Photo Friday: Summer Lovin’

Oh, the hot, hazy days of summer! While many of us moan and groan about the humidity (and the frizzy hair that comes with it), we can’t help but love summer: drinks on the patio, fun fashions and, of course, a drastic increase in shirtless hunks

Today’s Photo Friday rounds up a few of our favourite (summery) things, which are sure to be eye-candy once the temperature dips below zero. 

Rave: Childhood summer vacations

There’s nothing quite like summer to make us nostalgic about our childhood. Two months of blissful, school-free days filled with swimming, ice cream and road trips. The heat must be getting to us On The Fourth Floor, because the other day we started reminiscing about our favourite memories of past summer vacations.

My grandparents used to live on a lake near Parry Sound – it’s my favourite place in the world. We’d be outside all day and in my case, most of the time was spent in the water. At night we’d hang around the fire and play horseshoes. I have such great memories of being up there. Lots of laughter, jokes and love.

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Just picture a mini-Lisa jumping off that dock.

I spent every summer from ages nine to 19 at Camp Winnebagoe. Life was good. I made lifelong friends, spent every waking moment outside and learned so much.

I love Murphy’s Ice Cream Parlour in Streetsville. My grandpa used to take me when I was about five, and it was always the happening spot in the summer. All the cute soccer playing boys would hang out there, which was nice little eye candy to go along with the ice cream. I still get a kiddy scoop of Caribou Tracks when I go there now.
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My family always takes an annual summer trip to Stowe, Vermont. It’s the annual Stark Stowe reunion. We make T-shirts every year. We usually stay at the Golden Eagle resort and hit the bike path, alpine slidesBen and Jerry’s factory, and a dinner at The Whip. These trips have become especially fun and meaningful since both my brother and I have had kids.

I loved going to the Toronto Zoo. I always had a fascination with watching animals and thought of it as such an adventure. I still dream of going to African Lion Safari – maybe this is the summer!

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The mighty polar bears at the Toronto Zoo.

I grew up spending summers in Bass River, Nova Scotia. As a city girl, I adapted quickly to country living (with a ton of allergy pills and nose spray) and soon learned to milk a cow, drive a tractor and race around on a four wheeler. My favourite memory is when we spent two weeks camping across Newfoundland with our best family friends. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. 
I loved the cottage that my family used to rent just north of Sudbury. My brother, sister and I would basically be left on our own for the entire time, and we loved it. We’d swim, fish, explore in the woods, read books (well, only I would do that), stay up late and roast marshmallows over campfires at night. I still love going to cottages, and try to get to a friend’s every chance I get. To me, it’s the essence of summer in Canada.

I also spent my summers up at camp in Perth, Ontario. It is where I found my independence, hit puberty and fell in love. I also learned how to build a fire, camp out with just a tarp and play capture the flag. I love the memories that I have and wouldn’t trade those summers for anything.

What is your favourite summer memory? Leave a comment, or tweet us @rockitpromo.

Yum Yum: Free Ice Cream Today!

Whether in heels or flats, there are few things in life worth running for. This week, there are two things that will raise our heartbeats and get us moving. The first is a David Beckham spotting (yes, he was in the city, Posh Spice not included), and the second is free ice cream.

Today, the country’s favourite team-buying website, is giving us all something to scream about.
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To celebrate the start of spring, the jingling ice cream truck will make multiple stops around Toronto’s downtown core today. To get your very own complimentary chocolate swirl or vanilla cone, get running over to the ice cream truck when hits your area.

Stops will include:
11 a.m. Queen Street and John Street
1 p.m. Yonge-Dundas Square
3 p.m. Bloor Street and St. George
5 p.m. Union Station 

To make this even better, anyone who subscribes to the daily email newsletter will get an extra 20 per cent off their first purchase – use the promo code icecream. 

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So what are you waiting for? You know you want a cone! Our very own Lisa and Amalia will be waiting for you, along with the crew. See you soon!

Yum, Yum: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Those who say “you can’t have it all” have never been to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, at 511 Bloor Street West. A cool snack mecca, Menchie’s offers fro-yo lovers over 100 rotating flavours to top with some 60 rotating toppings. Literally, you can have it all on your yogurt, if you want.

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At Menchies, some of the best combinations begin with mixing and matching. You grab your cup, and make a tough decision. You can fill it with chocolate espresso, coconut, vanilla latte, no-sugar-added boysenberry, low-carb angel food cake or dairy-free mango tango sorbet.

Next, sprinkle your yogurt with snack bar toppings, like peanut butter chips, Jelly Bellies, and m&m’s, the Chill Bar’s blueberries, cheesecake bits and mochi, or Hottie’s sauces in chocolate or caramel.

Menchie’s fans pay by weight, not per topping, so be sure to load up on fun fixings. There is no such thing as fro-yo with too many marshmallows.

After recovering from our latest PS. I Made This disaster venture, we were finally ready to take on another DIY project. We joined the ever-present line at Menchie’s, and began our yogurt dessert cup with a birthday cake and frozen hot chocolate base. To that, we added sprinkles, Oreo cookies, carob chips, strawberries and bananas.

Yes, we made it, we liked it and we ate it all.

First jobs: Abby

Ah, first jobs. You might have babysat three screaming children, steamed designer clothing or blended McFlurries for $6 an hour. First jobs are far from glamourous for most people, but they offer more money than the tooth fairy ever gave you (usually). They also make up who we are today and are part of our journey to where we are now.

Abby spills about her first job flipping hamburgers and scooping ice cream.

I loved my first job. I had moved to a small town (Blenheim, Ontario) at the beginning of Grade 9, which is the worst time to move. I didn’t know many people at first, and one day, decided to apply for a job at the local burger joint. 
 The Blenheim Bobcats were serious.
It’s called Homerun Hamburgers and everyone worked there. It was small, but had the best burgers in town, along with breakfast, milkshakes made from real ice cream, flurries and soft serve dipped in chocolate. 
 A common sight at my first gig.

It was right across from the town high school, which meant that it was constantly filled with students, even on the weekend. My coworkers were all my age, and we spent our days trying to look cute in our maroon T-shirts and visors (ew!) in case our crushes came in. 

Summer was the best and the worst time to be there. It was always slammed, with line-ups out the door and I’d end my shifts with ice cream literally up to my elbows. And, smelling like smoke, since restaurants weren’t smoke-free yet. But that’s when our friends could come visit us and we’d slip them burgers and fries for free. 
 This could have been yours FREE… if you lived in Blenheim.

Best moment: I remember my first huge crush came in unexpectedly one day, someone I hadn’t seen for months because he lived out of town. I saw him, my heart started pounding through my chest, and I am sure that I turned bright red. I ran to the back room to whip off my ugly visor and check to make sure my hair wasn’t a total disaster. I think I might have talked to him for about three minutes, but it seemed like an eternity since I was in a total daze. 

I left Homerun after a year or two for the grease-free, 9-to-5 hours of IDA Pharmacy, but I will always remember that job as one of the most fun gigs I’ve ever had.