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Reading Is Sexy

Best present ever. And biodegradable too! Made from corn?! Wish it came in pink.

I came upon this ridiculously wonderful mug at Type (883 Queen Street West) while pursuing one of my favourite past times, browsing books and scouting for hottt hipsters.  I predict this item will be a bestseller.  Don’t walk.  Run! 

Reading is sexy, like super sexy.  There’s nothing unsexier (hrmm, is that a real word? Will consult dictionnary later…) than someone who can’t discuss their favourite book. I suppose then the sexy part about enjoying reading is the thirst for knowledge and curiosity for subject matters we want to learn.  Well, to me anyways.  To each their own.  

Here are the latest and greatest sexy books to hit my bookshelf…

Are you obsessed with India like I am?

  • Almond Eyes, Lotus Feet – A gift given to me by my besties A&D, Almond Eyes is a national bestseller in India; this translated novel recounts the story of a fictional Indian princess’ rites of beauty and health through the Rajasthan dynasty.  The story intertwines traditions passed down from generations of women with legends of godesses and real herbal concoctions and remedies.  There are also many photographs of Indian brides, preserved treasures and an almanac of herbs.  A very fascinating read which weaves history with fiction (in a similar style of 100 Years of Solitude).   
  • Pride & Prejudice & Zombies – A quirky mashup book which combines two of my favourite things – romantic literature from Jane Austen with a modern twist of zombies, care of Seth Grahame-Smith.  Natalie Portman just signed on to play Lizzy in the screen adaptation.  Whatever will Lizzy Bennett do with Mr. Darcy when she must fulfill her duty to slay zombies?  So complex, yet comedic.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: This is a scary, yet intriguing cover non?

  • My Wonderful World of Fashion – This giant colouring, drawing and inspiration book is IRRESISTIBLE! Created by Nina Chakrabarti, the black and white pages are overflowing with juicy creative exercises, like picking your favourite pair of shoes, designing a hat, ideas to make lace face masks and connecting the dots to draw sunglasses.  Intended for fashionistahs of all ages, this book will surely ignite your passion for your #2B pencil and Prismacolours.

Where are my pencil crayons? An excerpt from My Wonderful World of Fashion.

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February 1, 2010   1 Comment

A Vintage Story About Chevrons

I Miss You: "You say, I always hear what I want to..." (Lisa Loeb)

Our story begins innocently enough on a winter’s walk to get some fresh air.  In between shivers, I decided to pop into a few vintage shops as the stretch on Ossington between Dundas and Queen West is dotted with tiny independent boutiques.  Knowing that I was so close to temptation, I threw caution to the below zero wind and entered one of my favourites, I Miss You Vintage (63 Ossington Ave.). 

I Miss You NEVER disappoints with an ever-changing and meticulously curated selection.  To melt your heart, there are soft Italian leather clutches in a rainbow of colours majestic blue to flashy red, a dazzling case of 1950’s brooches, unique cinch waist-belts and vintage designer frocks from Pucci.  Sensory overload!  Lately, I have been giving friends Snakeskin fever, as in I peer pressure gently influence them to take home some python.  I resisted for a minute before settling on a black A-line dress trimmed in bright yellow accented with a rainbow chevron skirt.  It’s so fun and different, it’s guaranteed high ROC.   

Chevron-town. Very chi-chi rugs.

The Chevron pattern is a zig-zag stripe either woven into the fabric or formed by sewing two striped pieces of material intersecting at a sharp angle.  The style has a very vintage feel and is often associated with Missoni, the italian design house that utilizes the pattern as its trademark.  I love chevrons since they remind me of my tweens purchasing little 70’s dresses with this pattern.  I see you have just added chevron to your fashion vocabulary… and perhaps wardrobe? (insert raised eyebrow & gently influencing).

Killing me so cute: Missoni caftan with chevron print. Ba-na-nas!

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December 30, 2009   No Comments

Smells Like L'Esprit de Chocolat

Pain Au Chocolat says: "Screw your diet. You can't resist me. Take another bite."

I’m feeling very French this week.  As in, all I want to write about are topics related to France.  C’est jolie, non?

As holiday jingles fill the brisk air and I walk along the sidewalks perusing shop front windows, I am always grabbed by the decadent scents of freshly baked pastries.  While my inner voice pleads “behave! behave!” the sweet aromas get the best of me.  There is something remarkable about the sensory pull of blended butter and chocolate.  It’s like I have rabies and I go rabid for baked goods (similar to zombie terror).

Of late, I have been having a croissant fetish, a particular craving for Le Pain Au Chocolat.  The perfect pain au chocolat combines a flaky croissant with a not to sweet chocolate hidden inside its fluffy center. Clafouti (915 Queen St. West or East) a neighbourhood favourite, bakes fresh croissants daily.  A newer french patisserie on the block, Nadege (780 Queen St. West) creates different varieties such as pear & chocolate or almond chocolate.  They also create guimauves (marshmallows) with flavours such as cassis or pistachio.  Your mouth is watering isn’t it?

My most nostalgic french dessert is profiteroles, a cream puff pastry filled with fresh whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate.   When I visited Paris in university, my friend T and I ordered profiteroles for dessert in a quaint sidewalk cafe complete with red gingham tables and wrought iron chairs.  Sharing this decadent dessert on a sunny summer afternoon, it was by far one of my favourite memories of that trip.

