12.27.2010

Quote For A New Year


I am starting to think of my new year's resolutions at the moment. This quote has definitely helped the thought process.




12.25.2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all the gypsies who dig my blog!

Enjoy these festive pictures xoxo






















Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas this year is the man pictured below. He sure knows how to bring home the bacon A.K.A. a real Christmas tree and a little something from Tiffany's! :)




12.21.2010

Winter Boudoir

I may have just stumbled across the perfect winter bedroom. It's glamorous, vintage and utterly romantic. This is the hideaway of one classy and creative gal named Camila. The unique space was destined to appear on my blog. I'm so in love with the exposed brick throughout because it reminds me a little of my loft right now.






Camila's home wasn't always so nocturnal though. Take a look at some shots of her place just months before. Both decor ideas are really quite lovely.

12.20.2010

Holiday Hot Cocoa

When the weather cools down, there's nothing I enjoy more than putting on an over sized sweater and curling up with a hot cup of cocoa. Here are a few recipes I found online via Cafemom blog to spice up that regular cup with a little holiday spirit.



Mexican Hot Chocolate: A spicy twist to the original. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of chili pepper to your cup. The zip from the cinnamon and chili pepper will warm you right up.

Toffee Treat: Stir in butterscotch chips into the original hot cocoa until melted, top with whipped cream, and then sprinkle with crushed toffee bar pieces (Heath bars are recommended).

Cookies & Cream: This one is easy but oh so delicious. Simply crush Oreo cookies and sprinkle them on top of the whipped cream. You can even dip them into the hot cocoa for an extra chocolate-y treat.

Holiday Hot Cocoa: With stores not lacking in the peppermint department this time of year, crush up pieces of hard peppermint candies (approximately one per cup), stir into the chocolate, and add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract for good measure. Sprinkle any leftover candies over the whipped cream.

Raspberry Heaven: Pour raspberry liqueur (preferably Chambord) into an original hot chocolate for a decadent drink. Garnish with a piece of crystallized ginger, if desired.

White Delight: Heat 6 cups of milk and 2 cups of heavy cream until bubbles form, then pour over 12 ounces of white chocolate (finely chopped) in a medium heat-proof bowl. When it begins to melt, stir to combine, then whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Continue whisking until light foam forms. Serves 8.

Frozen Hot Chocolate: Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Simply mix 3 ounces of your favorite high-quality chocolate (melted) with two teaspoons of store bought cocoa mix and 1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until well blended. Remove and slowly add 1/2 cup of milk, stir until smooth, and then cool to room temperature. Then blend mix, 1 cup of milk, and 3 cups of ice in blender until smooth. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Sexy Citrus: Add in 2 strips of orange peel and 2 strips of lemon peel to 4 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate, 3/4 cup half-and-half, and 3/4 cup of milk, over heat. Remove peels after 2 minutes and add Brandy and Limoncello to taste. Zing!

Rise & Shine: To put a pep in your step, add 1/2 cup of hot coffee to 1/2 cup of milk. Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa, 1 tablespoon of grated milk chocolate, and sugar to taste. Definitely worth climbing out of bed for.

Russian Hot Chocolate: Mix together 2 ounces of Kahlua, 1 ounce of vodka, and 1 cup hot chocolate made from milk. It won't just be the temperature that warms you up with this drink.

Peanut Butter Better: Chocolate and peanut butter is the best combo ever, right? So why aren't we putting it into our drinks? Melt peanut butter cups into your favorite hot cocoa for a candy-inspired beverage.

Country Cocoa: Stir in maple syrup to your original hot cocoa for a completely different (yet delicious) version.

Thank you Brittny Drye for all the recipe ideas and the write up!


12.18.2010

Did Demarchelier Confirm?

When it comes to fashion photography, Patrick Demarchelier is a name everyone should know by now. Born near Paris, Demarchelier's stepfather gave him a camera for his seventeenth birthday. The gift was put to good use as he learned to develop film, retouch negatives and started his career like any other photographer - shooting weddings and friends.

Since 1975 the man behind the lens has been residing and photographing all the top models and celebs in New York City. He has shot the covers for Rolling Stone, Glamour, Life, Newsweek, Elle, Mademoiselle as well as American, British and Paris Vogue.

The photographer has been referenced in the Devil Wears Prada when Meryl Streep, the editor of a top fashion publication, asks Anne Hathaway, a struggling assistant, "did Demarchelier confirm?". He was also a cameo in the Sex and the City movie snapping shots for Vogue of Carrie Bradshaw in designer wedding gowns.

