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Salted White Russian

Stoli Salted White Russian When you’re on summer vacation there’s not a single thing to worry about. You can get up in the morning, catch up on the latest Instagram posts, tweet some of your long lost tweeps to see how they’re doing, lounge by the pool or lake, and generally be carefree. What’s even better is when you can relax with a morning iced summer cocktail and some fresh-baked banana bread; a perfect combination to start your peaceful day.

The Salted White Russian (far from being Russian by the way!), is a fantastic morning summer drink and is a quick and easy, single build cocktail. While it typically uses heavy cream, calorie counters who are worried about their perfect beach body can replace it with low-fat skim milk or even almond milk.

  • 2 oz Stoli Salted Karamel
  • 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
  • 2 oz Milk or Cream

Rim a rocks glass with cocoa powder. Fill with ice. Add Stoli Salted Karamel, coffee liqueur, and top with milk.


Relive the 80’s with iRecorder

iRecorderBeing a kid in the 80’s was awesome! When it came to fashion, the bolder the pattern, the wilder the style, the more bodacious it was. Hair was feathered back, worn high, and could be crimped, perm’d or spiked. Music is what brought people together. From Cindy Lauper to Michael Jackson, Madonna to Tiffany, the beats were fun, synathyzied and pushed lyrics to the edge with catchy choruses and beats.

Throughout the 1980’s, technology was changing the way people lived their lives. Personal computers were starting to hit the market, along with brick-sized car phones, fax machines, and VCR’s. Music moved from 8-tracks and vinyl records, to tape recorders. This lead to the mixed-tape craze, which became a symbol of teen love.

Music became portable with the boom box, battery-powered players that could be taken to the beach, down the street, in your cars, or wherever you wanted to go. They ranged in size from hand-held to giant boxes the size of a small house.

In today’s digital world, music is played online, synced between computers, iPhones, and other devices, streamed wirelessly and downloaded at astronomical rates. We live to stay connected, but long for the days when things where simple and easier.

iRecorder

That’s where iRecorder comes in. It’s an amazing flash-back to the 80’s, but meets modern day technology. At first glance, it looks like an old-fashioned tape-recorder, but pop the lid and instead of inserting cassette tape you plug in your iPhone. Bam! Instantly you’re listening to today’s hits like it was yester-year.

All the buttons work, just like an old-fashioned tape-recorder too! There’s play, fast-forward, rewind, and volume buttons, giving you full control. Pop open the cassette lid to access your iPhone. The handle even slides out, just like the old-school versions.

The iRecorder is powered by three AAA batteries (not included), or can be plugged in to a USB. It uses a standard 3mm jack that plugs into your iPhone 4, 4S or 5, to control the music functions and play your tunes through the speaker.

While we live in an age of wanting the latest in technology, many people enjoy reminiscing and re-living the past. The iRecorder completely taps into that era that we all once lived and loved. It’s also a killer accessory to take to an 80’s theme party, to the beach, or just have laying out on the patio by the pool for guests to be amazed and tell their stories about how they used to have one.

The iRecorder is available online at on Amazon for $49.95CDN.

Original Style / Design: ★★★★☆

Material / Workmanship: ★★★★☆

Makes a Statement: ★★★★★

Cool Factor: ★★★★☆

Price / Value: ★★★☆☆

Overall: ★★★★☆

 

 

iRecorder


Chorizo Barley Biscuits

Chorizo Barley BiscuitsSummer farmer markets are still kicking and they have amazing choices and variety this time of year. Many stone fruit, like peaches, nectarines, and apricots, are ripe which means it’s time to start thinking about baking. Delicious, delicious baking. When the cool breezes of autumn begin blowing be prepared with a hearty and healthy biscuit recipe to impress your friends, family, and partners (or soon to be partners).

This tasty recipe is quick and easy to throw together and has a long fridge life. Bake off a big batch and have it on hand for snacking, packing, and more snacking. You can serve it as wedges with breakfast, pair it with fresh corn chowder, or heat it up in the oven and indulge in some buttery goodness.

The secret to nailing this recipe is to BBQ or grill the stone fruit beforehand. Just slice your fruit in half, remove the pit and grill the exposed inside of the fruit. Grilling stone fruit really brings out the flavours, makes it more juicy, and gives it a bit of a smokey-campfire-cabin-in-the-woods flavour.

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 1 1/4 cups barley flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup diced chorizo sausage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, etc) grilled and diced

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl and whisk to mix it well. Stir in the buttermilk, melted butter, and chorizo and beat briskly until mixed and smooth. Grease a 9×9 baking dish. Split the dough into two equal sized balls. Press one of the dough balls equally into the base of the baking dish. Spoon the grilled stone fruit on top and spread evenly. Press the second ball of dough onto the fruit layer, making a biscuit sandwich. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden.

Easy and delicious. Try it with a side of yogurt.


A glimmer of hope. British Columbia could be the first jurisdiction in Canada to make PrEP available!

