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Steve Harvey, Von Doughnuts and the Beginning of Our Culinary Expedition

One day last week, the kids and I were watching tv together while having a snack.
We were watching The Steve Harvey Show.

I love Steve Harvey. One of the original Kings of Comedy , his sharp wit and classy demeanor has always made me a big fan of his.

Anyhow, we were watching the show where they were having a doughnut competition.
My son-who wants to be a chef- said, “Why don’t we have that kind of a doughnut store here in Toronto ?”

I figured that we must have something like this in Toronto. I mean, with such a huge variety and diverse population, I thought that for sure
someone has thought up of creating gourmet doughnuts.

So I Googled ‘gourmet doughnuts in Toronto’.
I was right.
There are many, many–did I say many!? – gourmet doughnut stores in Toronto!! So where to start right?
Well, we picked one and chose a day to go.

The idea here is that my kids and I are going to explore various culinary delights-kid friendly obviously- from doughnuts to pad thai to whatever, through out Toronto.
I want my children to not only experience the city but to experience various other cultures, food stuffs and what not that they probably will not encounter at home.

I don’t make doughnuts, and to be totally honest…I hate doughnuts. Like hate hate doughnuts.  I hate how unnatural they taste and how fake the flavoring is.
So I thought that this would be interesting to do as well for myself…and maybe have my mind changed.

While the two little heathens were super excited about this…my son was over the moon.
He decided that in order to keep track that we should implement a rating system, of 1 to 5 and grade taste, texture, and visual appeal.

Our first adventure took us to Von Doughnuts on 713 Danforth Avenue.

Toronto Foodie

They are a gourmet doughnut bakery that serves their doughnuts fresh (and trans fat free!!) every day and also caters.

Their decor is sleek and modern with orange and grey tones. It’s super comfortable to hang out in and we loved the seating that they have in the front, which
allowed us to get a peek at the street scene.

Jennifer, was super friendly and was explaining to my kiddos what Doughnut Showdown is all about.
Von Doughnuts is going to be a contestant on the Season 2 Premiere of Doughnut Showdown on September 8th at 9PM EST on the Food Network Channel so make sure you watch the show!
*Maybe pick up a dozen or so to watch it with?* hint hint…

gourmet dougnuts Toronto


As soon as my daughter saw the “Mangiacake” …she made her choice. Like seriously, just look at it! She loves pretty, sparkles and anything sweet….so there was her choice.

Kid Friendly



My son chose his…based not just on how lovely this doughnut looked…but on the name as well!
He couldn’t stop laughing about the name! His doughnut is called “The Sappy Pig“!

Kid Friendly


I’m a big sweet and savory fan and love caramel with salt…so this was my choice. Caramel Salt N’ Pepa…oh my.

Gourmet Doughnuts


They also serve amazing coffee! I loved my Americano (black)!

Fresh Coffee


They also have tea…a pretty wide selection of tea. But I do love my coffee…so perhaps next time I’ll take a try at one of their lovely flavors.

My son ordered the Sappy Pig which is a maple dipped, with bacon (yes bacon!!)topped along with peanut butter and Valrhona chocolate drizzled on top.
He gave this doughnut overall 5 for it’s superb taste, beautiful look and he loved the texture of how smooth the doughnut was combined with the bacon on top.

My daughter ordered the Mangiacake. A vanilla dipped caramel and cheese popcorn doughnut sprinkled with gummy’s and sprinkles.
As soon as she saw that doughnut she was jumping up and down! What girl doesn’t like sprinkles?!
She gave that doughnut an overall 4. She loved how it looked but she found the taste not as strong as the other two doughnuts and felt that it could have more taste.

Mine was the Caramel Salt N’ Pepa…or as I like to call it, my total Heavenly Dream Come True!
This doughnut…dipped in caramel and drizzled with Vahrlona chocolate, sea salt and crushed peppercorns..is a fantastical combination!
The flavor just explodes in your mouth and I love the duality of the sweetness tempered by the salt and pepper corns!
Overall…5, 5 and 5 again and again!

