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Category — books

One For You, One For Me

"Hey girl, can we cuddle yet?" Ryan Gosling notebook. He always knows what to say.

“Hey girl, can we cuddle yet?” Ryan Gosling notebook. He always knows what to say.

Did I ever tell you about the time, this random guy yelled at me on the street, "Do you like hip hop?"  I pretended I didn't hear him because I was wearing giant earmuffs.

Did I ever tell you about the time, this random guy yelled at me on the street, “Do you like hip hop?” I pretended I didn’t hear him because I was wearing giant earmuffs.

This is kind of a continuation post of my Holiday Gift Guide 2013.  I reallyx3 put the brakes on my OOC tendency to buy “one for you, one for me” when Christmas shopping.  My Christmas tree and décor went up mid-November so I have been enjoying the lights, baking for friends, attending socials and wrapping gifts.  In an effort to share some delightful gift ideas and live cyber vicariously through my blog, here are more fun ideas to help you through your holiday shopping

J.Crew Flower Latice Necklace: Sometimes I see girls around the office wearing the most amazing statement necklaces and I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of jalouse (jealous in French).

J.Crew Flower Latice Necklace: Sometimes I see girls around the office wearing the most amazing statement necklaces and I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of jalouse (jealous in French).

And for the more decadent bon-vivants in your life, some gifts which are worth the splurge!

Lately, I've been sporting vibrant redlipstick to work and to parties. I love the creamy texture of NARS -- the shades of Manhunt and Red Lizard make 'em stop and stare. Trust.

Lately, I’ve been sporting vibrant redlipstick to work and to parties. I love the creamy texture of NARS — the shades of Manhunt and Red Lizard make ‘em stop and stare. Trust.

My champagne of choice is Moet but Veuve makes some very nice holiday giftsets. Check out these mini champagne bottles that you can give out to friends with colourful straws for a NYE part-ay! Go socialite!

My champagne of choice is Moet but Veuve makes some very nice holiday giftsets. Check out these mini champagne bottles that you can give out to friends with colourful straws for a NYE part-ay! Go socialite!

For the gourmands who could use a bite to go with their giant glass of wine…

Mmmm. I discovered Coach House Shortbread at The One of a Kind Show. They make the most delicious sweet and savoury flavours of shortbread and wrapped so beautifully. Image c/o BlogTO

Mmmm. I discovered Coach House Shortbread at The One of a Kind Show. They make the most delicious sweet and savoury flavours of shortbread and wrapped so beautifully. Image c/o BlogTO

 

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December 14, 2013   1 Comment

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Bergdorf Goodman gives us spectacular Christmas windows. A girl can dream!

Bergdorf Goodman gives us spectacular Christmas windows. A girl can dream!

I woke up super-early on Saturday morning, even though the night before warranted a proper sleep-in until noon.  But I had a singular purpose in mind and that was to do all my holiday shopping before the madness descended on the mall.  And I can dutifully report, “Success!” 

Here are some of my tried and true ways to keep your sanity and give them what they want, what they reallyx2 want this holiday season:

  • Make a list & check it twice – Now that I’m older and wiser, I have no time for diddly dadlling.  I create a short list of the presents I need to buy and the shops I need to go to get them.  Pick up the easy items you know first (like a specific book) and leave more time for the difficult (that perfect holiday sweater).  Even if you don’t get everything in one shot, at least you will leave with a sense of accomplishment.
  • Wear lightweight clothing – Even if it’s bone-chill cold outside, shopping is a calorie-burning exercise.  I tend to feel overheated and irritable if I pack on the layers while maneuvering many bags.

Remember, to give how you live. I don’t think it’s about how grandiose the gift but the intention.  Getting someone something they would never think to get for themselves is always a crowd-pleaser.  And sometimes you don’t need to buy presents.  Perhaps organizing a holiday brunch or dinner is plenty to spend time with close friends and family.  The best part of the holidays is celebrating.

If you're like me and you confidently buy clothes for loved ones and friends, there are some lovely party dresses at Topshop.

If you’re like me and you confidently buy clothes for loved ones and friends, there are some lovely party dresses at Topshop.