Could British Columbia be the first jurisdiction in Canada to make PrEP (Truvada) available?The use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is a contentious subject. Some call it a party drug, others believe it promotes unsafe sex, while others believe it’s an important method for reducing the number of new cases of HIV.

Canada, a world leader in HIV/AIDS research, is heavily scrutinized for its lack of adoption of the use of PrEP in the prevention of the spread of HIV, especially amongst the gay, bisexual, and MSM communities.

Gay men across Canada are clamoring for governments and the medical community to get a plan of action together and approve the use of PrEP in Canada, despite drug manufacture, Gilead Science, not having submitted a formal application to Health Canada for the use of the drug as a preventative tool. Earlier this year, a spokesperson for Gilead Science said they are in discussions with authorities in Canada, but have not yet submitted their application. This could easily be their way of saying that their application was incomplete or that they are holding out to be the exclusive drug manufacturer in Canada, which then simply becomes a financial windfall for the company.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), has been approved for use in the United States by the FDA since July 2012, and additionally both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), recommend PrEP for people at risk of HIV infection.

In Canada, drug manufacturers must submit an application to Health Canada to receive approval in Canada, and at this point, no drug companies are known to have submitted an application. This means that drugs like Truvada, the brand name of drug from Gilead Science, are available in special circumstances to patients as an off-label option, after going through a series of blood tests, consultations and getting a prescription from a doctor who is willing to take the risk.

In Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, programs are well underway to understand how the drug works are a preventative measure and efforts are in the works to make it easier for patients to access the drug.

“I have been very vocal on my position to Health Canada and have been proactive about pre-exposure prophylaxis,” stated Dr. Montaner, one of the lead doctors at the Centre for Excellence of HIV in British Columbia. “In British Columbia, we have put this to the deputy committee and guidelines are about to be released, comparable to the CDC and WHO.”

The recommendations and guidelines Dr. Montaner refers to would go to the Ministry of Health for review and consideration. This would not mean that the cost of the drug would be covered through the Provincial drug program.

“These findings will be coming out in the coming weeks or months,” explained Dr. Montaner, who has been diligently working on the recommendations and guidelines for the use of PrEP in British Columbia. If approved, British Columbia would be the first jurisdiction in Canada to adopt formal guidelines for the use of PrEP. “The Province of British Columbia needs to determine if it will be covered in the drug program.”

Essentially, the recommendations and guidelines Dr. Montaner is preparing would allow the Ministry of Health to roll-out Province-wide use for prescribing PrEP, by all doctors, therefore making the drug available to any patient who choses or wants access. Again, the cost of the drug would not be covered by the Provincial drug program, so patients would need to cover the cost of the drug themselves, or look to their private health insurance for coverage.

In addition to the pre-exposure work Dr. Montaner and the team at the Centre for Excellence has been working on, they have also been focused on a large study involved of people who have been exposed to HIV, and post-exposure treatments.

“We do have a pilot program, for well over a year, for post exposure, for people who have been exposed to HIV, including homosexual contact,” added Dr. Montaner. “We are ready to analyze the data from the pilot, which was supported by the Minster of Health. Hopefully this fall we will have recommendations this fall and will move forward. I remain optimistic of some form of recommendations.”

Dr. Montaner also notes that in British Columbia, the number of new cases of HIV have decreased by 95%, spanning across multiple communities and segments, including MSM, and that British Columbia is seeing less acute cases of HIV.

The recent repurposing of the HIV ward at St. Paul’s Hospital, the leading hospital in British Columbia on HIV research, was to send a message that AIDS isn’t what is used to be, or that it’s gone, but rather that it’s not needed for new or ongoing cases of HIV. It’s being repurposed for other uses including infectious diseases and intervenes drug users. This had been under discussion for many years with the Province of British Columbia, the CDI and the Centre for Excellence.

When it comes to new cases of HIV infection, Dr. Montaner has some ideas on why the Provincial Health Officer’s recent report indicates that HIV on steady or on the rise amongst gay, bisexual and MSM segments.

“The reality is that we haven’t been as effective in the MSM community,” said Dr. Montaner. “My personal bias is that we have a significant challenge of getting to young MSM before they get HIV. Part of that is reaching MSM earlier in their natural life, to better protect themselves, being safe, using condoms, or pre or post exposure prophylaxis.”

This opens a huge debate on sexual education in schools, another extremely sensitive and contentious topic.

Adding fuel to the fire around PrEP, is many Canadians who want to be on the the drug for preventative purposes know Truvada has been approved by extended health insurance providers for years. This is because it’s a drug that has been taken by people living with HIV, which they have been covering for a long time, and insurance companies do not differentiate between people who are HIV positive or HIV negative when they cover the cost of the drug. They simply cover the cost of prescribed drugs on their approved drug list, regardless of their use.

Today, in British Columbia, there are a handful of HIV negative people who have been approved for the long-term use of PrEP, under the care and close supervision of doctors who have agreed to work with their patients who, under special circumstances, have been deemed to be high risk. These individuals had to agree to regular testing, demonstrate a high level of knowledge about the use of the drug and the associated risks, commit to taking Truvada on a daily basis, be at high-risk of contracting HIV, have a method of being able to pay for the cost of the drug independently or through private insurance, and have referrals from multiple doctors and/or agencies to a doctor who specializes in HIV treatment and who has the knowledge, willingness, and comfort of working with the patient.

