Happy Weekend

I'm on my way to IKEA to pick up some last minute items in order complete the new layout of my loft. It's amazing how different your gypsy nest can look after you rearrange some minor furniture (and how much more space you have). I feel like I just moved into a new nest this weekend!


Photo Booth Proposal

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.


Street Style in Autumn

One of my favourite hobbies is people watching. It's the perfect past time in your own city and especially while traveling. You really get to soak in the sights by discovering and marveling at all the newest trends. But, since I haven't traveled outside of Canada lately, I have had to resort to browsing the latest street styles via internet.

Below are some fashionable looks for autumn I found on the streets of Stockholm, Paris, Milan and London.


Comeback Clothes

So... Chloe Magazine can now be found in Chapters Indigo across the Greater Toronto Area. And I'm proud to declare that the first issue to grace its shelves had a lil influence by yours truly. I contributed this summer's feature story on country singer Tara Oram as well as a piece about the revival of 80s fashion. If you've already flipped through the pages, you'll also notice I styled and headed the fabulous beach photo shoot.

By now, you're all probably very aware of the 80s comeback into todays fashion. But, if you'd like to read it all in my words, then take a peek below :)

Going green can go beyond just helping the environment. It can provide a new wardrobe while maintaining a replenished wallet. No need to chuck those old clothes because fashion is always recycling itself. It’s difficult to stay innovative in the fashion industry and as designers struggle to find new ideas, there’s a piqued interest in changing and improving upon what once was. Next to recycling newspapers and tin cans, the fashion savvy are vintage shopping and looking to old trends like new.

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 admit to being a big fan of this recycling fashion idea. I’m lucky to have quite the stylish mother and even luckier that she’s held onto some key designer pieces from the 80s. Today, shopping second hand is encouraged and vintage boutiques are gaining popularity among the young, but I’ve stumbled upon a real goldmine– my mother’s closet. I adore mixing her vintage clothing with my own updated wardrobe to create a look all on my own. I’m not just being environmentally friendly by reusing the clothing, but this doesn’t put a dent in my piggy bank and I can rest assured that no one will be wearing the same outfit at an event or a night out.

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'm back...

And ready to blog... Did you miss me?


Weekend Words

I love this quote so much that I stenciled the lovely words onto a blank canvas and hung it above my bed. Think about it for a moment....makes a lot of sense wouldn't you agree?


Everything in Black & White

It's been a VERY busy summer pour moi, so enjoy these black & whites before I start writing again :)

5hells:  my icon ;)

"The woman who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been." - Albert Einstein


Cover Girls

Vogue Italia is always ahead of the game and I'm hoping more magazines around the world look to them for inspiration. For the June 2011 issue, Italian Vogue featured three plus-sized models posing for the cover. I couldn't believe it at first, but the surprise was a pleasant one.

By now, everyone must be tired of hearing about the stereotypical weight issues associated with the fashion industry. Model weigh ins, skeletons walking the runways and even deaths caused by anorexia.

Lately many women have been speaking out about having lower self worth after reading a fashion magazine. Air brushing and unhealthy models do not make the average woman feel good about herself or her body. And just because the models featured in June's issue are bigger, it doesn't mean they aren't as beautiful. In fact, these women have bodies, real bodies for that matter.

Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani told Women's Wear Daily, "We help [plus-size women] dress fashionably. We say: It's pointless for you to buy leggings, take this because this will look good on you. We help them choose. We don't talk about diets because they don't want to be on a diet, but it's not a ghetto. Why should these women slim down? Many of the women who have a few extra kilos are especially beautiful and also more feminine."

Finally, someone is catching onto the idea that not all women are below one hundred pounds while being six foot something accompanied by stick legs and a teeny tiny waistline. And in no way do I believe this is a publicity stunt to increase sales. I am seriously impressed with the cover and the inside spread featuring a lot of food, a lot of nudity and a whole lot of woman.


