toronto

A Night at the Opera: Così fan tutte by Didier Young

After the dramatic temperature drop caused by the polar vortex this past week, I was definitely in the mood for some comedy in my life. Coincidentally, I was invited to attend the opening night of the Canadian Opera Company’s newest opera, Così fan tutte, a whimsical production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comedy. So I dusted off my suit, polished my shoes and made my way to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts this past Tuesday.

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How I Feel After a Year of SoulCycle by Didier Young

There is a small detail about me that I don’t often share with people: I have asthma. It started out when I was around seven years old and it disappeared a few years later. I thought that I could leave it in the past but unfortunately, about a year ago it came back.  I don’t always get asthma attacks thankfully: it is usually only triggered by dust or by activities that require some form of cardio. For that specific reason, I have been scared of doing any running or cycling for the past year until recently. Then, I discovered Soul Cycle.

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YSL Beauty Hotel by Didier Young

After launching in Paris last January and travelling to different cosmopolitan cities around the world including Hong Kong, London and New York, The YSL Beauty Hotel finally appeared in Toronto. It would be an understatement to say that I was excited about its arrival: between its sleek packaging and fantastic formulas, YSL beauty is definitely one of the top beauty brands on the market. As an extension to the Saint Laurent fashion house, YSL beauty brilliantly encapsulates the rock’n’roll spirit with its line of daring products and I was eager to learn more about it all.

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SoSo Food Club by Didier Young

Growing up, I only knew two kinds of Chinese food: the one that my grandmother would painstakingly prepare all day for us on special occasions and the one at Chinese restaurants where there isn't a focus on service but the food is greasy and delicious. Since I moved to Canada, I haven't had much chance to sample my grandmother’s cooking but the second option is still relevant in my life. However, I have also discovered that Chinese food doesn’t have to equate to a restaurant with a yellow sign and poor service. Sometimes, you can find an upscale version of the asian food in a beautifully decorated environment and with that in mind, we went to dine at Soso Food Club.

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Canadian Opera Company: Anna Bolena by Didier Young

A few months ago, I attended my very first opera at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts and I had such a lovely time that I was looking forward to my next excursion to the gorgeous building. Little did I know that it would happen sooner than later and last week, we headed there once again for the opening night of the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena.

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Blogger Drama & The Importance of remaining True to Yourself by Didier Young

As I sat down to write this blog post, it dawned on me that my blog is almost at its two year anniversary. I still feel immensely blessed to be able to call this my full time job and it truly wouldn’t have been possible without all of you. What started off as a platform for me to review new food places and openings in Toronto slowly transitioned into a lifestyle blog and a place where I could share my thoughts and feelings. I remember the first time I decided to publish a personal blog post and I felt so anxious about how it would be received and you guys were so supportive through it all. However, when it came down to somewhat polarized subjects, I obviously garnered a few nods of disapproval.

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Personal Grooming and Shoppers Drug Mart Pop-Up by Didier Young

When it comes down to attraction, we all find different traits appealing. Some of us prefer blondes while others love brunettes. We may like our significant other to be serious and smart or a complete goofball. However there is one thing that we can agree on: being well groomed is definitely sexy. Since moving to Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart has been my go-to destination for my grooming products, whether it’s shampoo or skincare and I was excited to check out what new arrivals they have in store at the pop-up that they held this week.

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Clarity by Didier Young

I was sitting in front of my laptop yesterday trying to figure out the topic of this week’s blog post. It has been a busy couple of weeks and I haven't had much time to sit down and ponder upon the next article that I wished to write. Even though so much had happened, I simply felt mentally drained but I still felt the pressure to post something today. I felt the need to post weekly on the blog to remain relevant and to keep producing content which in turn started making me feel anxious. So yesterday afternoon I decided to take a step back.

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Food Habits, Keeping New Year Resolutions and the Impact of my Amex Cobalt Card by Didier Young

Let’s face it: I love to eat out. As a full time content creator, I am always in search of new aesthetically pleasing restaurants and I am always eager to try new food. However, as part of my new year resolutions, I had promised myself that I would try to cook at home more often and to eat in a healthier manner. Only eight percent of us manage to keep our new year resolutions while the others will give up within the first few weeks of the year. Am I part of the eight or the ninety-two percent?

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Hotel Guide: Shangri-La Toronto by Didier Young

We all have those times when we start feeling a tad uninspired by our surroundings and feel the need for a change of scenery. At times, that simply means that I need to get out of the house, go for a walk and end up at a coffee shop with my computer. On other occasions, it requires a week long trip somewhere completely different to fully recharge my inspiration tank. However, time doesn't always permit such a luxury and when such a situation arises, one of the best options is to partake in a small staycation here in the city itself. With that in mind, I packed a small overnighter bag and headed over to the Shangri-La hotel.