In the meantime, British Columbians and fellow Canadians who are anxious to take PrEP as a method to reduce their risk of HIV, have to sit idle and wait. Many are angered and outraged that it is not already available in Canada, especially when it’s been available for so long in the neighbouring United States for over two years. Let’s hope that Dr. Montaner’s report, recommendations, and guidelines are accepted by the Ministry of Health quickly and without further delay.


Kristina Maria sings her way through summer 2014

Kristina Maria at World Pride 2014As she stepped out on the TD Welsey Stage at World Pride in Toronto, 25 year old Kristina Maria had to be full of excitement, looking onward at the crowd of thousands of people who had gathered at the gay pride event to hear some of Canada’s top talent perform. Throughout the summer, Kristina Maria has

Kristina Maria performing at World Pride 2014a

The Canadian pop singer, who was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, is best known for her 2012 single, Our Song Comes On, which peaked at number 23 on the Canada Hot 100 charts.

Kristina Maria performing at World Pride 2014a

Kristina’s debut song, Let’s Play, reached the 19th spot on the Canada 100 charts when it came out in 2011.

This summer, Kristina Maria released a new single, Where The Sun Don’t Shine. She’s expected to release a new album later this year.

Performing with Kristina Maria at World Pride in Toronto was the extremely sexy 19 year old, ARG=NTO, a pop/rap artist from Montreal.

Kristina Maria is a Canadian singer/songwriter/artist to watch for over the next few years. She’s going places!


Why people run

Marathon Training

People who don’t run don’t understand why people would want to run. They think it’s boring, hard of the body and a waste of time. Nothing could be further from the truth. While each person has their own reason for running, here are some of the most popular reasons why people choose, voluntarily, to run:

  1. Healthy choices. Running is an excellent way to be healthy. Running is one of the best cardio exercises to help burn fat and keep weight off. Most people turn to running in the lead up to important events where they are want to look their best, including weddings, grad reunions, and beach vacations.
  2. Accept a challenge. Friends or co-workers will often challenge each other to train to run a race, usually 10km races. This is a great way to keep motivated with training and to do your best. The stakes increase when bets are made on who will get the best time.
  3. Bucket list. Many people put race distances on their life-time bucket list. Whether it’s a 10k, half marathon, full marathon or ultra marathon, it is a personal achievement that can take months and months of training.
  4. Improve time. After running your first race, most people will tend to cross the finish line with a feeling of victory, and then go home and immediately register for their next race. Running is an addictive individual sport where you will constantly challenge yourself, race after race, to improve your time.
  5. Push the distance. Runners will continue to challenge and push themselves. After running a few 10k’s, gradually improving their time, they will look for new challenges, which will naturally lead to longer distances of half and full marathons. Full marathoners typically move up to ultra marathons and triathlons. They aren’t crazy, they just like a challenge.
  6. Be part of a community of friends. While running is an individual sport on race day, during the months of training it is all about spending time with people who encourage, support and help you achieve your goals. The running community is very close-knit and you’ll meet friends for life.

So don’t ask yourself why people run, ask yourself, why don’t you run?


10 Simple Travel Tips for Amateur Travellers

10 travel tips

People who travel frequently often have the best travel tips. It’s no secret that most people over-pack. But here are 10 simple travel tips for amateur travellers, that can take your next trip from bad to great.