Fresh doughnuts

Von Doughnuts was such a treat to visit! I have never in my life had a doughnut like this. Seriously delicious.
Go take a peek, take your kids and make sure that you look at their doughnut menu. I love that not all doughnuts are offered every day, which pretty much ensures that you are getting
something super fresh!

We will definitely be going back to Von Doughnuts to try out the rest of their flavors….or I might just stick with the Caramel Salt N’ Pepa.
I’m a convert…from hating doughnuts…to loving me some Von Doughnuts!

Take a peek at the rest of their menu of wonderfully delicious doughnuts here:


Ashley - Those look delicious! This is such an creative approach to broadening your children’s experiences…and palates! Well done!

Cari - Great images! These made me hungry!!

heather - Great images from what looks to have been a great adventure! And now I’m craving a gourmet doughnut because they looked delicious!

merryfields photography - Thank you Ashley! They were delicious! I’m also happy to say that the kids are looking forward to selecting the next place we are going to check out food wise!

Heather…just do it! ;)

Thank you Cari!

Newborn Baby G – Toronto Newborn Photographer

It was with great pleasure that Baby G’s mum got in touch with me, looking to commission me for a newborn session!
I had met Baby G’s mum some years back from a Mommy Connection’s group that I had taught a ‘How To Photograph Your Little Ones’ class.

Her little newborn boy was super sweet to photograph and while he didn’t sleep all the way through…we got some great wide awake photographs of him!
Little sister was an absolute hoot with her big huge personality and decisive, “NO’s” she would give us.

Mum & Dad, thank you for allowing me the honor of photographing your beautiful family!


Professional Newborn Photography
Toronto Newborn Photographer
Sibling Photography


This is the …OMG I can’t wait for this lady with the black box to finish what she’s doing with me look!

Toronto Newborn Photography

Beckah Greenwood - Oh my gosh, that one of him sucking his little pinky is my favorite I think, this is adorable!

Shrine Circus Came to Town…the Stress of It! – Professional Toronto Photographer

A few weeks back I came home and hit play on messages that were left on my residential line.
One of those messages was from my dear sister and it pretty much said the following, “Hey I have extra tickets for the circus so you can take the kids.”

So while I totally appreciated her getting these tickets for us, and wanting to give them to us, I think that in future (which I already told her) that no one should leave messages like this on anyone’s voice mail…since quite a few do check their messages with their kids around. No leeway. Just a screaming chaotic mess of “OMG Aunty S is the best and we’re going to the circus!!!”

I just KNOW that there are other parents out there nodding their heads saying, “Oh yep we get it.”

Shrine Circus. Yes I know they originated with the Masons at the Knickerbocker Cottage in New York…let’s hear the conspiracies…lol!
They supposedly do a lot of good with their fund raising.
One of their major charities being the Shriners Hospital for Children with locations across the US and Canada.
Cool. Like really really cool.

Big Top

My kids loved the concession stand…popcorn, cotton candy…and (stale) corn dogs….

Concession Stand


The clowns on the unicycle were dextrous and quite funny…

Acrobatic Clown


My daughter was face painted by a lovely lady who we saw again in a trapeze act.

Face Painting



Mad skills here…

Horse Tricks

These guys were probably some of the best clowns we had seen! They were funny and had my kids (and everyone else) in absolute stitches!!

Funny Clowns


The human hamster wheel…blindfolded and G-d knows how far up from the ground he was…he made us hold our breath, cover our eyes and send fervent prayers to all deity’s in the hopes that he does not fall off that death defying contraption!

Spinning Wheel


Trapeze act…our face painting lady…she was pretty amazing!

Trapeze Act
Trapeze Act

Here’s the thing that bugs me though about this circus. I don’t profess to be the most educated on this subject, but it’s how I feel.
Elephants and circuses should not be mixed together in my opinion.

While the Shriners say that they take every care that they can for the animals – I just cannot fathom such a majestic animal being happy to travel from city to city confined, and not having the open space that they deserve on a consistent basis.
*Shriners have 10 acres and a pond with which they play in when at home.*

To train elephants, the trainers (I don’t know about the Shriners) prod them with what is called an ankus…or a bull hook.
At no point and time did me or my family see the trainers use the bullhook on the elephants.
Did they have them?
Did they use them?
Not while we were there.