Demarchelier has more than just an eye for photography. It has been said he redefined the fashion photograph and the industry along with it. In particular, he captures the beauty and essence of a woman in his photographs with extreme ease. Regardless of static poses or through movement, the end results look natural and très relaxed. I'm a firm believer a true artist makes his work look effortless and it's refreshing to know the worlds leading fashion photographer reached such stardom with modest beginnings.











12.13.2010

Amy Walker

I know her name is Amy Walker and I know she's 25 years old, but where is she from???



12.08.2010

The Black Keys


CAN'T. STOP. LISTENING. TO. THE. BLACK. KEYS.


If Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters created a prodigy child, the bundle of joy would be called The Black Keys. I recently did a photo shoot where The Black Keys just so happened to be cranked over the speakers. The perfect blend of rock and blues set the mood for a mellow atmosphere that day. After four hours of posing, wardrobe changes and hair/makeup touch ups, you would think another TBK song would be the last thing I'd want to hear. Au contraire, I ended up going home and uploading all their albums onto my iPod.

The band is surprisingly composed of only two men. Dan Auerbach is the bearded guitarist with the enticing voice and Patrick Carney is the talented man behind the drum set. The Ohio natives create loose songs oozing with soul and meaningful lyrics.

I find lots of bands slack in the lyrical department. There's an overload of musical garbage out there where artists just fill songs with empty words. However, with the release of their sixth album, Brothers, produced in Alabama's famous Muscle Shoals Sound studio, it's nice to know TBK stay true to the old school blues style with songs revolving around troubled women and classic heartache. The lyrics are honest and very well thought out. I constantly have one of their tunes stuck in my head and this is why TBK has easily become one of my all-time favourite bands.


The band is often compared to The White Stripes as both have similar sounds possibly attributing to the fact both are duos using vocals, guitar and drums. I personally like them much better than the White Stripes though. It's not that often you find a band where you adore every single song they offer. Regardless of a heavier rocker song or one of their soft melodies, they always exude tons of energy into their music and even more in their performances. Seriously though, from watching some of their videos (such as the last YouTube I posted at the bottom of this article) it's apparent they get quite the workout from jamming on stage. They make me want to trade in my gym membership and join a band.

TBK also have a quality following including Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett to name a few. This band is definitely worth checking out. I'm sure if you hear one song, you'll want to hear them all. At least that's what happened to me.

Here's a little taste....


This is a tune off their latest album.


I like this one too!


12.02.2010

Words by Bob Marley

With quotes like this, it's no wonder this man will remain a legend...




11.30.2010

Goodbye Movember




Mustaches are the new black. They've been growing rampantly every which way you look this month and all for a good cause.

In the month of Movember, formerly known as November, men grow mustaches to help raise money and awareness for men's health. This charity is worldwide and groups of men even create teams within their regions to see who can raise the most money for growing a full-fledged stash.

I've never been a big fan of facial hair, until now. It's becoming extremely trendy for young and old men to grow mustaches and beards at the moment. I think it gives them a really distinguished and mature look, yet shows they're a bit rough around the edges. The hairy trend has also been making its way to memorabilia as people sport the mark of Movember on T-shirts, coffee mugs, necklaces and even permanent tattoos. Who knew facial hair could be so influential?

I'm not ready to accept this as the last day of mustache mania though. So I hold onto hope that most Movember participants will keep their facial hair for the trend sake of it. Farewell Movember, hello Decembeard anyone?




11.26.2010

Escape

Escape into the oasis that is the weekend. After all, weekends were invented to snuggle in a cozy bed, have romantic dinners on floating docks, build forts and catch up on reading and blogging in the most dreamy of places. Enjoy these pictures that I could easily see myself escape into.

Sweet dreams







Tea for one in a magical chateau somewhere...no big deal




Some place in the middle of nowhere














Who needs a cafe, when I can blog in this fort


I want to know what's written on that note!






Happy weekend blog readers! I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing American Thanksgiving!!



11.19.2010

Film Festival continued

I realize I'm a bit behind on this post, however I still had to include my grand adventures during the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Here are some of the events I attended during TIFF and some of the wonderful people I was lucky enough to bump into.

ALLIANCE FILMS PARTY

My first TIFF event got me hooked. Held at South of Temperance in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown, this red carpet event was packed with industry names on a strict guest list. With an open bar and chefs serving gourmet snacks, miniature hot dogs and a trolley full of gelato, it was pretty easy to have a fun-filled night .