  1. Pack your patience. Whether you’re waiting in line to get on the plane, check into the hotel, or see an attraction, line-ups are almost always inevitable when traveling. If you miss your connection, don’t panic, there will always be another plane. If the ATM is out of money, you can always find another nearby. No matter the situation, just take a deep breath and take control of the situation instead of letting it become an ordeal.
  2. Early bird gets the worm. Wake up early so you can get the free continental breakfast at the hotel and then head off to see the local attractions before the line-ups start. This is a great tip, because families with kids tend to take a bit longer in the morning and can really slow down your sightseeing once their out in public. Morning is also a safer time of day to explore because most criminals like pickpockets and other scammers, usually aren’t morning folk.
  3. Stash some cash. You never know where you’ll be when you’ll have run out of cash, or the ATM machine doesn’t work, or they don’t take credit card, and all the sudden you’re desperate for cash. Keep some cash cleverly hidden. Some great spots include under shoe inserts, inside your suitcase lining, in the pocket of a toiletry bag, or sewn behind a patch on your backpack.
  4. Count on the cloud. If you’re traveling with a laptop, have it sync daily with a cloud-data service or to an external hard drive. If you’re laptop gets lost, broken or stolen, at least your data and vacation photos will be saved.
  5. Digitize travel documents. If your travel documents are lost or stolen, it can be extremely difficult and a lengthy process to replace them. Before you leave on your trip, photograph or scan all your travel documents including your drivers license, passport, visa, birth certificate, health insurance, serial numbers, emergency contact information, along with hotel and flight confirmations. All of these should be saved in the cloud and / or to an online email address that you can access anywhere in the world.
  6. Photos are forever. Take lots and lots of photos. Photos will become your memories of the trips you’ve been on, the places you’ve been, the friends you’ve made and the things you’ve done. Photos are free and are way more important than any tchotchke you’ll find in a gift store.
  7. Blow the budget. It’s important to stick to your budget for the majority of you’re trip. Halfway through you don’t want to find out that you won’t have enough money. However, you need to splurge from time to time on your adventures. Take yourself out for a nice dinner, enjoy a day at the natural outdoor hot springs, or spend a few nights in premium accommodation. You don’t have to do it every day, but you can’t spend each day living off a $50 budget.
  8. Learn from the locals. Whenever you get the opportunity to talk to the locals, find out where the best place is to eat, what they recommend for nightlife, or what off-the-beaten track activity is a must-do for a visitor to their area. Locals love to help and show off their area, so take advantage of their wealth of knowledge.
  9. Pack earplugs. Sleep is incredibly important for travelers. Being awake and alert, able to think clearly and being well rested will improve any travel adventure. But sometimes you can’t avoid noise, especially when it’s noise you’re not used to like city sirens, honking horns, crying babies on airplanes, or a loud couple in the room next to yours. Earplugs can easily be tossed in a toiletry bag or a small pocket in your backpack and can really save the day (or night).
  10. Slooooow down. Don’t pack six activities into one day. It just won’t happen. Pick two or three activities so you can enjoy each one. It also allows you to make changes to your plans if you find something more exciting to do, or if someone invites you to participate in an unplanned activity.


Have smooth, glowing skin all year round; exfoliating 101

Bare Essentials Skin BarSummer has peaked and will soon be winding down. Many people are combating skin damage from long hours in the sun, while others are preparing for last minute vacations before the summer is over.

A healthy skin regimen should include regular exfoliation. Exfoliation does more than provide smooth skin; your skin will also have more hydration, be less congested and it will allow for better penetration of products including serums and moisturizers, applied afterward. Just as important, you can also slow down the aging process!

How is an exfoliant different than a cleanser?

A cleanser is either water-soluble or an oil based product that will wash away oil, dirt, population, makeup and other debris sitting on the surface and in the pore. Exfoliant is an agent that removes dead cells from the surface to reveal newer skin underneath. Exfoliating promotes new cells to turn upwards to the surface. This process is called desquamation. There are two types of exfoliant categories: mechanical and chemical. Manual normally refers to using a tool to slough off dead cells, like microdermabrasion. Chemical exfoliant normally uses chemicals or acids to dissolve the top layer to penetrate underneath, like a chemical peel.

Best Exfoliant for Aging Skin

Over time skin will not shed every twenty eight days as it did in your teens and early twenties. As cell production slows it is important to be exfoliating on a weekly basis. Key ingredients that are the most beneficial to aging skin is lactic acid, salicylic, vitamin A (Retnoil), alpha hydroxy acids, (AHA). Use a product like Priori Invigorating Face & Body Scrub, two to three times a week for rouge and very dry skin. For a mild application apply on wet face and gently massage on and wash off twice a week. For an intense treatment apply on dry skin and wash off with a sponge cloth.

Acne Skin

When skin is breakout prone, exfoliation is important to help sebum to move freely and not be trapped underneath skin. Acnic skin normally has an overproduction of sebum and skin cells that combine together and cause blockages in the pore. Exfoliating will result in less comedone and fewer breakouts. Salicylic Acid can be used to dissolve the outer skin. Beta hydroxy acids slough dead skin cells to stimulate cell renewal. Dermalogica Gentle Cream exfoliate used twice a week uses lactic acid and hydroxyl acid to stimulate cell renewal and natural fruit enzymes will detach dead skin to improve texture.

Sensitized Skin

Selecting the right exfoliant is important to prevent more sensitivity. Exfoliation will allow the skin to absorb moisture, which prevents gaps in the cellular barrier. A weak barrier allows substances to enter in to the skin that will cause inflammation. The skin will look flushed, flaky, and rough. A rice bran exfoliate will help relieve inflammation, change texture and brighten the skin.

Finding the right exfoliate for your skin type is important for long term skin health and to achieve your results whether you have acne, scarring or pigmentation. Exfoliating one to three times a week will have you prevent aging and have your skin looking luminous. You can try a variety of exfoliants at Bare Essentials Skin Bar to see which one is best for your skin type.


Improve your gym results by making an important change to your gym routine

Gym jocks need to incorporate massage therapy into their gym routineWhat gay man doesn’t spend countless hours at the gym, bulking up and toning their muscles to look their best. It’s part of gay culture. There is no doubt that after pushing yourself to the limits on the weights at the gym, your muscles are going to be extremely sore and tense. You’re muscles may look all bulked up and sexy, but the fact is, they need to recover for maximum long-term results.

