personally yesterday, its name is The Claire Closet. It empowers girls and gives them the confidence to be who they are but the twist, through fashion and developing their own personal style! A teacher by day, fashionista by night, Claire Bouvier is a role model and the winner of yesterday's series of pitches. 

The project Clair has taken on is one that should be shared. I resonate with it because young women need to know from a young age that they have the ability to prosper and not have to question their path in life, especially career-wise. Through Claire's pitch, Awesome Kingston has shown us that spreading awesomeness within your own community sometimes helps women have a voice and come out of their shell.

This is why I think Kingston is awesome:

Photo by Awesome Kingston

Look out for more posts every Friday, they give you a glimpse of what Kingston has to offer!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Music Festival Season

With Digital Dreams right around the corner and VELD about a month away, I thought it'd be the perfect time to talk about music festival style and essentials. Let's get started! 

Keep your outfit simple and comfortable but don't be shy to express your own style. If that means wearing a flower headband or funky glasses, so be it! You're usual daily wardrobe won't do, so get creative and pull out those shorts (or summer dress) because it's going to be a hot one that's for sure! Oh and wear appropriate foot attire (no heels allowed please!), at the end of the day you'll thank me.

Remember that you'll be large crowds, so avoid carrying an oversized purse, simply bring what you need for the day. A small cross body purse will do the trick as you have enough room to store your phone, IDs, map, show tickets and keys. Don't forget to bring cash or debit as well. Lastly, a water bottle and sunscreen are key to keep yourself hydrated and prevent sun burns. 

Hope you're ready for some fun because I am! 

If you're headed to Digital Dreams in Toronto this weekend, let me know!


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Let Us Remember Air India Flight 182

In 1985, three hundred twenty nine innocent lives were taken on Air India Flight 182.

Deemed the worst act of terrorism in Canadian history, families of victims have grappled with this unsolved crime for years yet events of June 23, 1985 have not settled into our nation's soul. Many oblivious to the act of events that took place, this day altered the destinies of many, including mine. Families were changed forever by the hurt, isolation and little recognition of their loss.

Air India Flight 182

But today, we remember the children, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers whose futures and aspirations were destroyed in a glimpse of a second.

May you all rest in peace.

You will always be remembered...

Julie Gambhir - 4
Angi Gambhir - 9
Santosh Gambhir - 35
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Taste of Kingston | Mission Street North

Surprisingly food trucks are nothing new to the City of Kingston but with the popularity of shows such as Eat St, specialty trucks have popped up with much anticipation and Kingstonians have responded with opening hands. 

With almost no experience in the food industry, it's refreshing to see young entrepreneurs go out and do something they are passionate about. The guys of Mission Street North may not carry the chef title but their food tells a different story. The main man Alex Robinson and his sidekicks at the truck, brother Phil and Mike Barber have unwavering dedication and high energy to pursue such a business. This synonymously reflects where they got their inspiration to serving up fresh and flavourful mexican cuisine. From trips to Mexico to the taco truck scene in San Francisco's Mission District neighbourhood, the vibrant and eclectic vibe just had to be brought back home to Kingston and emulated as best as possible with of course their own personal touch. The boys vision for their food and truck design came from the amazing taquerias(taco shops) and Mexican restaurants they had visited. Instead of opening a restaurant, a food truck option was what they chose as their best bet as it required a significantly lower start up cost and was a much smaller scale than opening a brick and mortar restaurant, as Alex mentioned. As young individuals now days, Alex took the risk and plunged into an unknown world but is so far, exceeding expectations. 

Just a few steps away from Queen'sU campus and the downtown core, you can fill up your appetite and taste what Mission Street North has to offer. This food truck will most certainly be a huge favorite during Frosh Week as well as the upcoming school year this September with affordable prices that range from less than ten dollars on a meal that are sure to fill you right up. I promise you that! As location, food traffic and big lunch crowds are paramount to any food truck, Mission Street North was wise in their decision in leasing a spot where people get around on foot. 