 

For the hostess, why not try a fondue set? It's a subtle hint to your foodie friend, that perhaps they should host a fondue party (jedi-mind trick). Clever, non?

For the hostess, why not try a fondue set? It’s a subtle hint to your foodie friend, that perhaps they should host a fondue party (jedi-mind trick). Clever, non?

For the travel enthusiast that likes a beach conversation starter, try the Hudson's Bay stripe beach towel.

For the travel enthusiast that likes a beach conversation starter, try the Hudson’s Bay stripe beach towel.

Nothing beats a beautiful coffee table book. This one has beauty and depth, Grace: A Memoir

Nothing beats a beautiful coffee table book. This one has beauty and depth, Grace: A Memoir

 

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December 1, 2013   No Comments

BooknBrunch at The Soho House Toronto

In Defense of Food

You know how I feel about food documentaries. Now that I’ve run out, I’ve moved on to food books. Obsessed.

Many of my friends have invited me to be part of their book clubs but I often hesitated with a suppressed eye-roll and an excuse like, ”I’m busy.”  Yes, I admit to taking a snobbish anti-stance to book club.  I am a bonafide lover of books, a speed reader, a bookworm, a mega-nerd but why would I want to sit around listening to strangers talking about books?  In an effort to support my friend S, I decided to put my ‘no-thank-you’ ideas about book clubs aside as she has organized a monthly meet up called BooknBrunch Club which has blossomed into a 260 member group and growing.

This month’s book was Michael Pollen’s In Defence of Food, a follow up to his successful The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  The novel recounts the industrialization of the food industry and the ensuing consumer confusion on nutritional choices.  It asks the questions – “What does it mean to eat healthy in today’s society?” and “How has it devolved that the common Western diet is perhaps the greatest blame for preventable diseases such as diabetes, strokes and cancer?”  Think about that!

Pretzel Bell Bar

The strolling brunch was held in the Pretzel Bell Bar, a cozy space on the 3rd floor. The room was decorated with antique curios, velvet recliners and artwork. Very boheme.

To parallel the theme of this month’s book selection, S had a sit down brunch for thirty with a healthy and locally sourced menu. Some of the messages in the book were about taking time to enjoy food as a community and to consume only foods which our grandmothers could name. Our location was The Soho House Toronto (192 Adelaide St. West).  It was a beautiful setting, though a larger group than her usual, it felt intimate and the people I met were affable, intellectual and extremely interesting.  Talking about books is not so bad especially over salmon, beet salad, dollar pancakes, fresh strawberry compote and fruits! Clearly, I am a converted Brookie (book + brunchie)!

If you live in the Toronto area, click here to learn more about Book and Brunch  and follow on Twitter @BooknBrunch

Soho House SATC

Remember that one time Samantha got kicked out of Soho House on Sex and the City? *lesigh* I miss SATC…and Gossip Girl.

 

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October 19, 2013   No Comments

Reading Is Sexy Part 2

Reading is Sexy tshirt

There is a Reading is Sexy t-shirt that Rory wore on Gilmore Girls (fun fact).

Sort of like Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight…this post is decades, actually make that years in the making.  If you missed it, here’s Reading Is Sexy (the prequel).  I have a tendency to go through reading binges.  Nothing else matters but going home, laying in bed and getting deep into a novel.  I do adore fiction.

Here’s what’s keeping me up all night:

state of wonder

State of Wonder: Very rarely do you find fantasy, intrigue and a plot that asks many questions about the human condition. I confess: I didn’t want it to end.

State of Wonder - I had heard positive reviews for this novel by Ann Patchett and I was not disappointed.  The story centers on pharmaceutical employee Dr. Marina Singh, who goes to the jungle in Brazil to retrieve information on her deceased colleague and to assess the progress of drug research by a reclusive Dr. Swenson.  A highly recommended read.

crazy rich asians

Crazy Rich Asians…as in they are so generationally wealthy, it’s CRAZYTOWN.