Nutrition, rest and sleep are important for muscle recovery, but it’s just as important to allow your muscles to relax. When not flexed, muscles should be able rest comfortably, almost flaccid. This allows the blood to flow in naturally and remove toxins and to promote muscle repair and growth.

It’s also common to feel a knot. These are called trigger points. Trigger points are muscle fibres that have tangled and hardened together, which reduces mobility, decreases circulation, and takes the muscles longer to repair.

A quick trip to a trained sports massage therapist can help release sore, aching muscles, allowing them to repair faster. Going to a qualified sports massage therapist will help with realigning, stretching, and flushing muscles, allowing them to relax and blood to flow quickly and easily to the damaged tissues.

The result is almost instant, allowing greater flexibility, increasing range of motion, reduces pain, and giving faster recovery time to muscles, so you can get back to the gym and doing what you love. Going to massage therapy will improve your results at the gym, and it’s a simple, enjoyable way to improve your gym routine.

It’s important to find a registered massage therapist that specializes in sports massage therapy. Make sure you are comfortable with your massage therapist so you can relax, talk about problem areas, and be willing to have them work on all areas of your body. Most extended health benefit providers offer massage therapy as a claimable benefit when massage is done through a registered massage therapist, which should cover the majority of the cost of an appointment.

For the benefit of your hard gym workouts and your overall health, it’s time to start seeing a massage therapist on a regular basis. If you’re in the Greater Vancouver area, stop by and see Molly Scott at Form Body Lab in Yaletown. Molly has been a certified RMT for 5 years and is trained in deep tissue and sports massage therapy. Mention homoculture.ca sent you and receive 25% off your first appointment.


Mojito

summer Mojito cocktail As the summer wears on, cocktails like vodka soda, and gin and tonic are starting to get real old, real fast. Even if you’re tried switching to chilled white wine and ice-cold beer, or vodka-lemonade, you’re still longing for something different, but familiar of summer.

The traditional mojito is your answer. Rum-based drinks aren’t huge in Canada, which makes them more appealing; especially as a refreshing summer cocktail. Once you perfect the basic mojito, you can start having fun with it by muddling in fresh seasonal berries, or adding different fruit juices to top it off.

This mojito is almost the classic method, but rather than using simple syrup, it uses superfine sugar, which adds a bit of texture to the cocktail.

  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 tsp Superfine Sugar
  • 1 cup Crushed Ice
  • 12 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 2 oz White Rum
  • Club Soda

In a highball glass, stir together the lime juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add ½ cup of crushed ice. Rub the mint leaves over the rim of the glass, then tear them in half and add to the glass. Stir for about 20 seconds and then add the rum, remaining crushed ice, and club soda. Gently stir for another 5 seconds. Garnish with a sprig of mint and lime wheel.


Skip the strip to savour stupendous spreads in Las Vegas

The historic Fabulous Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas BlvdThere are so many great eats in Las Vegas. While the all-you-can-eat buffet’s on the strip are a popular choice, there are so many great places to sink your teeth into off the strip that are to-die-for. From pizza to soul-food, here are five great choices you must try on your next trip to Vegas. So skip the strip to savour succulent spreads in Las Vegas

Top This Pizza

Pizzas are topped with lots of cheese, fresh vegetables and the best meats. Godfathers Supreme, Taco, Philly Steak, Italian Stallion, BBQ or Buffalo Chicken are just some of the crave-able flavors you can enjoy at Top This Pizza. You can eat in, order online and they even deliver. You really can’t beat the convenience. Top this Pizza is definitely “doing the most” because even if pizza is not what you are craving for the moment, there is a plethora of other options available to appease your appetite including sandwiches, Panini’s, wings, fingers, fresh salads, soups, pasta, desserts, and a host of refreshing drinks. All of the options are as delicious as the other, all equally delectable.

Battista’s Hole in the Wall

If we are going to make a quick list of some of Las Vegas’s fabulous little hidden gems of dining, then it would be appropriate to include a local legend. Battista’s Hole in the Wall is a fine dining authentic Italian treasure. It has been a family owned and operated business for over 30 years. A convenient location and amazing culinary selection make this a locals dream destination. You can come and enjoy fantastic cuisine and the vibrant nostalgic atmosphere of what was old Vegas and still remains as new Vegas. Pick an entree, soup or salad and you are almost done. Now you just have to deal with the issue of Battista’s offering up unlimited house wine and garlic bread. That little perk is quite a nice addition to a meal that has somewhat endless entree options. A very cheesy lasagna, several different pasta arrangements, chicken, veal, and fish dishes, and steak choices. Not bad for a “hole in the wall”.

Kona Grill

There are undeniably a handful of sushi places on the strip, but they are overpriced. Many locals have made Kona Grill one of their favourite restaurants because the quality is on par with other restaurants on the strip but without the high priced bill. It’s not your every day sushi spot. They put their own twist on many different dishes that gives them a cool swagger that resonates will with customers. From Kona calamari, flatbreads to full entrées that include an entire filet, there are excellent choices.

