Recently, the wedding bells have not stopped a ringin'. Although I'm nowhere near getting married myself, many of those I love are. My sister and two cousins all got engaged this year! So it looks like i'll be attending 3 weddings very soon (and that's just within my family).
I'm also waiting for one of my best friends, Lindsay, to get engaged. I can feel the proposal coming any day now. Her and her honey dip already have the house and the dog. I think the ring is coming next :)
Proposals can be very cliché these days, so it's extremely important for gentlemen to stay creative. Check out this photo booth proposal below.
One day Creative Pete decided he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Lucky Shannon. So he went to a Mexican restaurant and spelled out his proposal in a photo booth. Pete was a little worried his plan may have a glitch. "He told me he only had the exact change for five strips," says Shanon, "because he didn't realize they were $3 each, so he was really nervous that he was going to mess up the order of the letters."
There was really no need for him to worry though because everyhing turned out picture perfect. He stuck the photo booth strips on the fridge and Shannon discovered it while they were cooking pasta one night. Simple and sweet eh?
It just goes to show ya that taking a girl to the moon and back isn't always necessary. Sometimes the smallest gestures can be the most romantic.
The revival of the 80s in particular has been easy to spot over the last few years. The geometric and paint splattered prints on jumpers, the shocking neon coloured T- shirts and the aggressive shoulder pads put on blazers have all made their comeback. Leather jackets popularized by Michael Jackson and the film The Lost Boys are extremely stylish to strut around in. They were studded and left undone to create a messier look back then and the same trend seems appealing now. High top Converse sneakers, headwraps and bold jewellery have all filtered into the hip hop community again and trendy stores like American Apparel are carrying body suits, tights and workout attire to wear outside of the gym. Even Tom Selleck’s popular mustache has reappeared as an increasing amount of young men are sporting the Magnum P.I. facial hair with pride.
I’ve taken new ownership of the amazing long sleeve dresses from Paris, the crisp blazers and a couple pairs of high-waisted pleated pants that my mother rocked back in the day. The accessories and handbags are simply icing on the cake. It’s these high quality and unique garments that get me the most compliments in and around the city. Fortunately not everything needs to be recycled when it comes to the 80s. I’m positive most are not missing the unflattering MC Hammer pants, the mismatched fluorescent socks or the perm for that matter. All those faux pas can stay back in the 80s where they belong.
As the world of fashion borrows elements from decades past, there’s still much to be considered. When looking at the bigger picture, a fashionista must ask oneself if we’re still making moves on the fashion front. I’m all for vintage goods, but I often wonder if we’re still setting trends and not just recycling or tweaking them all.
I love discovering new sounds , especially if they're coming from Canadian bands. My friend was playing the latest Hey Rosetta CD the other day and I took quite a liking to them. The breakout indie rock band from St. Johns, Newfoundland has been around from a couple years now so I'm a bit ashamed to say I only found out about them recently :(
Some of their influences include The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, Arcade Fire and Hope of the State. They were selling out concerts at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto long ago, but Hey Rosetta! gained even more recognition after the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Their song Red Heart was featured in the main montage celebrating Canadian pride across the nation.
The band released their third album titled Seeds in February of this year. Lead singer, Tim Baker, explained in an interview what the album name and title track was all about stating,"...the idea is that we are seeds, traveling from town to town, blowing around, settling down here and there, trying to make something for people", and that "the songs are seeds ... they’re these little things –- four and five minute things — but they have the ability to grow in your brain and be far more meaningful than just what they are."
This album is definitely worth a listen and my ears have already voted Yer Spring and Welcome as favourite tracks. Although both are pretty catchy, I decided to post Red Song on my blog because I love the home made video oh so much. It's simple, romantic and reminds me of what my parents must have been like back in the day.
Road trips, picking berries, picnics and swimming in the lake all seem like things they would have done together when they were young. Whenever I rummage through old photographs of them, I find these beautiful captured moments of my mom sitting on the edge of a canoe with lilies in her hair while my hip dad plays guitar. They used to go on these camping trips with ONLY a guitar and canoe at times. Instead of a tent, they would lean the canoe lengthwise against a tree to sleep under it. I've even seen pictures of them sunbathing on enormous rocks overlooking the lake, somewhat like the picnic scene in the music video.
They have always enjoyed spending time together in the outdoors, so it's no surprise they recently purchased a log cabin all the way up north to retire in. Friends of theirs have expressed concern though, and many are worried my parents may become bored in such a secluded area. My parents however, are more excited than kids in a candy store. They eagerly await boating and fishing their days away. They're actually hoping they won't get many visitors dropping by, so they can spend even more time together.
People often tell me I live in a fantasy land when it comes to the topic of love. I understand a long-lasting and happy marriage is on the verge of extinction, but by growing up in my household, it's difficult to be cynical about it all. My parents are lovers, best friends and just celebrated their 34th anniversary last week. I think they'll be quite content spending their retirement years out in the middle of nowhere because all they really need is one another. In the meantime, i'll continue living in fantasy land.
