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Category — books

Christmas Wish Lists

Doesn't she look glamourous delivering prezzies in that feathery pink concoction? J'adore!

Doesn’t she look glamourous delivering prezzies in that feathery pink concoction? J’adore!

One of my favourite things is shopping for gifts.  I am reallyx3 gifted. baha. This season, I am high-tailing it out of here for the holidays but I am going to lean into the Winter Wonderland goodness that is Christmas.  As a general rule of thumb, I love to give how I live.  I believe in reciprocity and as much kindness as you bestow, it always comes back to you.  Trust. This season, I have been nesting, enjoying the faux glow of my eclectic lit Christmas tree.  If you’re into quirky and crafty gifts, these picks are for you.  And if you’re not, maybe you just don’t get my brand of humour.

How fun is this MoxieMadness tank? So I'm deathly allergic to kale but doesn't mean I can't support my friends in the love of superfoods. Gawd, it's really the worst since I can't juice kale or spinache and I'm a vegetarian.

How fun is this MoxieMadness tank? So I’m deathly allergic to kale but doesn’t mean I can’t support my friends in the love of superfoods. Gawd, it’s really the worst since I can’t juice kale or spinache and I’m a vegetarian

Hope you are as obsessed with Mindy Kaling as I am. If you disagree, not sure if we could be friends.

Hope you are as obsessed with Mindy Kaling as I am. If you disagree, not sure if we could be friends.

These Smitten Kitten holiday cards are terrifying. Santa is watching!

These Smitten Kitten holiday cards are terrifying. Santa is watching!

Say a little prayer: You want this Jai'me candle via Saint Celebrity. Hilaaarious

Say a little prayer: You want this Ja’mie candle via Saint Celebrity. Hilaaarious.

This pic has not much to do with my post except that I like their sexy Santa outfits and Bill Nighy is giving blue steel from Love Actually.

This pic has not much to do with my post except that I like their sexy Santa outfits and Bill Nighy is giving blue steel from Love Actually.

 

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December 13, 2014   No Comments

The Love Collage Celebrates 5 Years!

Macaron Eiffel Tower: Though I am a kind and generous person, I am not sure if I would share. ps. If ever in doubt, Pistachio & Salted Caramel are my faves.

Macaron Eiffel Tower: Though I am a kind and generous person, I am not sure if I would share. ps. If ever in doubt, Pistachio & Salted Caramel are my faves.

I love my blog.  I reallyx3 do.  If you read my ABOUT page, you’ll understand why.  While I don’t have the time I used to when I started five years ago, it’s still an important outlet for me to write, share my ideas about the places I travel, the great restaurants with the most delicious food, the chicest boutiques and vintage shops I frequent and the cultural happenings that keep me excited about living in Toronto. I have a fun life and I always count my lucky stars and bank my Supermoons.

I have a dear friend who also manages a blog and we chat about when and if to call it quits as other life priorities take over.  My feeling is, I will continue writing as long as the passion is there.  It’s a creative space that evolves with me.  If there is one thing I have learned about any love collage — whatever I write about on my blog or put on my actual board comes true.  Sounds hokey but TRUST.  And another grain of wisdom, put your energies in the things, people, places and interests that inspire you.  When you look back, you will only have fond memories and few regrets.

“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” – Anais Nin

The patron saint of The Love Collage Anais Nin dressed as a flamenco dancer in Paris. This picture pretty much sums up my life.

The patron saint of The Love Collage Anais Nin dressed as a flamenco dancer in Paris. This picture pretty much sums up my life.

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August 14, 2014   No Comments

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