Tribal Trend

The tribal fad is back this season with a brighter and bolder colour palette than ever. Patterned frocks, aboriginal jewelry and African head wraps can all been spotted anywhere from luxury runways to the racks of trendy shops this summer.

Missoni, Oscar de la Renta, Matthew Williamson, Naeem Khan, Pollini, Lanvin, Just Cavalli, Diane von Furstenberg and Proenza Schouler all have beautiful tribal-inspired pieces in their spring/summer 2011 collections. Any shopper can score affordable tribal clothing and accessories in every day stores like H&M, Urban Outfitters as well as Anthropology.

There is a certain way to wear this look successfully though. Be cautious that an all-tribal ensemble could easily look like a Halloween costume. The key is to stick to one or two pieces at a time. A detailed frock doesn't require any accessories or over-the-top shoes. Let everyone marvel at the prints and patterns of the dress instead of trying to keep track of everything going on with the outfit. My favourite look is a white summer dress with a tribal bag and matching heels as pictured above. I also adore white skinny jeans, a loose fitted tank top and a multicoloured Peruvian belt.

Enjoy the warm weather with this fabulous look. And for those globe trotting this summer, be sure to pick up lots of tribal-inspired accessories while vacationing in those exotic locations and touring through the local markets.


Dior Homme

Sometimes my blog posts can get a little girlie, but this particular one is for the hommes. What do you get when you put Jude Law in a tailored suit and give him the keys to a posh ride in the most romantic city in the world? Why you get a Christian Dior campaign of course! And what a sexy little campaign it is.

Thanks to director Guy Ritchie, this Dior Homme commercial is the perfect combination of sophistication, sex appeal, luxury and a whole lot of mystery. From the initial phone call to the drive around Paris, viewers will be trying to piece together the puzzle just as I was.

My favourite detail about this video is JL's charming London accent typical in any Guy Ritchie film. The dramatic pauses and exaggeration on adjectives simply add to his debonair vibe. It just so happens that my all-time favourite Muse song also plays in the background making this love triangle all the more intense.


Hey Rosetta!

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.


First Day of Summer

Dear Summer,

It's about time you got here! I've been anticipating...

beaches, BOATS, lakes, SUNSETS, bathing suits, BRAIDS, bicycle rides, SUN, swing sets, SHORTS, cottages, TANS, floating docks, WAVES, fruity cocktails, HAMMOCKS, tropical colours, ICE CREAM, parks, BBQ'S, sand, PATIOS, surfing, SANDALS, camping, LOVE, popsicles, BEER, patios, FISHING, festivals, TANK TOPS, concerts, FLOWERS, seashells, OCEAN, bonfires, SANDCASTLES...





<span class=










Weekend Words

I think this Itzah C. Kret guy and I would get along just fine. Have a great weekend readers and I hope you all get to enjoy the beautiful weather!


The Human Camera

I was blown away after hearing Stephen Wiltshire's remarkable story. He's an incredible man who defies the impossible with his genius artistic talent and a memory that puts Rain Man to shame. Obviously this was something I had to include in le blog.

Wiltshire was mute when he was diagnosed autistic at the age of three. He was put into special schools in London, England where his teachers encouraged him to draw. Throughout his childhood he slowly came to realize his extraordinary artistic abilities.

Wiltshire can draw intricate and detailed landscapes after just seeing it once. He needs only to look at a building or complete cityscape for a few minutes before sketching it for days based entirely from his memory.

In 2005, he drew Tokyo on a 10-foot-long canvas in seven days following a short helicopter ride over the city. This was his longest panoramic memory drawing and since then he's captured Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem and London. I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning and this guy drew Rome in such detail that he included the exact number of columns in the Pantheon.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to art and shorty after opened his permanent gallery in the Royal Opera Arcade in London. You better believe I'm finding his gallery next time I venture to London to see these masterpieces up close.


