The Odd Couple

Sometimes the heart just wants what it wants because love works in mysterious ways. When Tara and Bella became BFFs, people were shocked. But, the elephant and dog pair surpassed skeptics and have been inseparable since the day they met. They do everything together including eating, drinking, sleeping and playing.

When Bella was taken in to be treated for a spinal cord injury, Tara waited three whole weeks for her posted at the gates of the animal sanctuary. Take a look at this unusual duo who give hope to love stories everywhere.

National Geographic also found more odd couples within the animal kingdom. Click on the link below to find out more about the friendship between an orangutan and hound dog, a lion who cares for a baby antelope, a cat and black crow who play hide-and-seek together and the strange bond between a hippo and tortoise.



As a rookie to the blogging scene, I've been told to write about everything new and current. But, I've never really been one to follow the rules. There are just too many wonderful things that are old and still remain oh so wonderful. One being a documentary directed by Ron Fricke and released in 1993.

Despite being 17 years old, Baraka is still one of the most mesmerizing things I've ever seen. Baraka is an ancient Sufi world meaning blessing, the breath or the essence of life from which evolutionary process unfolds. A five person crew, a period of 14 months, 24 countries across 6 continents later the beautiful Baraka was born.

A dear friend introduced me to Baraka and I'm forever grateful. When I told him I had never even heard of it, he simply said, "we'll watch it tonight. It will change your life". So my two friends and I popped in the film, cranked the surround sound and found a comfy nook in the couch. I didn't know what to expect. Not one word was said throughout the entire one hour and 36 minute film. All three of us were locked in a trance and when it was all over, I was completely lost for words.

So a little bit about the background...The film is a collage of imagery from around the world that doesn't use words, because it really doesn't have to. It's almost like National Geographic on tape, but captures the more intimate details of life. It documents unexplained natural treasures, larger-than-life man made structures and the simplicity of animals in their habitat. It depicts the effects of overpopulation with fast motion street scenes in Tokyo traffic and assembly line productions. It shows the human devotion to religion and spirituality by whirling dervishes of Islam’s Sufi sect, Orthodox Jews bobbing at the Wailing Wall and Muslim pilgrims circling the Kabah in Mecca. And poverty is ultimately seen through the eyes of children in India. Essentially Baraka is about life and finding the beauty and the suffering in it all. It's realizing that there is so much more to the world we live in and coming to terms with the fact that your own problems seem so minor in the grand scheme of things. (Well at least that's what I think).

Visually enriching and tastefully paired with beautiful music including the chanting of Lisa Gerrard, makes it hard for anyone to hide their emotions at times. Depending on past travels and experiences, each scene will trigger something different. For me, I jumped back in time to Cambodia, walking through the Killing Fields. When I saw the footage of the millions of black and white photographs of people who were massacred during the Khmer Rouge, my heart sank deep down into my stomach. I will never forget the faces from those photographs I saw up close while walking through the concentration camp or the sight of the neatly stacked skulls at the Killing Fields. What I saw and learned from that horrific genocide is forever embedded in my head and heart. For you, it could trigger something completely different.

Here is the Baraka trailer. I would love to hear comments on what readers thought of the documentary. What did it trigger in you?


Pep In Your Step

TREND ALERT: Forget the ballet flats and pick up a pair of Oxfords. I've been on the hunt for a sweet pair of Oxford shoes for some time now. As I'm trying to avoid chain stores, it's been a little difficult to find my dream pair. Not many boutiques carry them so I've resorted to some online shopping.

With a bad economy and new ways to find fashion inspiration these days, it's no wonder women dabble in their boyfriend's closet for trendy pieces such as blazers, oversized denim shirts and distressed baggy jeans. Did you think we wouldn't eventually find some shoe ideas?
What was typically a dress shoe for men, is now stylish and street savvy for women. Oxford shoes have been making a hot statement as tons of celebs and city folk don't mind giving the good old high heel a days rest. Comfortable yet classy, Oxfords are stepping in on the fashion scene. I love to see the traditional shoe paired with a relaxed outfit such as Sienna Miller's flirty skirt or even just a pair of skinny jeans and T-shirt. It's a nice contrast with a shoe that's normally used for suits and dressier occasions.

Although the shoes are mostly worn with a little ankle skin showing, the slouch sock makes for a nice touch sometimes.

Stuart Weitzman you are a genius. Love these shoes!

Don't worry I didn't forget about the boys. Being no stranger to the Oxford shoe, why not jazz up the look with some high top versions? These would look killer with some rolled up jeans.


Happy Weekend

Add a little sparkle to your weekend with some pretty pictures!


Underwater Dining

Have you ever imagined having dinner 15 feet below sea level?