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Resolutions for 2018 by Didier Young

The Grinch’s heart might have grown thrice in size but in my case, it’s my belly that expanded. With a long and joyful winter holiday season coming to an end, we are now finally entering that time of the year where everyone collectively creates another list of resolutions for the new year, yours truly included. Of course, we all make those lists every year: sometimes the resolutions stick and at other times they dissipate within a week or two. Here are some of the things that I would personally like to achieve this upcoming annual cycle.

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How to Shop During Sale Season by Didier Young

One of my favourite time of the year is coming. For those of you who guessed that I was talking about Christmas, you are wrong: I am talking about sale season. It is no secret that I do have an affinity for shopping and it is not the easiest lifestyle to uphold. As such, I devised my own method to figure out when to buy an item full price, at the beginning of the sales or when I should wait until the end of the sales. Here are some of my tricks.

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Trouble in London by Didier Young

Something rather unpleasant happened to me on my way to London: I found out that I had lost my PR card. For those unaccustomed with the term, a permanent residence card allows me to remain permanently in Canada and is the one piece of government issued identification that also allows me to re enter the country as I please. Needless to say that when I found out that I had lost it, I became a nervous wreck on the brink of tears.

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American Express COBALT card launch party by Didier Young

It is no secret that I love enjoying some of the finer things in life. As a millennial, my lifestyle makes me more inclined to spend money on experiences and to eat out and order in often. 

In an attempt to build up my credit score, I charge most of my expenses to my credit card. In the past, I earned a small rebate each year, however, I wasn't able to reap many benefits from all of the spending on food, travel and entertainment that I was regularly doing. While there is a large variety of credit cards out there, I’ve struggled to find one that truly fits my lifestyle and needs, until today.

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Life Update: Three Months Post Break-Up by Didier Young

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a little while now, you know that I went through a breakup a few months ago. For those of you who do not know about this particular time of my life, you have some reading to catch up on. Over three months have passed and some of the feelings have started to settle in while others haven’t. Over the labour day long weekend, I had a bit too much time to think and it compelled me to write this blog post. 

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The Boy on the Audible Train by Didier Young

Growing up, my parents always put a big emphasis on education. Along with after school tuition and the need to score good grades in class (there is nothing lower than an A in an asian household), my parents always made sure that I was well read. What started out with a collection of Enid Blyton books soon turned into the Harry Potter saga and progressed into the classic Regency fiction of my mother’s favourite, Jane Austen. Over the years, my passion for literature remained a semi-permanent fixture in my life. What started out as a great way to improve my vocabulary became an escape from my everyday life.

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Social Media Insecurities by Didier Young

You know those people who endlessly reminisce about their high school glory days? Not me. I hated high school. Like most kids with a creative inclination, I was persecuted and bullied for not indulging in the banalities of my peers. I was different and the other kids did not like it. From there started the name calling and the body shaming, both from people I dreaded and from others I thought were friends. One year, I was called obese and the next I was deemed anorexic. I was made fun of for idiotic things like having freckles. After I graduated, I finally started to blossom into the person that I was meant to be. I became more confident and prouder of who I was. I finally shed the insecurities that had been thrust upon me for years. At least, that what I thought.

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Canadian Open (Rogers Cup Presented by National Bank) with Peroni by Didier Young

I have never been one with much of an interest for sports. I have partaken in some of them, mostly because I was required to do so in high school as part of the curriculum. While I did understand the basics of most of them, I simply didn't understand the need or the passion that some people get out of sports. However, I will admit that there is one sport that managed to capture my interest: tennis.

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Food Basics at Landsdowne and Dupont by Didier Young

I was recently reminiscing about my college years. I remember all the wonderful moments spent in school, learning to bake bread and creating chocolate sculptures. The greasy lunches eaten at the nearby diner. I also remembered that money was a bit tight back then and that forced me to eat out less and cook at home more often. Toronto is blessed with a multitude of different grocery stores, however most of the ones populating the downtown core can get expensive. Thankfully, there were a few oases in the city where one can shop at a lower price range so that they can spend their money on the things they really want, and one of them is the topic of today’s blog post: Food Basics.

 

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A Year in a Blogger's life by Didier Young

The month of June this year marked a few things: It announced the beginning of summer, created the very defined line of a farmer’s tan on my skin and it also marked the one year anniversary of my blog. A year ago, I decided to go fully freelance with my career, quit my stable yet boring full time job and set myself to writing about my personal experiences and opinions and sharing them on this platform. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned along this 365 day journey.

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