Little French cafés are so mignon (cute, dainty), non? Today, me and A went for petit déjeuner (breakfast) at the most darling patisserie housed in a Victoria row house. The food was deliciously French and so were the waiters. It’s the kind of place where they serve you lattes with the foam shaped in a heart. And where you say no béchamel and you end up saying yes to brioche and crepes with nutella. I can’t divulge its name for fear of it becoming too popular. Sorry darlings. Some secrets have to stay in my hair. We had a very French afternoon punctuated by flirty girlish giggling. Those are the days my friend!
If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine Deneuve. Trust.
November 3, 2013 No Comments
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!
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)!
October 19, 2013 No Comments
This blog post is alternatively titled “WWCD,” the acryonym broken down as ‘What Would Carrie Do?’ Get that on your very retro, 90’s throwback, nameplate gold necklace, why dontcha? I love New York. Do you love New York? If you don’t, you should! There is a frenetic energy that underscores the city, a dash of glamour punctuated with personality, heart and grit.
All of my travels to New York are filled with wild adventure and enough sketchy tall tales to fill a screenplay in which incriminating names and places have been changed to protect the innocent. (Ahem, said film would be directed by Wes Anderson, young me played by Vanessa Hudgens, older me Thandie Newton). While I would love to share all my secrets, my hair would deflate.
Here are some fun places to see and be seen, that both Carrie and I quite enjoy….
Manolo Blahnik (31 West 54th Street) – My friend C dragged me to the store in search of perfect wedding shoes. Surprisingly, the store is in a tiny brick building (blink and you’ll miss it) with Manolo’s strewn about on ledges and divans like an Upper East side apartment of an aging socialite. Apparently, the ladies of Manolo need to take a siesta between 2-3pm. So make sure you go post-haste, guzzle your brunch Mimosa before they shoo-shoo you out of there. If you are going to spend a wild fortune on shoes, you should languish in a chaise, take your time and try on high heels a la Cinderella.
Shopping in SoHo – I think this neighbourhood (SOuth of HOuston) in Lower Manhattan has such character with its cobblestone streets, funky boutiques, artsy galleries and cafes. It is a tourist mecca on the weekends but more casual and chilled out on a weekday. You can get your boho on at Free People or Madewell, max your credit card at the Bloomingdales shoe department, rock leather and lace at All Saints, run into Clinton & Stacy at Scoop NYC or stalk your fave Kardashian at DASH (mine is Khloe for laughs, Kourtney for clothes).
Buddakan (75 9th Avenue) – This Chelsea supper club was in the engagement dinner scene of the SATC movie. The Asian fusion menu is tapas style, perfect for sharing and reasonably priced…until your waiter starts free pouring the Grey Goose. But it’s ok, you’ve had dinner so the hangover won’t be that bad.
July 16, 2012 No Comments
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…
August 15, 2011 1 Comment
Ah November. Is your social calendar filling with invites to birthday soirees, holiday parties, and BFF dinners? My favourite after-dark attire is ‘Cocktail,’ not only because it alludes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages but because in my books it’s the most fun look to pull together.
The ‘Cocktail’ hour bridges the truly formal (black tie) and ready-to-wear (skinny jeans). In your wardrobe, ‘Cocktail’ is the life of the party. She’s ready to get down with a few rounds of champie, dancing shoes and she’s not ready to come home until the break of dawn. You like her already.
This party season, I am throwing my support behind Tulle. Tulle everything – in dresses, in skirts, in your hair! Voluminous tulle in a fine gauze or larger open weave adds a flirty and youthful playfulness to any outfit. All of a sudden, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ sounds off in the background. It’s the rustle of a petticoat, the use of your hem as a dance prop, the way a tutu makes you galavant carelessly in the street. Tulle is the absinthe of fabrics, a party aphrodisiac. Let’s get drunk, shall we?
November 12, 2010 1 Comment
Happy Birthday, LC!! Like any proud mommy, this first birthday is a cause for celebration. On this day, let’s reminisce about the good times and the events that led us thus far. Please sit down (if you aren’t already) somewhere cozy. I am going to share a story.
About a year ago at this time, I had been marinating for a while on beginning to write again. I felt compelled to do it but I was pretty scared to start. Looking back, I was totally having a Julie Powell moment – anxious with self-doubt, worried about the criticism. I had a few glasses of wine with my friend M about beginning a blog; she had already began her own successful site on Art Deco Style and it was faring quite well. She gave me the nudge of encouragement that I needed.
A few days following our encounter, I was driving into work listening to the rush hour radio show. It was uncommon for me to be listening to the radio as I detested the sound of people squabbling first thing in the morning. I preferred an uninterrupted playlist to which I could bellow the lyrics at the top of my lungs and bop my head.
The DJ came on and said, “We have so-and-so (can’t recall the name) here today who has a very successful blog.” He warmly thanked her for coming to the show and recounted details of the site. It seemed the purpose of the site was to amass recipes of strange foods and photograph some of the gross or nonsensical examples: meatloaf in the shape of Stonehenge, twinkies wrapped in bacon, so on and so forth. The DJ then questionned her on a rumour, “We hear that you have a book on the way. Is this true?” She paused briefly and answered, “The details are still being finalized, but yes next year we are releasing a book.” I gasped. How was this possible? Okay, great for her that she was successful and people were responding, but she didn’t even write and she had a book deal?!? That was it. That was my defining moment. Within the week, The Love Collage was born.
To all my lovely friends and followers, thank you for keeping up with the LC. I enjoy reading all your comments and feedback. I try to write about what I know on a variety of topics. I hope that each post warms your day, makes you smile or laugh, gives you a new idea and encourages you to pursue those things that you love most.
The Love Collage is inspired by…
August 20, 2010 7 Comments