Category Archives: Feature

2013: My Year in Review

Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For.

With each passing year, we’re all called to do a bit of reflecting. All that reflecting led to me reviving this blog, even if it’s only for a little while. The last twelve months have been an interesting and tumultuous to say the least. The thing is, I wouldn’t change most of it for the world. Sure, like anyone, there are things I wish never happened, but I’m making a point to go into 2014 with as few regrets as possible. In lieu of the face that my Facebook year in review failed to capture the highlights of the past year, here’s my highlight reel, the way I see it.

1. #BigFatGreekVacay
I checked another destination off of my travel list when I took a trip to Greece with a couple of my best friends and a few new friends. From Athens to Mykonos to Santorini, we had a great time exploring, lounging and eating. Take a peek at the pictures here.

2. My First Solo Apartment
I guess you could say I struck out on my own nearly 3 years ago when I moved to NYC all on my lonesome. But this year I took another, bigger step to what some might call real adulthood. I moved into my first non-roommate apartment, and I’ve enjoyed setting up “house.”

3. Disney Trip
Short and sweet, but a memory I’ll share with my sister forever. It’s the first trip to Disney we can both remember (because the last time we went, she was a toddler and not the chatty teenager who won’t stop reminding me that she’s taller than me). Sure, Splash Mountain was a hell of a lot smaller than I remembered, and it rained entirely too much, but it was a great trip nonetheless.

4. #BecauseWeCancun
For my annual birthday trip, my best friend and I took a trip to Mexico for a bit of fun in the sun. We explored Chichen Itza, drank quite a bit of tequila and relaxed. (Full disclosure: I’m not a relaxing vacation type of girl, I like exploring, day trips, and always having something to do, it was nice to do Cancun once, but I’m not sure I’ll ever go back). See the pics here.

5. The Dream Job (at least for now)
Picking this one was a doozy, I couldn’t really figure out what to end this on, but where my job is concerned this year has been a dream. It’s had it’s crazy moments where I thought I was going to explode, where it really and truly seemed like a nightmare. The truth of the matter is, when I cried my eyes out a year ago, not knowing whether the new job I’d taken was the “right” choice, I didn’t know how right it was. I sacrificed a safe place for something that allowed me to grow immensely. If I ever doubted myself, this past year has taught me that I can do whatever I set my mind to…

It’s been an interesting year, of that I am sure. I can only hope 2014 will be even more nerve-racking-ly awesome. Thank you to my friends who have listened to me whine, drank bottles and bottles of booze with me, and walked me through some truly character-building moments, all of which 2013 was not short on, My resolution, if I were to have one would be to keep pushing myself the way I always have and to do something today that my future self will thank me for…(I also hope I can muster up the energy to update this thing every week)

Live for Today – 9/11

Live for Today 9/11 SoHo Street Art

This city inspires me everyday, and today was no exception. I hopped off the N Train at Prince St this morning only for my (speed) walk to work to be obstructed by people snapping pictures of the street. I looked to my left and discovered an infinitely cool, literal piece of street art memorializing 9/11. Everyone remembers where they were that day, I didn’t even live in the US and I can tell you that I sat in horror as the TV in my middle school classroom relayed the news. It occurred to me that I never really knew New York before it was scarred by terrorism. In a sense my heart breaks for the New York City I’ll never know, more than ever, it breaks for the people that never made it past that day, the families that grieve such a profound loss to this day. I don’t think there was a more New York way to honor their memory 11 years later than a piece of street art in Soho at Prince St and Broadway with the words “Live for Today 9/11″ spray painted on a pedestrian crossing turned makeshift American flag.

I won’t take those words lightly.

 

Twenty-Four Hours in… Toronto

If I could have any super power, I’d want to be able to teleport. I’d go as far as to dive into a vat of toxic goo to get it…

Yes, that’s how much I love to travel. I fantasize about teleporting from one place to another constantly, so the question is – if you had twenty-four hours to spend anywhere, doing anything (minus the airplane rides and the jet lag) where would you go and what would you do?

If you’re teleporting to Toronto…


Niche Coffee Bar - Niche Benedict Nadege Toronto - My favorite patisserie! REDS Bistro Click to Enlarge Image Map

Start your morning off right with breakfast at Niche Espresso Bar. While I’d usually do this a little later and call it brunch, if we’re going to pack as many events into twenty-four hours as possible – this is where you start. I recommend the Niche Benedict. Yes it’s an espresso bar, but if it’s a choice between coffee and my eggs benny, I’m going for the latter. The signature eggs benedict plate at Niche is the picture of perfection with two poached eggs, pemeal bacon and hollandaise sauce piled on top of a generous portion of simply delicious cornbread. (BEST. COMBO. EVER.)

Ed Note: If you go in the summer – ask for a seat out back.

