My Blog, The City

A Lady’s Survival Guide to Beerfest

So, you’ve decided to get a ticket to the Toronto Festival of Beer to see what all the fuss is about? As a two-year veteran, I can say, with confidence, that you will most likely enjoy yourself, especially if you love beer and people watching. But there are a few things you should know so you can get the most out of the experience.

How it works

The best thing about the festival is enjoying beer outside in the city. The second best thing is trying tons of cool new beer –but don’t worry: your favourite standbys from the big brands are also there. Ticket prices include a small glass stein and 5 tokens.

Once inside you’ll want to buy more. One token will get you half of a stein so that you can taste a new beer before fully committing to a full glass, which is two tokens.

There are also guided tours and “hoptimized” VIP tickets for the event. If you’re a true beer connoisseur, this is definitely worth it, but for the average enthusiast, you’ll have enough to taste, see and hear without needing special privileges, but getting a VIP package would be an amazing idea for a bachelor/bachelorette party.

Pick the right day

You have the option of attending during the day (Saturday and Sunday 1:30 – 8pm) or night (Friday 4:30 – 11 pm). Both have their perks: Friday is a great party at night, while Saturday and Sunday allows you to enjoy a brewski under the sun. Sunday is the least busy day if you hate lineups and crowds. When you decide on a day, buy your tickets online early, because Friday and Saturday sell out pretty fast. I would also recommend being on time. Lines can get longer as the day goes on and you don’t want to be left with an empty glass as soon as you get there. Having a buzz helps the queues go by faster.

Getting there (and getting home)

If you want to get to Bandshell Park at Exhibition place right when the festival starts, get to Dufferin station earlier than you need to, just in case you don’t make it onto the first few buses (it’s overcrowded at times). In terms of getting home, consider downloading Hailo, a free app that makes getting a licensed cab a cinch. You ask for a cab at your address, and you can watch it arrive in real time. It can also take payments through your phone so you don’t have to fumble with cash or a credit card at the end of your ride. There’s usually a lot of taxis around the festival though, so if you leave a few minutes before closing you shouldn’t have too much trouble grabbing one.

Bring the right stuff

A few things I’d recommend you bring to Beerfest:

-Sunscreen. You can find shade if you need it but better safe than sorry!

Hand sanitizers/wipes. Trust me on this one…

-A light sweater/jacket. For the same reason your mom always tells you to bring one. You never know if you’ll catch a chill, and the festival runs rain or shine!

-Flat shoes. You’ll be walking around on a lot of grass, so heels are not a good choice.

-Cash. You can pay with credit and debit at most food stalls and the ticket booths, but cash makes the process easier and faster.

-A blanket. There isn’t a ton of seating so it can be nice to make your own if you want to relax

-Download the Festival of Beer app. You’ll want the interactive map of the site and details of the food and beer exhibitors if you’re looking for a specific brew.

Extra tips you should know

-Don’t bother to pre-drink. It’s completely unnecessary for the amount of alcohol you’ll be ingesting, especially if you go for the full duration each day. Also make sure you eat a hardy meal beforehand. You will probably still want a snack while you’re in there, and while most of the food is pretty darn good (and is getting better every year!), it isn’t all cheap. This year a margherita pizza from Pizza Libretto saved my life.

-Give every beer a try. Part of the fun is the tasting. I tend to stay away from the fruit-flavoured beers, but this year I gave Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat beer a try, and it was unexpectedly delicious and refreshing.

-Pee early in the night or day. The longer you wait, the busier the port-o-potties get (and the more unusable they become). Also, your toilet seat will most likely be covered in urine (Thanks boys!). You can squat and hang onto the door handle for dear life, or bring travel-sized sanitary wipes. Bypass the washing sinks and bring your own hand sanitizer if you’re a real germaphobe. Half of the time they’re out of water, and then you just touched one of the grossest surfaces there for nothing.

-If you’re looking for the place to be post-festival, you could head to William’s Landing, which is pretty much the closest bar people tend to flock to. It’s not a place I normally go, but it has an awesome rooftop patio to continue your outdoor drinking escapades.