So enough about the dry stuff, onto the delicious food but hang on, let's give this mexican food truck props to supporting local Kingston initiatives, Deodatos and Greenless Quality Meats where produce is fresh and meat is hormone as well as antibiotic free and grass fed. Dubbed El Guapo, Mission Street North isn't complete with some of the products being from Mexico like their habaneros, tomatillos, avocados and should be this way! You can't truly taste authentic Mexican cuisine unless you've had the real thing. 

From Gourmet Tacos to Mission-Style Burritos, you will leave most certainly satisfied. The Burritos combine Spanish rice, black beans, choice of salsa(s) (oh la la), guacamole, crema, Monterey Jack cheese and are offered as Classic Carnitas, Yucutan Chicken and Sin Carne. The first being seasoned slow braised pork shoulder, marinated chicken grilled and caramelized to perfection and lastly seasoned and grilled bell peppers, onions and jalepeno peppers respectively.

You know you can't say no to this! 

From good food, staying true to their roots and being local, Alex and his team have come a long way and I wish them the best of luck for the future. Get ready for those hungry students, mexican food lovers and everything in between.

{El Guapo}

Grilled fresh tilapia, seasoned with signature blackening spice and served with cabbage slaw, pickled red onions and chipotle aioli.

{Cabo Tacos}

Fresh hass avocado, beer battered and deep friend then topped with pico de gallo, cabbage and a cilantro-lime everything sauce.

{Hass-ta La Vista}

If you still have room or have a sweet tooth, golden brown Churros crafted by Patty Cakes are served with both caramel AND picante chocolate dipping sauce. Double threat right there! You can't go wrong with combining both followed by a sip of Mexican soda to stay cool. Mango is my favorite so far but includes flavours such as lime, grapefruit and pineapple.


Be sure to visit at 155 Division St. and keep your eyes open for El Guapo at the re-opening of Lake Ontario Park this coming Sunday!

Look out for more Taste of Kingston posts every Friday!


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Confetti Fun

Small pieces or streamers of paper, mylar, metallic material which are usually thrown at parades, celebrations, especially weddings.

But who says you can't have fun with confetti at your birthday! It's the perfect way to add some some glitz and glam. It's fun to sprinkle on table tops, giftbags or use in envelopes when sending invitations or thank you cards!

Don't you just love it!

{Carter and Cook Event Co}


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Booby Pack

Don't let the name fool you because the Booby Pack is literally a fanny pack for your rack! This may sound odd to some but ingenious to others. For those who attend music festivals, this is a great idea. From experience, I hate fidgeting with my purse and having to carry my phone in my hands but leaving it behind at home is not an option and no outfit will be comprised either.


Christina Conrad has found the perfect solution! Hello Booby Pack, a sports like bra that has pockets on its side to hold and protect valuables from being tossed around, dropped as well as excessive sweat build up since it's water resistant. It allows you to dance freely without worrying about your personal items. However, the one downside is that if you are bustier, the Booby Pack may not be very supportive. Then again that won't stop me from sporting mine at Digital Dreams in Toronto in just a few weeks!

The outfit options are endless and comes in bright fun colours that are perfect for the music rave scene but also a simple workout session.


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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To all the dads

Happy Father's Day!

My dad was quite the host back in the day sporting spiffy blazers and looking all sharp. I have him to thank for everything in my life. He has taught me such valuable lessons and skills. His stories, resilience and background have truly inspired me to do my best and not give up. Not many people can compare to him and I am happy to call him my dad!

"It's only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home -- it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love."
- Margaret Truman


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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White Sauce Summer Pizza

I've been quite fond of cooking and would like to think I'm good at it. I may have not gone to culinary school but I've picked up a few tricks here and there along with the necessary life skills if you can call them that to make decent meals. As a student, I ventured away from my parents home and had to fend for myself as many do. With that came the responsibility of learning how to buy groceries on a budget and cook meals. This was an adventure but thanks to amazing housemates and my foodie partner-in-crime, I managed to get by.

Pizza was and still is one of my favourite foods and healthy might I add if done right. It's fairly easy to make and was had on several occasions. 