 Crazy Rich Asians -  Or Crasians.  I just learned that term. haha.  The much-hyped first novel from Kevin Kwan is a light read (perfect for that jetsetter vacation) about the opulent lifestyles of the uber-rich elite families of Asia.  Rachel, an Asian-American goes to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.  Unbeknownst to Rachel, she has snagged Singapore’s most eligible bachelor and with it comes the pressure of dealing with his ostentatious extended family, her snooty jealous rivals and the culture clash of ridiculous wealth.  It won’t change your life but an interesting behind the scenes look at the lifestyles of bazillionaires.

library Elle Decor

Wow, my dream library is a wall of books, the requisite ladder and eclectic décor. Via Elle Décor

library karl lagerfeld

Karl knows the addiction of books. I do think there is such a thing as too many books.

 

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September 12, 2013   1 Comment

Suitably Weird Love Notes & Journals

I like my stationery of the subtley quirky, snicker laugh, ironic variety.  In celebration of the LC’s 2nd birthday, I thought of some eyebrow raising gift ideas of the papery kind.  I often receive sketchbooks because my friends know how much I love to wax poetic (“dear universe…”) or whip out my glue stick (“ooh, I like this outfit. must save”) or madly scribble (“scratch-scratch-scratch” the sound of a 15 second gesture drawing).  Also, I like to stockpile stationery in case someone makes a grand gesture that is deserving of a well-thought out and sentimental love note.  With technology, text messaging and emails, people rarely send letters or cards.  It’s a rare treat to receive a letter or card in the mail.  *Le sigh

Bangs A Sketchbook by David Choe. Why? This is what I look like after I neglect to trim.

For my craaazy cat lady LC followers: Cat Companion Journal by Jeffrey Brown

Better than Barbie & countless hours of F-U-N! Methinks that Paper Doll Parade by Suzy Ultman is a present that keeps on giving.

If someone spent the time to stitch me a notecard, that's true friendship/awkwardly nerdy (which I love). Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart

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August 19, 2011   1 Comment

The Tale of The Love Collage (aka Happy 2nd Birthday!)

Happy birthday LC! I confess I enjoy fireworks, especially in the shape of a heart.

Writing my blog for the past two years has been both a rewarding and exciting endeavour.  I write about haphazard musings that have taken hold of my fancy, from the frivolous to the heartfelt.  Time and again, I am surprised to meet strangers who follow me regularly, am utterly thankful for your ongoing support and am touched by those who embrace ‘living with inspiration.’  In many exchanges, I am asked how it was that The Love Collage came to be (here is a refresher).

When I originally built my website in WordPress, you only had one instant to choose a title.  The title was everything and for me, it had to convey sincere meaning with a dash of wit. 

“What should I name it?  Hrmm, what should I name it?”  Perplexed, my eyes darted around the room searching for an idea to spark a revelation.  I stared out the window.  The afternoon rays were peaking through the wooden blinds.  I sighed heavily.  My head twisted to the left.  There it was.

A month prior I had decided to feng shui my bedroom.  In my tidied love quadrant, lay charms meant to invoke love, the theory being that a mini-shrine to love would create an abundance of love.  This presumption made sense to me and plus, there truly was no real harm in creating a tableau in hues of red and pink.  Sitting atop an otherwise empty shelf was a vintage postcard of entwined tango partners, a tanned Spanish George Hamilton look-alike in a 70’s one-piece dance outfit and his female dance partner attired in ruffled flamenco garb, an oversized faux rose bouquet and a love collage which I had painted and carefully pieced together on my birthday.

And so became the title of my blog, The Love Collage.

I have come to grow very fond of this title because it captures the sentimentality of memories, the passion of dreams and the small things we treasure.  The Love Collage is more than a diversion – I write because I love to write but am ever thankful that you love to read.

The Love Collage is inspired by…

Early Carrie Bradshaw. I do type in cute outfits where possible or paint my nails between checking emails. Mad skills.

Do you dream in black & white or colour? A sketchbook a day keeps the doctor away. The mini hoarder in me collects postcards, jots down observations and sketches inspiration.

NERD Alert: I am like reallyx3 into the library lately. I want to wear a tweed blazer with patches on the elbows and my Lisa Loeb glasses. Nerd pick-up lines: "Study much?" "Do you want to be my french tutor?"

The possibility of travel: In 2012, I have resolved to hang glide from Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil (tandem of course). Oh yes, I am a fashionistah adventuress.

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August 15, 2011   1 Comment