Tofu Hut

Over 24/7, Tofo Hut is the place to head to for everything from a random lunch, to birthday parties to the 4am late-night cravings after a night at the club. It’s the kind of comfort food that you crave at all hours of the day. It’s a great experience. First you select your meats and vegetables. You cook your own meats at your table on your very own grill sitting right in front of you. It’s quick and simple. It takes a regular dinner into a fun party, without even really trying. Choices range from grilled brisket, pork, chicken, beef ribs, and an endless arrangement of vegetables.

M&M Soul Food Café

You don’t have to go to Atlanta for great soul food. M&M Soul Food Café keeps it as real as can be. It’s not exactly what people expect from a Las Vegas eatery, but they shine when it comes to delicious food. Try everything from fried chicken and pork chops, to catfish and gumbo. M&M covers all the Southern bases. Sides include collard greens, candied yams, red beans and rice… along with a host of other dishes. It’s a welcoming atmosphere and a fantastic choice if you’re craving home cooking.

Eat well!

The view of Las Vegas from the top of the High Roller


Mr Pam’s advice for guys who want to get into gay porn

Mr. Pam

Working in the adult entertainment industry is a fantasy for almost everyone. You can spend hours fantasying on what it would be like to be a gay porn star, traveling all over, having sex with the hottest models and going to the best parties. Yes, it seems like a dream career, but only a select few make it. They make it because they work hard, they are persistent and they learned from the best very early on.

Guys that really want to get into gay porn need to listen carefully to the advice from one of the industries top directors, Mr Pam. She’s interviewed, recruited, filmed and helped the careers of some of today’s hottest gay porn models. She knows a thing or two about how hard it is for guys to get into the industry.

“Go to places where you look like the people on that site,” Mr Pam advised, suggesting that you need only apply where you fit in. “If you’re 6’10” and 45 years old, you shouldn’t apply at Bel Ami. You should apply on sites that look most like you.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Each day, dozens of applications are receives by the top talent managers and studios. Most people who apply either are the right type of applicant for the site. There are sites for every type of guy from jocks to bears, daddies to twinks, geeks to fetish; just find the ones that most suit who you are, not who you want to be. It’ll increase your chances of getting casted.

“Be patient,” Mr Pam said, as she explained what newcomers to the industry should to know. “Realize that the gay porn industry, just like fashion and professional sports, is very competitive. Even though you are a slut there are about one hundred people who are apply to get into one spot.”

Knowing that you are one of many people hoping to get your lucky chance to get into a scene, it’s important that you are always at your best and constantly imporving yourself.

“It’s about your face, your body, your dick and your personality,” said Mr Pam. “When they don’t have a good personality, or are shy, or if you don’t seem like you would be fun to work with, I won’t cast you.”

It’s that simple. Directors and talent agents don’t have time for fake facades and attitudes. You have to be honest, genuine and reliable. Mr Pam also expects that you’ll show up for your scenes on time, be responsible, and make sure that you’re on your flight and make each interview. Otherwise, you’ll be off her team, immediately.

“Guys can make anywhere from $200 for a quick blowjob to $1,500 for a fuck scene,” said Mr Pam, describing how much a gay porn model could make if they were casted. “Some studios claim to have paid $3,000 for a solo scene but I don’t believe that. Most are $500 to $1,000 for a scene. It used to be $2,500 to $3,500 per scene when I first started, but now there are so many online sites and studios that rates have dropped. It really varies.”

Additional advice if you’re interested in getting into gay porn, make sure you have current photos of you that are clear and at least semi professional. Don’t apply to a studio or agent unless you are serious and ready to get started. Always be honest, prepared to work hard, and to be yourself. The rest will fall into place when you work with credible people, like Mr Pam.


Dragonette is on fire this summer

Dragonette at World Pride 2014Since 2005, the hit trio, Dragonette, has been creating and producing some of Canada’s top electro-pop music. Over the past five years they have put out three albums with multiple chart-topping singles that have made them popular around the world.

Dragonette at World Pride 2014

This summer, Dragonette soared in popularity at when they performed at World Pride 2014 in their home town of Toronto, in front of thousands of their fans. They performed songs from across all three of their albums, including their hit songs, Hello and Let It Go. Dragonette performed on the TD Welsley Stage, the same night at Carly Rae Jepsen and Fefe Dobson.

Dragonette at World Pride 2014

Less than three weeks after their performance at one of North America’s top gay pride events, Mike Mago released his latest song, Outlines, which featured the Dragonette.

Dragonette at World Pride 2014

Dragonette is no stranger for supporting LGBT events. In 2011, the energetic group performed at the North American Out Games closing ceremonies.

Dragonette at World Pride 2014


Four running goals of every marathon runner

Brian Webb and Nicole VanZanten at the 2014 Abbotsford Run for WaterRunning a marathon is a huge personal challenge. Less than one per cent of the world’s population has ever experienced running a marathon, and even less have run more than one. Marathon runners are part of a very exclusive club. Most people, including most runners, cannot relate to the amazing journey a marathon runner goes through, from training right through to the entire 42.2km of the race. It’s incredible.