Today I'm sharing my favourite white sauce veggie pizza recipe:

White Sauce Summer Pizza



Pizza Dough
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp of honey
3-4 cup of flour
2 tbsp  of sugar
 1 cup of water
1 tbsp of salt
5 tsp of yeast

White Sauce
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
Whipping cream
1 diced clove of garlic
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Pinch of black pepper

1/2 cup of broccoli
1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup of sliced peppers
1/3 cup of sliced tomato
Leaves of sweet basil


Step 1 - Pizza

In a large bowl, mix ingredients together, cover with a sheet and then let rise for two hours.

Step 2 - White Sauce

In a medium-size bowl, slowly add whipping cream, one tablespoon at a time while whisking to the ricotta until you reach a smooth creamy consistency and resembles a sauce. Then add garlic, salt and black pepper.

Step 3

Once the dough is ready, roll it out into the desired shape.

Instead of flour, toss cornmeal onto a pizza stone so the dough doesn't stick.

With a fork, gently poke holes throughout and then spread the sauce over leaving an inch spacing from the ends. Add your veggie toppings and voila it's ready for the oven.

Step 4

Bake at 475 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly crisp and toppings are cooked.

White Sauce Summer Pizza

I love topping my slices of pizza with spinach and then drizzling some balsamic vinegar over it. You should try it and share what you think!


Extra dough balls can be stored in the freezer and used at a later date.
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Are You Finance Savvy?

Debt, credit lines, you name it equals zero in my books. My rule is to not live beyond my means and budget spending based on needs vs wants. If this word sounds foreign to you then you are in for a real shocker. I'm amazed at the number of people I have met who are students and even adults who buy everything and anything without thinking of the consequences such as debt or credit score.

Credit cards have become a way of life for many as they are extremely easy to use and many offer reward programs. However, many forget to make minimum payments, miss some or don't even make any for that matter and end up ruining their credit score. When it comes to credit scores, credit cards and bills actually play a hand in it. Poor decisions made when you're younger could possibly prove costly after you graduate when you're trying to buy a house in a new city because of a new job or get a loan. Don't get carless with your finances. It's easy to make mistakes but don't let it ruin your life. Remember to pay your credit card balance full every month on time or not miss a payment.

As a former student, my one piece of advice while I may have not done this but seen others do, is to not sign up for a bunch of credit cards in university simply because they may offer you a discount. The limit those cards hold will be put against you in terms of credit even if they aren't used. So to make sure this doesn't happen, don't simply take a pair of scissors to them but call your credit card company along with your national credit bureau (Equifax and TransUnion are the Canadian ones) to make sure it is noted that you requested your credit cards to be canceled.

So if you do rack up a large amount of debt from credit cards to student loans, don't be afraid to seek help from a credit counselor. Bad credit will follow you like a shadow and you seriously don't want that!

Young people now days have a skewed image in regards to what they spend, they have the 'live for the moment' mindset which is great but not for their finances. They need to learn to spend money on what they can afford now, save and avoid credit card debt! 

{Apartment Therapy}

To avoid all the unnecessary spending, a great way to budget is to keep a spending journal whether it be in an excel spreadsheet or on your iPhone using an app. You must first figure out what are needs and wants in your life. Those really cute shoes at the store may look enticing right now but if you have another pair at home that look the same, you can hold off. Budgeting doesn't take too long if you are willing to sit down and analyse your income to see where you are doing most of your spending

savings plan is another great option. A tax free savings account that automatically takes a monthly amount from your checking account is good because since you no longer see the money, you are no longer tempted to touch it.

Once you embrace the lifestyle of tracking your spending, educating yourself on money, credit cards and savings. You are set, just remember to not live beyond your means!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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I'm an Introvert

I have been wanting to take a personality test for the longest time and did recently. I found out that I was a ISFJ and was shockingly not surprised by the result. I've always been a reserved person and usually am more energized when I'm on my own which may sound weird to some but I rather enjoy my alone time and find comfort in expressing my thoughts in writing hence why I started blogging. 

While yes I do like being by myself, I'm okay when I'm surrounded with people that I know. I may be a tad quiet with those I don't but once I open up, I am bubbly and am known to excessively giggle. It  takes time for me to open up but once I find the right people I click with, conversations just happen. 