While most restaurants opt for paintings or wall decor, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant in the Maldives has gone above and beyond (or should I say below and beyond). Nestled deep down in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by stunning coral reefs and encased in clear acrylic, this little jewel is the first underwater restaurant of its kind. Guests can sample the contemporary fusion Maldivian cuisine with western and asian influences while enjoying the 270 degrees of panoramic undersea views. Moray eels and blue-faced angelfish are among some of the creatures that glide through the lagoon around you while dinner is being served.

This restaurant can only be reached by a wooden walkway from a nearby over-water restaurant located within the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. I'm assuming one must make reservations well in advance as the restaurant only seats 14 people at a time. So when that average ocean view just isn't cutting it, one can always escape into the deep blue sea without even getting wet. I haven't been to the Maldives yet, but it's been added to my travel list today.


Deadmau5 & Benny Benassi Concert

He was a geeky computer guy who found a dead mouse in his hard drive one day. Soon after, his chat room buddies coined him "that dead mouse guy", which was then shortened to a user name allowing 8 maximum characters, hence Deadmau5. The death of that poor little mouse sparked the birth of a very talented electro DJ and producer from Toronto, Canada. Everyone is currently raving about Deadmau5 and after attending his performance at the Guvernment last week in Toronto, my eyes and non-mouse ears loved the experience. I now understand what all the commotion is about.

The night featured legendary Benny Benassi who spun a two-hour set of old and new songs. He was later joined onstage by JFK of MSTRKRFT (pronounced "master-craft") who bopped his shaggy hair with every hard and edgy beat he spun. Both had a great time spinning together and my friend, Nikki, and I had an equally great time watching them front row. (Thanks again for the tickets and guest list Benny and friends!)

Align Center
With several DJ's in attendance, it was apparent who the crowd favourite was. The venue was packed with fans sporting mouse heads and mouse ears. After my Coachella blog post, I had an overwhelming response to Deadmau5 by readers and friends alike. I started to get the hint that this guy was big on the world music scene when people just couldn't stop talking about him and his live gigs. With all the build up, I was afraid when I actually saw Deadmau5 for myself I'd be disappointed. But, that wasn't the case as Nikki and I were immediately drawn in, impressed and wanted more.

The performance was much more than I ever imagined. His set sounded phenomenal and his light show was absolutely amazing. He performed with his trademark character mouse head for a couple of songs and then threw it into the crowd for one of his lucky fans to take home. His oversized DJ booth/stage spewed a coloured lazer light show and talking mouse head. He knew exactly what and how to mix his sets up so that the crowd felt the build up of every song and stayed energized throughout. The worst thing about his performance is that it eventually had to end.

We watched the end of the show from an open garage door to escape the crowd of overdosing teenagers. With a cool breeze and a nice policeman to take our picture before we left the venue, I'm convinced we had the best seats in the house during that time.


1,000 Places To See Before You Die

There's a book that sits on every travel enthusiasts shelf (or at least there should be) and it's called 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. It marks some of the most interesting cities, restaurants, hotels, landmarks and museums from all around the world. My sister introduced me to her edition and after scanning the pages, I ran out and bought my own copy. Before I go on trips, I always consult "my bible" for a sneak peak of the places I'd like to see when visiting a new city or country.

I began marking the pages of the places I have seen with colourful stickers. And as I slowly continue to travel, the book gains character from the array of stickers that grace its pages. I should mention that I have a slight competitive nature though. I knew something felt different when I pressed my first sticker down onto the page that described the Eiffel Tower. After smoothing the non-sticky side with my thumb, I felt as though I had made a small accomplishment. It was such a rush after every added sticker.

I knew my addiction became serious, when I couldn't find a specific cafe featured in the book while backpacking the Netherlands. My friend and I added Cafe Society to our "list of things to see" in Amsterdam, but when none of the locals had heard of the cafe, we couldn't find it on the internet at the time AND we couldn't locate it after a week of strolling the canals and streets, I panicked. That meant one less sticker to add to the book. It was like missing a piece of a puzzle, only worse.

I started asking anyone on the street if they'd heard of Cafe Society, frantically pointing to the photo and the blurb from the book, but there was no hope. We even walked parts of the city we hadn't seen just for the slightest hope that it could possibly pop up. I was starting to believe the cafe didn't even exist at the same time that my friend was beginning to get suspicious and catch onto my secret addiction. He was getting tired and wanted to stop searching, however I still had my heart set on stickering that page. It almost resulted in a fight until...

We ended up running into the American Hotel that the cafe was randomly located inside of. By the time we found it, we were both so exhausted from the search and my friend was so fed up with me that he didn't even want to hear the words "cafe" or "society" ever again.

So my book will always remain one sticker short. I'll go on knowing there is now 999 possible places from the book I'll see before I die... Or I may just visit the cafe if I ever return to Amsterdam. I can assure you though, my addiction isn't as bad and not to worry because I won't be booking a flight to Amsterdam anytime soon just to see that cafe.

P.S. Has anyone really been to this Cafe Society? Just curious!