The majority of party goers were from California, but everyone seemed to have the same love for Toronto as I do. I met Charles Heaphy and his colleagues from City National Bank who were scoping out TIFF films to finance. They were very friendly and I was happy to spend more time with them at Nikki Beach and the CAA party just days later. I left the event with friends to pursue an after hours lounge called Fubar. One of the wonderful things about TIFF is almost all restaurants and lounges are open and serving until 4 am. We made sure to grab gift bags on our way out which included chocolate, cookies, various gift cards, designer makeup kits, Stella Artois glass sets and much more.

From left - Nikki, Charles Heaphy (Senior Vice President, Entertainment Division, City National Bank) & colleagues.

The amazing gelato trolley

FOCUS FEATURES PARTY

The next day I ventured to the Focus Features event held at Brassaii. I enjoyed the party with two very close girlfriends, Nikki and Paula, and a great network of people from Apple including Michael Huntsman. A very special thank you goes out to my friend, Michael, for providing us with fake names to get into the event that night. Everyone sipped on vodka water bar limes made with pomegranate vodka. They tasted exactly like a liquid form of sour tart candy which was a little dangerous as the beverage went down too smooth. The chef also convinced me to try decadent brownies displayed on a tray of sweets and ice cream. After he explained they were made with one of the finest chocolates of the world, I knew I had to try it for myself. He didn't exactly have to twist my arm on that one.

Everyone had a blast playing around and joking on the red carpet. Inside guests filled out comment cards with personal funny stories. They could then describe the story in detail and on camera in the spirit of the film It's Kind of a Funny Story starring Zach Galifianakis .

Left - Nikki, Paula and I arriving at the Focus Features party
Right - Nikki and Paula holding up their "It's Kind of a Funny Story" comment card




Left - Michael Huntsman (the face of Apple) and I
Right - Joking around on the red carpet. These girls are hilarious and I always have the best time with them.

NIKKI BEACH

Later that night our group hit Nikki Beach. Despite being a major city, Toronto doesn't officially have a Nikki Beach. For those of you reading and new to this club concept, Nikki Beach is the ultimate beach club where dining, fashion, music and entertainment combine to create the ultimate party. This club is internationally known and enjoyed in major cities including Miami Beach, Saint-Tropez, Saint Barths, Marbella, Cabo San Lucas, Marrakech, Koh Samui, and New York City. It has even been deemed “The Sexiest Place on Earth” by the London Observer. Having experienced Nikki Beach in St. Tropez and Miami, I was anxious to see what my city had to offer when Toronto annually transforms C Lounge into Nikki Beach for TIFF. The venue had indoor and outdoor cabanas and a beautiful pool lined with palm trees.




Once inside I was introduced to Oscar-winning producer, Nicolas Chartier. When I found out he was originally from Paris, we had a long chat in French about life and his film, The Hurt Locker. I was quick to notice his down-to-earth demeanor and was fascinated once he explained his story. He told me his life had drastically changed after The Hurt Locker reached stardom. Once a janitor in Paris who lived a very modest life, he took an extremely large risk and mortgaged his house on the film. His talents and risk were luckily rewarded when his film was a success. He now lives a completely different lifestyle in LA with much more income than the average janitor would earn. The Hurt Locker was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won six including Best Picture and Best Director, but it was Chartier's modest and grounded persona that I was most impressed with.

I asked if we could get a picture together, but he gracefully declined as the producer has had his share of negative press including being banned from the Oscars for breaking Academy rules. The great conversation still continued, but I've had to include a picture of Chartier accepting his BAFTA award, as apposed to one of us at Nikki Beach.

The Hurt Locker producers (from left) - Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Greg Shapiro & Nicolas Chartier

CAA EVENT

Sunday night was devoted to the CAA party which was held in Yorkville under a large white tent. It had the best dance floor of TIFF parties I had seen all weekend, but the highlight of the party was definitely the larger-than-life chess set outside. My friends Nikki and Gary Garfinkel, Senior Vice President of Content and Acquisitions for Showtime Networks, put their chess skills to the test. Despite Gary talking a big game, it was Nikki who took home the champion title. I hope Gary brushes up on his chess skills before TIFF 2011.

I was also introduced to Terry Dougas, a very talented producer in Greece, who just so happened to be born in Vancouver. He's produced such films as The Invention of Lying, The Box and Swing Vote to name a few. Dougas, who is currently working on many projects in LA, had a great energy about him. He's so lovely to chat with because he has one of the best sense of humours I've encountered. I wish him all the best in his upcoming endeavors.