A person like myself loves to brainstorm, come up with new ideas in smaller groups. I generally tend to think in my head before I speak rather than out loud and sometimes need time to come up with an answer. People may think I'm shy since I'm not very talkative, however I'm not. I simply choose my conversations wisely and observe people's behaviours. 

So to clarify, introversion and extroversion are not really how people act in public but more so where they get their energy. Introverts get their energy from solitude and extroverts get their energy by spending time with other people such as crowds.

With emotions, that's another story. When I'm feeling down or stressed, chances are that I will escape to my room and won't actually go to you for help. In fact, I won't go to anyone for help because I feel that I shouldn't burden others with my problems but if you come to me, I am more than happy to give advice, lend a hand and help others. Blogging/writing was my way of coping with my issues and have used it ever since. I am stimulated to write and am most productive when alone. When it comes to work places, I may not have the final say but when handed a task, I like to have time to think and generate ideas then collaborate and discuss. I love the idea of open concept offices but with constant noise and interruptions, how do you expect people to get work done. Personally, creativity, productivity and efficiency flows best behind closed doors independently.

Susan Cain talks about introverts perfectly and actually describes my life in a way. She talks about how in our culture being social and outgoing are looked highly upon, making it quite hard to be an introvert. We are usually portrayed as quiet, under appreciated and under valued. But we're NOT!

 I am an introvert and am Gen Y.


Are you an introvert or extrovert?


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Summer Sangria

It's no secret that sangria is THE summer drink and being a Queen'sU almuna, it's what you order at Queen's Pub to celebrate. Who doesn't love the taste of sangria?! It's the perfect way to brighten up any table and great for the weekend. It's easy to make, delicious and quite refreshing.

Here's my version of a berry based sangria:

1 cup halved strawberries
1 cup raspberries or blueberries
1 sliced orange
1 sliced pineapple

White wine of your choice
White grape juice
Sprit or club soda (for carbonation)

For extra sweetness, add maraschino cherries and grenadine syrup
(remember this will change the color of your drink to a red tint).

Mix all together over ice (juice based is better than water) and serve!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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What girl doesn't like a little sparkle or a lot?

Chunky bold necklaces are perfect to dress up any outfit!

{The Signature Bow}


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Recap: The Great Canadian Cheese Festival 2013

This past weekend, Prince Edward County was home to the third annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton's Crystal Palace. It was attended by thousands of cheese lovers and artisans from coast to coast. One was able to sample, purchase, attend cheese tours, cooking classes and tutored tastings, along with unique dining events on Saturday evening. Cheese lovers and foodies were able to mingle and connect with some remarkable products from Grand Prix winning artisanal cheeses to fine wines and craft beers.

The event was organized in the ideal location with picturesque scenery and a somewhat rural backdrop. The drive up from Kingston was about an hour but worth it. Why? Well first don't worry about not eating before hand because once you leave, your stomach will surely be satisfied. I know mine was! Not only did you get to eat a lot of cheese at the festival but to my surprise, the festival showcased salts, olive oil, mustards etc. I came home with cinnamon honey butter from Heavenly Honey and butternut and beer chutney from Major Craig's Inc., who were at the Taste of Ottawa Pavilion which featured around ten local specialty food producers. I was quite delighted.

The festival brought out all the passion of the cheese-makers and producers. You could truly tell that this was their life and the way they talked about their products was outstanding.

This being my first year attending the festival, I was amazed by all the hard work that was put into it. Thanks to the founder Georgs Kolesnikovs or known as THE cheesehead, coordinators, cheese lovers, volunteers and everyone else who made the two day event possible. From brie, ricotta to gouda, I was in cheese heaven. I will most definitely be attending again next year and purchasing advance tickets as well (because it has its perks such as the media event back in May)!

Andrew Craig primarily known as 'the Chutney Guy' was serving up some delicious chutney.

The Exultet Estates 2011 cru White Light was one of my top wine picks for the event but Huff Estates 2011 Resiling Off Dry is still the one for me.


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Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether it's exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure within Kingston, Ontario and beyond. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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