But when we have the Toronto Zoo relocate the elephants that they had in a spacious-but not spacious enough- environment…I just cannot help but think to myself, really Shriners, with all the good that you do, and your cool and funny acts that families already enjoy…do you really really need the elephants?

My answer, is a big emphatic no.
So until the elephants go…we shall no longer be going to the Shrine Circus or any other circus that will be using exotic animals.


You an of course google more information on the subject of animals in circuses…but make your own informed decisions and don’t just go by what others tell you.

Some links that I found of interest:



American zoo keeper talks about using the bull hook:


What the Shriners say about their animals:


Cake Smash Session SNL Style – Move Over Will Ferrell

A week ago I received an email inquiry about a cake smash session.
As  I had one more slot open for August, it was not a problem to book them in.

The next email I received from this  same young lady, informed me that she was looking to do a cake smash for her husband’s birthday.
I honestly did not know what to expect as I have never done a grown up cake smash before. But I was game…

We chatted on the phone and I’ll say it, I was excited as this was something new for me.

As I was waiting for them, I looked outside my window and saw a small mob of about 8 people standing outside!
I knew when I saw all of them that this was going to be an absolutely epic day!

The lovely K had planned a day out in the city for her husband T and some of his friends. One of the events of the day was to come by my studio for a fun portrait/cake smash session!!

These guys and gals were friendly, funny and just an all around good group to be hanging with!

The session itself was like a scene out of Saturday Night Live with a Will Ferrel twist! We had a lot of fun and we laughed a lot!!
I laughed so hard I am so surprised that I was even able to hold the camera steady!

A big thank you to all of you for making this one of the best sessions that I have ever had!!
It was great because of all of you making it so!!

Enjoy the sneak peek!!

The image with the ‘floating head’ was a request based on this image here: Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell

Big Baby Photography

Wonderful cake by Nina’s Cupcakes


Teddy Bear

Will Ferrell

Adult Cake Smash

Adult Humour

Funny Photo Shoot
Funny Photo Shoot

Adult Humor

These guys are amazing! Embracing life, having fun…that is what it’s all about!!

Toronto Photographer

If you like my work, please feel free to share via the share buttons below.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any of the material on © merryfields photography website and blog  without express and written permission  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to © merryfields photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

All images are the exclusive property of © merryfields photography and are protected by the the Copyright Act of Canada, Bill C-11., and provisions of the Berne Convention, all rights reserved.
Images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated in any way without the express written permission of © merryfields photography

© merryfields photography 2011-Present.

Natalie - Oh my gosh, these are HILARIOUS!! That’s got to be one of my favorite cake smash sessions I’ve ever seen!

Lai - Oh my goodness! This is hilarious! Not many guys are willing to do this. He must love her so much and enjoy doing this at the same time. I would have laughed all the way throughout the session as well! Good job!

Lori - What fun a a great sense if humor from the birthday boy!

Janelle - HILARIOUS!!!!

Michele - This might have been one of the funniest photo posts I have ever seen. GREAT IMAGES!

Eden - OMG! I LOVE this!!! The best cake smash ever!

heather - This is amazing! What a fun group of people and great images!

Louise Vessey - Yes I can see that this would have been a total blast to shoot! Perhaps this is the next big trend? LOL!

Carrie Cheng - These are hysterical! What a fun shoot. Good acting on his part. Good photography too :) Love the dual image one!!

Gretchen - Goodness – what a riot. I bet everyone involved loved it!

merryfields photography - I can honestly say that I have never ever laughed so much at any session as I did at this one!

These guys & gals were all amazing and so much fun!

Beckah Greenwood - Oh gosh! This would have been the funnest session EVER! I’m jealous! Such good sports and you NAILED It.!

Sweet Newborn Baby { R } – Toronto Newborn Photographer

This little one came, slept…ate a wee bit…and then slept some more!
One of the easiest newborn sessions I have ever had and an absolute dream to work with!

