for the love of fashion, beauty, food, art, music, dancing, people, culture and life!
Random header image... Refresh for more!

So Very French

Carrie Bradshaw Paris

Remember the Paris episode where Carrie took a face plant in Dior? Then she was mortified and bought the entire store. Hrmm…unintentional poetry.

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!

Catherine Deneuve

The epitome of chic: the one, the only Catherine Deneuve

If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine DeneuveTrust. 

Croque Madame

Perhaps you will order yourself a Croque Madame – a grilled ham and cheese with béchamel topped with a fried or poached egg

C by Bloomingdales beret

It’s rather chilly out, non? Tilt your C by Bloomingdales beret ever so slightly. Passerbys will admire your air of “je ne sais quoi”

Eiffel Tower at Night

Bonsoir and bonne chance young lovers! The Eiffel Tower lit up at night *le sigh*



November 3, 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.



October 19, 2013   No Comments

Hot Child in NYC

We drove into NYC as the July 4th fireworks lit the city skyline. Le sigh!

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. 

Classic Carrie: Did you have a nameplate necklace too? I need to find mine...

OMG, do payphones still exist??! Carrie Bradshaw uses a payphone after throwing her cell into the ocean (rage shame spiral) SATC movie

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….

The iconic Manolo Blahnik shoe. Love this blush satin version of the ones that Carrie left in her walk-in closet.

 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.

BOHEMIAN: Free People gives me crochet and tassles for Summer 2012! I'll have a second helping of that.

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).

Madewell: Good enough for It/Hipster Poster Girl Alexa Chung.

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

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.


August 15, 2011   1 Comment

Tulle Time

Classic Carrie Bradshaw: The pink ballerina tutu

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?

Alice + Olivia Tulle Party Dress: If you saw this girl in the room, you know she's gonna have a good time. One shoulder & jagged edge hem. Seriously!

Wearing this BCBG Tulle Tutu in blush pink is like pirouetting down a sidewalk singing Mandy Moore's 'I Wanna Be With You' a la Center Stage. Did you get my obscure 90's teen ballet movie reference?


November 12, 2010   1 Comment

The Love Collage’s 1st Birthday

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…

Carrie Bradshaw, the patron saint of the LC. She blesses all the singletons & friends with fashion miracles.

September Vogues: Why do people love fashion so much? Darling, it's the beauty, escapism and fantasy.

Rachel Bilson, because everyone adores her. Now that she's dumped that Hayden, maybe we're due to turn on the time machine to 2005 and Seth & Summer can reunite. Heck, I'm just reading the collective consciousness. Do you feel me?


August 20, 2010   7 Comments