Left - Nikki and Gary playing an intense game of chess
Right - Terry Dougas and I

THOMPSON HOTEL

The following weekend, while most of my new friends had left town, I continued with the TIFF celebrations. A loft warming party at my new place was the starter to a wonderful night. My girlfriends and I ended up at Thompson Hotel which has become one of my favourite spots in the city. The hotel features a beautiful main lounge, underground club and rooftop bar. Lindsay and I just so happened to bump into George Hickenlopper, director of Casino Jack. I was shocked and saddened to hear about his recent passing at the end of October. Although we only met for a brief moment, he seemed like such a genuine and interesting individual. He bought Lindsay and I a beverage on the rooftop and told us about his close friendship with Sienna Miller after filming his movie Factory Girl. I know he will be remembered as an outstanding film director and man.

Close friends - Sienna Miller and George Hickenlopper

Rooftop view of Thompson Hotel in Toronto

Lindsay and I on the gorgeous rooftop overlooking Toronto

As a rookie on the TIFF scene, I rate my overall experience as an A ++. I hope to stay in touch with all the amazing people I met and hopefully see them again before next years TIFF approaches.

11.15.2010

My Blog

I went to check my e-mail this morning and this is what happened...



So I posted this...




Align CenterPeople often ask where I get all my random information to blog about. It's simple actually. I love to meet new people and talk to strangers. There are so many interesting people out there with the most interesting things to say. Listen to others, appreciate their stories and embrace the unique things that make them who they are. I also choose to surround myself with wonderful friends who are inspirational and motivating. By eliminating all the negative people from my life's Rolodex, there leaves only room for those who help me grow.

I also walk everywhere. I have a car, but hardly use it now that I live in the city. If you walk around your neighbourhood and become more perceptive of your surroundings, the realization that the world really is a beautiful place will quickly become apparent. For instance, ever notice the art and messages in graffiti or in window displays just by walking down an ordinary street? I always do.

I love window shopping and appreciate the creativity that goes into making the window display of a boutique, a shop or even a bakery. When I find a really fabulous one, I stop and marvel at it. My friend, Jane, and I were walking home from her yoga studio one day and she noticed my curiosity with the occasional artistic window. She took note and swore to start noticing the things around her that day. She lives on Ossington Avenue which is full of artistic expression, designers and trendy spots although she realized her busy schedule hindered her from paying attention to the simple things (such as window displays) on her route home. I can only hope she's taking the time to indulge in all the pretty windows out west right now :)

Perhaps we should all look around, be curious and have a conversation with a beautiful stranger once in awhile. It's really quite harmless and could possibly start an epidemic of gypsy blogs everywhere! What a wonderful world that would be.

11.10.2010

Inner Gypsy in Kate Moss

Well well well look what I stumbled upon. Looks like I'm not the only one with a slight fascination for gypsies. One of the most famous supermodels, Kate Moss, was picture perfect in last year's editorial in V Magazine. She teamed up with photographer, Iain McKell, and stylist, Karen Langely, to create the ultimate gypsy photo shoot.

I adore everything about this shoot, and I'm even more impressed with word that Moss snubbed a nearby hotel and decided to camp out for two nights with real gypsies in Cornwall, England. Where do I sign up to get paid for a gig like this?

I believe there is a gypsy flame within everyone. Whether it comes out in a free-spirited lifestyle or even if it's harboured deep down inside, it's still there. Moss had no problem showing her hippie chic spirit during this shoot - playing with rings of fire, sitting by campfire and posing in front of a decorated caravan all the while wearing beautiful designer clothes by Isabel Marant, Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, Kenzo, John Galliano, Stefanel and Dsquared.














11.07.2010

Play BY Play


softmallow:  little comic of love  A play by play for Chantelle: 1. The girl likes the guy but he’s all like, whatever 2. Then the guy notices her but then she’s like what? no. 3. Then he likes her and she’s like no I don’t like you 4. Then he tries to pick her up but she’s like ugh! 5.  He keeps trying (he’s being so French there) which she thinks is just getting annoying 6. So then he’s like forget her and she’s like wait, what? But I like you now 7.  Then they end up in love.
1. Girl likes boy but he’s all like whatever.

2. Boy suddenly notices girl, but she’s like what? No.

3. Then boy likes girl and she’s like no I don’t like you now.

4. Boy tries to pick girl up but she’s like ugh what a weirdo!

5. Boy keeps trying (with a smug french demeanor) which she thinks is just getting real annoying. Girl is so not impressed.

6. Boy is like forget her and girl is like wait, what? Why aren't you paying attention to me anymore? Girl likes boy again.

7. Then boy and girl fall in love. Yup that's how it works sometimes.