In the meantime, check out this new book I found. It's a clever way to give traditional proverbs a little modern day makeover!
“I’m sick of my nomadic vagabond lifestyle,” Calder said. “I’m dying to find a home and make it home.”
Her little red suitcase on wheels hasn’t stopped rolling for some time now. She has accumulated an endless amount of stamps on her passport and as a result lost count of the countries she has totaled over the years. Having lived abroad, traveled throughout Canada for work and visited many countries in between, she feels ready to settle and finally call somewhere home.
Calder is now filming a new television series, Recipe for Riches, where she judges contestants in search of the best recipe across Canada. The show is somewhat of a culinary Canadian Idol and she is definitely not the Simon Cowell, claiming she finds it hard to criticize the efforts of others. She is also working on ideas for her next television series after wrapping up French Food at Home on Food Network. Despite her roots and work currently in Canada, there’s still an evident Parisian spirit that has been deeply embedded in her by living in Paris and Burgundy for many years.
She moved to the City of Light soon after finishing culinary school in Vancouver and working for a wine expert in Napa, California. It was Anne Willan, whom she met at a food writer’s conference who hired her to move to France to help her write a cookbook and run a cooking school. She went on a seven-month contract and ended up staying a decade. Slipping into the French culture was easy as pie and it wasn’t long before her own articles were published in Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Gourmet magazine, Gastronomica, Salon.com, the Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, the Wine Journal, and Flare magazine. She also wrote two cookbooks in France, French Food at Home (Harper Collins 2003) and French Taste (HarperCollins 2009).
“To me, the most important thing to take away from the French when it comes to food (if not everything else) is their passion for pleasure,” Calder said in the latter. “Putting pleasure first means that we shop better, we cook better, we eat better, and, by extension, we live and love better.“
Calder’s third and favourite book is titled Dinner Chez Moi: The Fine Art of Feeding Friends and due on shelves this fall. It includes personal touches and the pages are filled with her sketches of adorable stick women accompanied by cheeky sayings. Ironically, the entire time she was writing this book she admits to never having a “chez moi”, which translates, more or less, to “home”.
She has based herself in Toronto for the past two years, but spent much of that time elsewhere. As a way of feeling grounded, she filled the cookbook with recipes and the stories behind them from friends. This is one of the best features of the book because she says every time she opens it up, she feels like she’s walked into a room full of friends.
Food has always been a creative outlet for Calder. She remembers her mother hoisting her up onto the kitchen counter at age two. While her two brothers were outside playing in the New Brunswick countryside where she was raised, food became her toy. She was destined for greatness when her chocolate cake with peanut butter icing won first place at a fair. She received a coke can radio, a bag of chips and the confidence to soon start cooking lavish multi –course meals for family dinners. Dinner parties have been her chief passion every since. “Wherever I am, you can be sure of one thing: there will dinner parties happening constantly.”
Another passion has always been languages. “I must have an obsession with the mouth,” she laughs. “What goes into it and what comes out of it.”
Fascinated by sounds, accents, listening and learning languages she was enrolled in a French school program from age 12 and later earned a degree in linguistics from Toronto. All through University she used to distract herself with cooking, but it wasn’t until completing a year in the UK for a masters program in Social Psychology, that she finally traded in her textbooks for cookbooks and realized the culinary world was where she belonged.
Although food is her work now, languages still seem to intertwine themselves in Calder’s life. In her twenties, Calder packed herself off to Munich and spent a year studying German. She later studied Spanish in Spain, but gave it up in favour of Italian. It was during her time in France when her days revolved around learning and loving French food, that Italian caught her attention. Whenever there was a lull in work, she’d book a language course in Italy and take off to Bologna, Rome, Venice, Reggio Emilia… whatever place seemed to call. And, of course, whenever she wasn’t in language class she was exploring Italian food.
With all these phenomenal achievements including published articles and books, academic and culinary degrees and two televisions series, it’s not the work-related accomplishments that she finds most fulfilling. Rather she takes pride and lists one of her greatest accomplishments as her devotion to friendships.
Instead she looked at me without hesitation and explained it had nothing to do with food or location. What mattered most was who was there as opposed to what was being prepared or served. She finds pleasure in being surrounded by those she loves most. She would ask each person to bring his or her favourite dish so she could take a little bite of everything as a potluck goodbye.
Calder’s own recipe for life seems simple. Mix beauty and brains and add a dash of old world elegance and a pinch of spontaneity. Always make sure to pay close attention to true friendships and add a fluency in a foreign tongue as the secret ingredient. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during our lovely afternoon chat, it’s to remember that there’s so much more to a culinary experience than just the food.
“Food is only a way of saying something else. I’m sure someone in fashion could say those things using fashion. Food is incidental almost,” she said. “It looks like I’m in food, and I suppose at am, but at another level not really. I’m more in the business of trying to make everyday life a little better.”