-Hashtag your tweets and Instagram pictures properly: @TOBeerFestival #beerme #TFOB2013


Beauty & Fashion, Online, Writing

Online Editorial Greatest Hits For

As Online Editor for, a trade publication for beauty professionals, I create content plans, write and edit articles, coordinate with the print editorial team for stories, and create a weekly newsletter. I also manage several social media accounts for the magazine and report on web traffic stats. Below are links to a sampling of my articles.

The Big Hair Trend of S/S 2014: Sport Chic

Beauty Runway Writing - S/S 2014

15 Ways Salons Can Improve Holiday Profits

Best & Worst Met Gala 2013 Hair

Best Spring 2013 Runway Hairstyle Trends

Top Haircuts for Spring 2013

Runway Beauty Writing - S/S 2013

Spring 2013 Hair Trend: Fake Fringe

Spring/Summer 2013 Runway Hair Colour Trends

Oscar Hairstyles You Probably Missed

Hair Trends From the Fall 2012 Runway

Runway Hair Trends - F/W 2014

Beauty & Fashion, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Travel, Web, Writing

Elevate Magazine Beauty, Wellness & Travel Writing

During my time as Online Editor at, I have contributed to numerous print news articles and features covering a variety of topics, including cosmetic enhancement, beauty, health and travel. Below is a sampling of some of my work published in Elevate magazine.

November/December 2013 issue

2 U.K. Hotels You Must Visit (& How to Score a Spa Deal at Both!)UK Spas/Hotels


May/June 2013 issue

Fitness Writing in Elevate magazine

Cosmetic enhancement celebrity news

March/April 2013 issue

Mental Health News Piece

November/December 2012 issue

Celebrity Beauty - Jennifer Aniston

September/October 2012 issue

Celebrity Beauty - Katie Holmes

July/August 2012 issue

Travel - Chiva Som Feature Travel - Chiva Som Feature - 2

Celebrity Beauty - Lucy Liu

May/June 2012 issue

Celebrity Beauty - Berenice Bejo

March/April 2012 issue

Oral Health/Wellness Piece

January/February 2012 issue

Snoring Health/Wellness

Male Cosmetic Enhancement Feature

Read the full article here.

Fitness News Piece

Life in Publishing

Job Search Tip #8: Fake It Till You Make It


This may be a controversial tip, but I do truly believe in faking it till you make it (FITYMI). This doesn’t mean pretending or lying about your skills or abilities to get a job, but rather forcing yourself to do things that may initially make you uncomfortable or scared to get to where you want to be. It’s about boosting your confidence so that you believe in yourself. If you’re insecure or scared no one else is ever going to trust in you or believe in you.

This could be as simple as getting a new wardrobe to fit in at your new workplace, although FITYMI doesn’t require going into credit card debt to make it seem like you’re successful on the surface. It also doesn’t mean losing your own sense of style but rather dressing in a mature way that says you’re ready to handle responsibility. It could also mean buying books about your industry and taking night courses to improve yourself and learn more. Attending industry events, networking and learning more about your field is another important way to FITYMI. Who cares if you don’t know anyone else? Act like you belong and work the room. Start a blog to show off what knowledge you do have and position yourself as a leader in the field.

Very soon you won’t be faking it anymore.

Life in Publishing

Job Search Tip #7: Be A Bit Dramatic

My next tip has been inspired by all of the great TIFF movies I’ve seen so far (I give both Jeff, Who Lives At Home and Like Crazy 4/5 stars). You need to stand out in the crowd. Have some flair. Possess a certain je ne sais quoi.  Add a bit of drama to the job application process.

However this doesn’t mean acting strange or gimmickey (unless you’re in marketing. Then you need to assess the situation based on the company you are applying to). Some subtle suggestions? Change up your resume by switching the fonts to something other than Times New Roman and making your name really stand out. Wear one bright colour in the interview through a ring, shoe or tie. Have a flashy or funny website that says something about you and your interests.

Do not go overboard and make yourself look nuts by sporting a crazy outfit or tap dancing in your interview (unless they ask you to). You want to show personality as well as professionalism. Super conservative and formal work places probably aren’t the best place for trying these out, but as humans we generally respond well to drama and storytelling. Being remembered can be hard when lots of people are being interviewed so a bit of pizazz is okay. Just make sure you have the substance beneath the flash by doing your homework.