Whether it’s your first marathon, or if you’re a vetran marathon runner, here are five running goals every marathon runner needs to have:

  1. Put in 17+ weeks of training. Training is incredibly important for marathon runners. Training helps prepare your body for race day; endurance, strength and speed training all make up the foundation of training required for race day. Training takes a minimum of 17 weeks of training for someone who is able to run 10km non-stop. Training times can vary depending on your skill and ability level. People who run full marathons without adequate training put themselves at extreme risks including injuries and in rare circumstances, death. Training slowly conditions the body over a long period of time to build up endurance and most marathon runners who follow a regimented program suffer very few injuries.
  2. Show up at the start line. Registering for a race will keep you motivated throughout training. After 17 or more, long weeks of training, having the courage to show up at the start line is a big accomplishment. It means you are ready for a massive challenge and are ready to put your body to the true test. This moment should not be taken lightly.
  3. Cross the finish line. Regardless of your time, take a moment to relish in your victory of crossing the finish line. You’ve just completed 42.2km of running. It’s your time to celebrate all the time you put in training and the journey you have gone on. You get the entire day to eat whatever you want and to wear your finishers medal proudly.
  4. Strive to improve. If you’re a repeat marathon runner, find a goal to help keep you motivated during training and on race day. For most, that goal will be to improve a personal best, but it can also include other mini goals including less walk breaks, running 20:1’s instead of 10:1’s, crossing the finish line injury free, or crossing the finish line smiling. Whatever your goal is, remember to enjoy the race and have fun.
  5. Celebrate your success. After the race, celebrate your success with friends, family and your fellow runners. If you didn’t achieve your goal time, don’t be hard on yourself; remember, you just finished running 42.2km, and you’re part of an exclusive group. This is your day to celebrate and tell the stories from your journey!


Top 7 things you cannot miss on your next trip to Las Vegas

The view of Las Vegas from the top of the High Roller

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the shiny lights of Las Vegas and find yourself spending countless dollars in the casinos. There’s so much more to see and do in Las Vegas that can make your trip even more exciting and a lot more fun. Here are 7 great choices.

High Roller pod in Las Vegas

1. High Roller. The best views of Las Vegas are from the new High Roller, a giant Ferris wheel located along side the centre of the strip. The wheel has pods, each accommodating up to 40 people. Tickets start at $20 per person, but in the later afternoon you can upgrade to a happy hour pod for $24, which includes all-you-can-drink beverages.

The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas

2. Fountains at the Bellagio. Dance to the beat of Michael Jackson’s Beat It, and watch the fountain spectacle of water and lights. The best time to catch the free show is in the later evening, right at dusk.

The historic Fabulous Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Blvd
3. Historic Famous Las Vegas sign. One of the most iconic symbols of Las Vegas is the historic Famous Las Vegas sign. Located at the entrance of the Strip, it’s a popular tourist attraction for visitors to take a selfie celebrating their arrival to Sin City.

The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop from the hit TV show, Pawn Stars
4. Pawn Stars. Home of the famous reality TV show where people buy, sell and get appraisals on historic and vintage items, the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, the location of Pawn Stars, is a real pawn store located just minutes off the strip. The store is open daily. The best chance of catching Chumlee, the Old Man, Corey and Rick are mid-week during the day.

The neon lights along Las Vegas Blvd
5. The neon lights on the strip. Las Vegas has been lit-up at night for decades by a spectacular array of neon lights. Today, neon continues to be a popular choice of many establishments, new and old. From McDonald’s to The Flamingo Hotel, a walk down the strip at night will always impress.

The roller coaster at the New York New York Hotel on Las Vegas Blvd
6. New York New York Roller Coaster. Whizz through replicas of skyscrapers and monuments of the New York City skyline at the New York New York hotel. The ride zips, rolls and turns for an exhilarating and thrilling ride right on the strip.

Xposed Las Vegas Saturday pool party at the The New Tropicana Las Vegas
7. Tropicana Xposed pool party. Most hotels have Sunday pool parties, but the newly renovated Tropicana has broke the mold and introduced Xposed, a Saturday pool party for gays. This pool party is one of the most happening pool parties. They bring in top DJ’s from across North America to create an electric pool party atmosphere. #SaturGays #UltimateBeachParty


Perfectly Packed, Picnic Cocktails

Perfectly Packed, Picnic CocktailsPotato salad, chicken, an assortment of fresh cut vegetables and watermelon are the staples for every picnic, but when it comes to beverages, you don’t have to limit yourself to water, pop or juice. Iced tea is a favourite summer beverage, and it’s easy to turn this summer quenching drink into a delightful cocktail to enjoy at your picnic.

Tea-inflused picnic cocktails are simple and easy to make and they are sure to impress all of your guests at any summer picnic. You will need a selection of canning jars with re-sealable lids and rings.

In the first jar, place slices of lemon and lime. These will be used to add flavour to the cocktail and can be used for garnishes.

Next, boil one cup of water with one cup of regular white sugar. Stir until dissolved and let cool. Place the simple syrup into the second jar.