Modern Proverbs

Sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. I was swamped with work and planning my birthday festivities last week. I promise to be a better blogger this summer though :)

In the meantime, check out this new book I found. It's a clever way to give traditional proverbs a little modern day makeover!


Hurry Hurry

Jessie Baylin and Nathan Followill are a match made in musical heaven. Followill has had much success playing drums and singing back vocals for Kings of Leon, but it's his wife's career that people may want to start paying close attention to.

I have a list of my favourite Kings of Leon songs, however Baylin's latest single Hurry Hurry surpasses them all. She's a true singer-songwriter with a soothing voice and a knack for creative lyrics. I bet these rock stars probably sing about each other all the time. Do you think it's Followill she's singing about in this specific song? He loves her sipping on his hidden stash of whiskey because she gets a little drunker than she should be?

I’m in your city and you’re nowhere near me

I’m surrounded by the words you told me

Things you love
, things you love

I’m in the middle of your favorite grocery

I’m walking down the street you showed me

Things you love, things you love

What is it all without you

What is it all without you

Oh hurry hurry home my baby

Hurry hurry home my love

Hurry hurry home my baby

Hey hey hey

I’m sippin’ on your hidden stash of whiskey

A little drunker than you know I should be

Things you love, things you love

Imagination is running crazy

All of the things we should or could be

Things you love, things you love

What is it all without you

What is it all without you
Oh hurry hurry home my baby

Hurry hurry home my love

Hurry hurry home my baby

Hey hey hey

What is it all without you

What is it all without you

Oh hurry hurry home my baby

Hurry hurry home my love

Hurry hurry home my baby

Hey hey hey hey hey
Hurry hurry home my baby

Hurry hurry home my love

Hurry hurry home my baby

Hey hey hey hey hey


De Bouche en Bouche

Enjoy my latest feature published in the Chloe Magazine issue that hit stands last month. Hope you all pick up a copy!

Tucked away in a tiny bistro decorated with vintage frames hanging on the beautifully papered walls, I sat down on a recycled church pew alongside Laura Calder. While she sipped on a glass of red wine, I recited questions from my Mac laptop to interview her for Chloe Magazine. That Thursday afternoon I unraveled there’s much more to this woman than being a successful author and talented chef on Food Network Canada.

“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 shops for food every day and she cooks dinner every night. She’s not too keen on this technologically advanced world, which could be the reason she doesn’t even own an iPod. Instead she scribbles in the diary she won’t leave home without and believes she should have been born in another era with a list of role models including Madame de Stael, Isabella Bird and Winston Churchill. Walking and yoga are also important parts of her daily routine as she says the two-hour strolls are required more for her head than her body.

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.

“I’m not interested in knowing the name of every hot pepper or every cuisine on earth. For me, food is a way of telling stories and understanding people,” she said. “Food is my camera lens and that’s how I look at the world - through these food colored lenses.”

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.

I asked Calder what her ideal meal would be if someone were to tell her that day she would be eating for the last time. With an extensive background in culinary arts and an experienced palate for high quality ingredients and gourmet dishes, I was intrigued as to how a successful chef would answer. Perhaps she would opt for a simple steak grilled to perfection or the most decadent of desserts? She may have even considered traveling abroad to dine in one of the many restaurants Europe has to offer?

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.”


String Bikini Anyone?

Bathing suit season is just around the corner. And after watching that video and gawking at all the unique, playful and sexy styles from MIKOH's 2011 swimwear line, I've had to reintroduce myself to Mr. Treadmill and Mrs. Yoga Class.

This is the second collection by the sister duo who make up MIKOH. Oleema Miller and Kalani Miller were both professional surfers for Roxy who began designing swimwear after wearing bathing suits on the California coast most of their lives.

Swimwear is currently an oversaturated market with far too many brands to keep track of. For this reason, the sister's wanted to create something special a woman could slip into ensuring no copy cat suits at the beach or poolside this season.