Now that you’re full, it’s time you walk it off. If you’re going to see a city properly you can’t stumble upon the best things in the city in your car – you just can’t! Since I was in high school, I’ve been walking down Queen St – finding jewelry, dresses, vintage shops and so much more – go ahead, window shop and browse. Here are my usual stops on the lane… Spoof, Get Outside, Style Garage, Black Market Vintage, The Beadery and whatever else catches my eye.

For the good stuff, make your way to Kensington Market for a mix of vintage shopping and yummy snacks. Whatever you do – you must try a spinach, feta and pesto scone from Cobs. If you’re interested in vintage scarves and buttons – head to Courage My Love. I’ve been known to sit on the floor and rifle through their scarf bin – each scarf goes for about $3.00 (CAD). On the subject of buttons, some people are content with whatever buttons a garment comes with, for the rest of us Courage My Love has the wall of buttons. I’ve probably spent $100 dollars here – which is saying something because these buttons aren’t that expensive. Peek into Flash Back and peruse the vintage shirt racks on the street, then make sure to take a long and leisurely stroll in Bungalow – my favorite vintage store of all time. Almost every vintage pencil skirt I own came from this place, and I’ve also scored quite a few blazers here too. Their stock is carefully curated to give you just about everything you could want when you walk through those doors.

Lunch Time: saunter back down to Queen St, heading further west to my favorite French patisserie – Nadege. Order up a croissant sandwich – whichever one your heart desires. I’m likely to grab the one with smoked salmon, cucumber, dill and cream cheese (but Fresh Figs and Goats Cheese on a Nadege croissant are equally as delectable). Grab some goodies to go, like mini madeleines and homemade marshmallows – chocolate covered, regular, or flavored (I’m still savoring my strawberry and basil marshmallows).

Walk around the city some more, sit in the park across from Nadege, or head up to Dundas and head east towards Yonge Street. You’ve still got time to pop into the Art Gallery of Ontario – so go. Or, make your way to the waterfront and take in the sunset over Lake Ontario before you head over to REDS… When Holly Golightly said that thing about the mean reds, these weren’t them. With the greatest wine selection in Toronto, this is a must stop for the visiting wino. Order the crab cakes and lap up the vino. And, in the event that you’d like to dance the night away – head to Wet bar on Peter St or Guvernment on Queen’s Quay down by the lake shore.

Ed Note: Full disclosure, I don’t think I could ever get everything I wanted to do crammed into 24 hours in Toronto. I grew up there, so having to see friends and family trumps this itinerary.

The Fantastic Four: Burgundy Bags

I can think of quite a few things I love that come in the color burgundy: wine, my ballet leotard from when I was 9/10 years old, and these bags…

Melie Bianco Silvia Double Handle Woven Satchel; $59.40 - 6pm.com The original, Hermes Birkin (in burgundy); $17,999.00 - Portero.com Rebecca Minkoff - Large Affair; $495.00 - Zappos.com Madewell - Heritage Leather Satchel; $228.00 - Shopbop.com Image Map

I haven’t bought a new purse in an eternity, and when I say that I mean it. It’s not like me saying I haven’t bought a nice blouse in a long time, knowing full well I went on a mini shopping spree last weekend and bought five. I need a new bag, and I don’t want a plain black one (although I may want a white one) – the color I’ve been drawn to as of late is burgundy. The Rebecca Minkoff – Large Affair is my current fave.

With fall on the way, what colors are you looking to add to your wardrobe/handbag collection?

Pining for Paris

I’m pining for another vacation, throwing ideas out on where to visit next as if aiming darts at a spinning globe. One thing remains – I miss Paris…

I Miss Paris(Top Left to Bottom Right: éclairs from some random bakery near Porte de Clignancourt; one of the many Soupe à l’oignon – I can still taste the broth soaked cheesy bread; where decadence is born – Pierre Hermé; the view walking along the Seine; Angelina’s famous hot chocolate with a brioche roulée au chocolat; one of my favorite side street discoveries – my heels would hate me but I’d love to live in the apartment that overlooks this nook.)

Perhaps I’ve become obsessed with one too many Audrey Hepburn movies set in Paris. My days in Paris were spent munching on macarons, drinking decadently thick hot chocolate, and walking along the Seine. My nights were spent marveling at the splendor of the city. I’ve never known a city to be more beautiful in the gloom of the rain, but when Audrey in Sabrina said: “It must rain on your first day in Paris,” I took this very seriously and submit myself to the beauty of the city of lights. Maybe a part of me is just dying to live out the Paris Nights/New York Mornings music video from Corinne Bailey Rae, but I’m dying to go back.  Perhaps I’ll return for a visit later this year. So I can dive into a bowl of French onion soup, and head over to Pierre Herme.

For now, the destinations on my hit list (it’s sure to grow by tomorrow):

1. Portugal
2. Brasil
3. Hawaii
4. St. Lucia
5. Jamaica*
6. The United Kingdom
7. Italy
8. Thailand
9. France
10. Australia