To make the iced tea cocktails, you will need one jar per guest. In each jar, place two tea bags. You can use any kind of tea you wish, but orange pekoe works just fine for a natural iced tea picnic cocktail. Pour into each jar the desired amount of vodka per guest. Measure by the ounce. You can get creative by trying out different types of vodka. Typically it is two ounces per jar. Seal the jars with the lids.

Finally, fill a thermos full of ice. Pack everything into the picnic basket. . Don’t forget cocktail napkins!

When you’re at the picnic site, give each person their vodka-brewed jar of tea. Guests can then remove the teabags, carefully squeezing out all the vodka from the teabag, then add ice, simple syrup and fresh lemon and lime to their cocktail.

Voila! Perfectly packed picnic cocktails that all the guests can enjoy.


Summer Sting Cocktail

Summer Sting CocktailLemonade is the drink of choice this summer. It’s easy to see why. It’s refreshing, quenches the thirst, and mixes well with so many different combinations. It can be store bought and ready to go, made from concentrate, or better yet, made with fresh lemons. It can be embellished with hints of fresh lime and grapefruit juice too to make it even more spectacular.

The Summer Sting Cocktail is a wonderful summer drink that stars off with a nice, soft taste, but has a crisp bite after-taste lemonade is known for. This easy-to-make drink is best made with fresh-squeezed Meyer lemons. You can even make a pitcher of it in advance if you’re serving guests at a party, on the patio, or in the garden.

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Crème de Banana
  • Lemonade

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add in vodka and Crème de Banana. Fill with lemonade. Stir.


Summer Coffee – Espresso Tonic

Summer Coffee

If you’ve been soaking up those rays at the beach, having pool parties, participating in Pride events, you probably need a bit of a pick-me-up. For coffee-lovers, unbelievers, soon-to-be-won-overs, and everyone else in between who are looking for something a little different, something refreshing, and something unexpected, try an espresso tonic. It’s bubbling with flavour – who doesn’t enjoy a little effervescence?

This is one of the most refreshing ways to enjoy a cup of joe in the summer. And this summer coffee super easy to make!

Pour yourself a shot of espresso or make some extra strong french-press brewed coffee. Fill a chilled glass half-way with crushed ice and tonic water. Fill a small glass with ice and pour coffee over it. Strain chilled coffee into iced tonic water. And there you have it, an Espresso Tonic. You’ll never go back. (add some lime juice for an extra punch).

Summer Coffee


Don’t be a douche; douche!

Perry Cavalari

Sex is fun, exiting, full of passion and energy. But with butt sex, it can get real awkward and embarrassing in a hurry if you’re not prepared.

“While a lot of people are sexually active, and are generally up-to-date on stuff, people are expected to know what douching means,” said gay porn star, Perry Cavalari. “When you say douching, that could mean something completely different than what women mean. It’s a whole separate thing when it comes to anal sex.”

Regardless if your are male or female, if you’re having anal sex, you need to know how to clean your rectum so you can be ready for your sexual adventures.

“When I’m douching, I’m not using a vinegar douche,” explains Perry Cavalari. “I usually use luke warm water. Different porn stars have different techniques. The least stressful and easiest for me is a regular water bottle, but some prefer to use an enema. That works. I’ve done it before. It depends on what your GI track is up to.”

Whether you call it douching, washing, getting ready, cleaning out, or getting prepared, you need to ensure your rectum is clean before your partner starts putting stuff inside your bum.

“For porn stars, we think that most people know what it means, and glaze over it,” said Perry Cavalari. “The same goes for fisting. It’s a lot more than just lubing your hand up. There are separate types of lube for it. It’s a different process. People think there’s not much to know about it, but that’s really not the case. There’s mechanics to it. It’s the same for douching.”

When in doubt, wash it out!


The World Welcomed Deborah Cox at WorldPride 2014

Deborah Cox World Pride 2014Deborah Cox World Pride 2014Deborah Cox was welcomed by thousands of fans who came from around the world to celebrate WorldPride 2014 in Toronto. The international star performed at the opening ceremonies and on the TD Welsey main stage at one of the largest pride celebrations in North America, held at the end of June.

The Saturday night performance on the TD Welsey main stage included other fantastic diva’s including Estelle, Kristina Maria, Jully Black and topping the show, Deborah Cox.

“Deborah Cox is an international celebrity and home town favorite, who has supported Toronto throughout its bid for WorldPride 2014, and with the support we have received from Toronto’s cultural institutions, it means our pride will be everywhere across the city,” said Kevin Beaulieu, Executive Director, Pride Toronto.

The three-time Juno award winning singer put on an amazing performance with a full line-up of back-up dancers and singers. It was a spectacular performance full of amazing energy that captivated the entire audience.

Deborah Cox has become an institution at large gay pride events in North America, performing at New York Pride, Vancouver Pride, LA Pride, and others.

In addition to her singing and Broadway career, Deborah Cox is an advocate for HIV testing, especially bringing awareness to black women. She became an advocate for HIV and the gay community after a personal friend passed away from AIDS.


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