Delicious profiteroles waiting to be devoured.

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December 8, 2009   No Comments

Attire For a Rockstar Karaoke Party 101

Some people think I’m nutters when it comes to throwing a thematic soiree.  Clearly, I don’t hang with these people.  My friends, however, enjoy that the fact that as a partygirl since my tweens, I have experience setting the mood for an OOC party that delivers on many counts such as a) creativity, b) original party venue, c) cohesive fashionistah dress code, and d) follow through on party hype. 

The first event of to kick off the festive holiday season is a Rockstar Karaoke party where guests will summon up the courage after a few rounds of  liquid danger (aka vodka) to belt out power ballads in front of strangers.  I have persuaded friends to arrive at The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. West) dripping in Queen West West Sequins meets Hipster Rockstar.  What does this look like, pray tell? 

My imagination runs wild.  Allow me to style this outfit to life…

  • Black Sequin Blazer or Sequin leggings – Pick your poison but you can only have one.  Just like I would never advise double-denim.  Seriously offensive if you double dip.  While the sequin blazer is the hottest thing with jeans or leggings, the version by LaRok has a tailored fit and tuxedo styling.  I have been trying to persuade girls with twigs for legs to buy a pair of sequin leggings.  Let’s save this trend for the SB’s (skinny bitches) we love.  Both are stunning evening looks.

Perfect for rocking the mic: LaRok Vegas Vacation jacket

 

Boyfriends forget roses. True romance=LaRok sequin leggings.

 

  • Rockstar Jewellery – Your tour stylist would pull multi-chain necklaces or chunky gold links.  If you’re on stage, you must think about the glow you will cast as you belt out tunes. Anything reminiscent of a disco-ball is the right direction.  I am loving these RJ Graziano bracelets with the crystal accents and lightning bolts. 

Stupid Cute But Don't Mess: RJ Graziano Zig Zag Cuff

  • Stud Accent Pumps – If you aren’t in line to become the next American Idol, keep the crowd distracted with your studded stilettos.  Nothing keeps the audience (or at least the girls) engaged like killer shoes.  And yeah, yeah, I’m obsessed with studs. 

They don't love you like I love you: Dolce Vita Trinity Stud Pump in Clay

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November 24, 2009   No Comments

Shanghai Cowgirl, Rock, Rock, Rock n' Roll Diner

Sweet potatoe poutine by candlelight.

Shanghai Cowgirl does a Sweet potatoe poutine.

Ever wonder where the hipsters go past their curfew?  After they are done crowd surfing, finishing off their brews and seeing a live band, then what? They don’t go to bed silly.  Actually, they take their high-top Converse and skinny grey jeans to Shanghai Cowgirl (538 Queen St. West).  What brings them to this rock n’ roll diner?  It’s the Ramones in the background, the no nonsense attitude, the tattooed Betty Boop waitresses and the down-home cheap and cheerful comfort food. 

On Fridays and Saturdays this place stays up until 4am, where you can eat your feelings by tealight flickers.  The crowd is a strange melange of wannabe vampires from Velvet Underground, late night party girls and indie boys from The Horseshoe.  Anything goes.  To kill the hunger pangs, try the Triple Decker Grill Cheese with the best skinny, salty fries.  If I wasn’t a vegetarian, I would order a round of chili fries covered in shredded cheddar.  For Asian fare (Shanghai, get it?), there are noodles.  And if you are craving something sweet, I recommend the apple crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This place is also packed for brunch since they do the typical diner all-day breakfast.  One word of advice:  Beware former crushes, if you tend to date Queen West hipsters.  

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October 26, 2009   No Comments

Martinis For Beginners

It’s a very downtown, de rigeur, city thing to order martinis.  Perhaps because the Martini has been glamourized by Hollywood.   In Sex And The City, Carrie Bradshaw often noshed on Chinese takeout with her clique while downing Cosmopolitans.  And James Bond is known for taking his ‘shaken, not stirred.’  While sitting on a barstool in a trendy cocktail lounge, pondering your evening’s poison, here are just a few thoughts to consider before ordering:

  • Although hardcore martini drinkers swear by the gin martini, newer martini enthusiasts prefer vodka for its smoother taste.  I personally find premium vodkas with improved distilling processes, keep the hangover away.  This way you can wake up headache free and enjoy brunch before 1pm.  My friend A is a vodka conoisseur (so skilled, she is the only person I know who can name brands of vodka in a blinded taste test) and she swears by Grey Goose, Belvedere and Ketel One.
  • Dry or dirty?  Did you ever wonder what each of these mean?  Dry refers to a reduced amount of vermouth in the cocktail while dirty is a term to describe the increased amount of olive brine added to a classic martini.
  • With the resurgence of vodka martinis, there are so many new blended juice variations to choose from.  My personal favourite is the Sour Apple or the Lychee Martini.  For those with tropical tastes, there are ones with passion fruit, guava and mango.  Some creative restaurants even add a dash of champagne.  How delightful!
  • In Toronto, you can find martinis aplenty at the cozy Souz Dal (636 College Street West) in the heart of Little Italy.  You can also enjoy a nice selection with dessert at The Drake at 1150 Queen Street West.   
Martini A Go-Go: Shaken or Stirred? Dirty or Dry?

Martini A Go-Go: Shaken or Stirred? Dirty or Dry?

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October 23, 2009   No Comments