A tremendous big thank you to the parents for entrusting me with their precious little newborn!

Newborn Baby
Newborn Details
Newborn Photos Toronto
Newborn Baby Photos

Baby safety is always the number one rule in newborn photography. As you can see from the image below, they are put together by merging them.
This is the difference between hiring a professional photographer who knows what they are doing versus a hobbyist or amateur who wants to use your baby to experiment on.

Please do not ever try this on your own, nor allow another non-professional to do so.

Thank you to dad who was an awesome assistant for this shot!!

Newborn Baby Toronto

If you like my work, please feel free to share via the share buttons below.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any of the material on © merryfields photography website and blog  without express and written permission  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to © merryfields photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

All images are the exclusive property of © merryfields photography and are protected by the the Copyright Act of Canada, Bill C-11., and provisions of the Berne Convention, all rights reserved.
Images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated in any way without the express written permission of © merryfields photography

© merryfields photography 2011-Present.

Carrie Cheng - I love how the softness of the photos accentuates the softness of the baby. So lovely. You are a wonderful newborn photographer!

merryfields photography - Thank you so much Carrie! I really appreciate the kind words!

Beckah Greenwood - Gosh I swear sometimes I think you never use the same prop twice. All your photos are so different. I think I want to go shoppins in your prop closet.

Pretty Baby { H } ‘s Newborn Session – Professional Newborn Photographer Toronto

Newborn baby H is such a pretty little baby and she was in an absolute rush to get to meet her parents!
She couldn’t wait for mum to get to the hospital, but decided to make her appearance in their home and have dad assist with her birth!

She twitched a bit in the beginning and didn’t really want to sleep, but eventually I did get my way…

Enjoy this little beauty and thank you to the parents for the honor of photographing your little girl!

*Gorgeous hat made by Unique Hats and More by Joan.

GTA Newborn Photographer

Professional Newborn Photographer

Love detail shots!

Toronto Newborn Photography

Gorgeous multicolored bonnet by the awesome Samantha Jane Designs

Professional Newborn Photographer

Sonia Scott Rowley - omg she’s perfect!! these are amazing pictures! i can’t wait to officially meet my new baby cousin! xoxo

Benny Lynne - Aww what a cutie! Great images

Karen - So precious!

Steve Lewis - Beautiful images! Thank you for sharing!

Cynthia - What a beautiful baby! Love the photo of her sweet little hands and belly button.

Gretchen - LOVE that images of her hands. So beautiful

Cari - Adorable images!

Eden - Beautiful! I love the last two images of her the best.

heather - What an amazing birth story! These newborn images are beautiful and I know the family will treasure them!

Chantal - Such a little cutie!! So sweet!

Tonja Peterson-Wendt - What a doll! Beautiful pictures of her! So precious!

Oh So Stylish Toronto Family – Toronto Family Photography

Before I even write anything else, I have to admit that I adored what this family wore to their family session and loved how they took time out to
select a color scheme rather than just throwing something together mish mash like.

They decided to pick a blue, tan and yellow palette which was cheerful, summery and fun!
The colors complimented each and every one of them and made for a super lovely session while insuring that they each retained
their individuality while not looking too matchy matchy!

We went to High Park which is always a favorite. There is lots of variety there, from the Japanese garden that they have, to the lovely hedges, pond and all around gorgeous scenery. You have to love the parks we have in the city of Toronto!!

I photographed their little one from when she was a little 3 month baby, and to be honest, the only thing that has changed is that she is more mobile!
Still super beautiful little girl  with a wonderful personality that is full of curiosity!

Thank you for entrusting me to photograph such a lovely session with you all!

Professional Family Photographer

GTA Family Photographer


Toronto Family Photography


Toronto Family Photographer



Cynthia - What a beautiful session and I love the location.

Chantal - Such an adorable session!!

heather - You’re right, this family did an amazing job with their wardrobe choices! Beautiful images at a lovely location

Cari - What a sweet session!! Great shots!

C o p y r i g h t   I n f o r m a t i o n