Espresso. Americano. Cappuccino. Mocha. If you were to ask a stranger about any of those four words, they will usually know that you are referring to a form of coffee beverage. Things start to get a bit hazier when asked about affogato, bicerin or cortado. However, there has been a prominent rise in the popularity of cortado recently, due in big part of Patrick Janelle from @aguynamedpatrick and his famous #dailycortado, which triggered the inspiration for a J.Crew X New Balance shoe collaboration.
When I arrived to Canada in 2009, I landed in the city of Toronto, the fast paced and commerce oriented capital of Ontario. Years later, I can now call this city a home that I cherish and love. I am by all means a Torontonian. However, sometimes I do feel a slight bit of ennui in the city and when this happens, I usually head off to La Belle Province to the beautiful city of Montreal. I recently took a spontaneous trip to the highly European influenced city for the brief duration of two days, spending a full day of simply strolling around the city and stopping by cafés and cute independent stores.
There is no denying the fact that Toronto has slowly, but surely, become a coffee metropolis of its own. Coffee shops in Toronto are often supplied by local roasters such as Sam James’ Cut Coffee, Pilot Coffee and Demello but they also do not shy away from ordering coffee beans from places such as The Barn in Germany. With this array of coffee shops all showcasing fantastic beans, it is often hard to pick out your allegiance. Often it all comes down to location, instagrammability, latte art abilities and service. Today’s post is the new coffee shop and Instagram darling, Safehouse Coffee.
Opened on Regent street in London in 2007, The first COS store was the fashion concept little sister of mega-brand H&M. Since then, the brand has grown into its own, becoming a shopping destination for avid lovers of the Scandinavian minimalist movement. The pieces are often quite reminiscent of luxury brands such as The Row and Celine but offered at a price range that is within reach of most households. Prior to COS’s Canadian landing, I will admit to not being entirely familiar to the brand. However, it was love at first sight when I entered the store located on Bloor Street. Since then, my closet has adapted itself to include numerous pieces from the Swedish brand.
I once had a friend who told me that when it comes to investing in key pieces in your wardrobe, you should always start with a wallet and shoes because those would be the first two things that people will judge you on. However there is one thing that is even more important to invest on: fragrance. While a lot of people downplay the power of fragrances, it is usually the first and last thing that they will notice about you when you are in their presence. No matter if you are carrying a Louis Vuitton wallet and wearing a pair of Ferragamo shoes, if you stink then the illusion is broken.
In a world where oversharing is caring, when does one know where to draw the line on good and bad recommendations? Everyone has become hyper-opiniated and we are constantly bombarded with recommendations for a new book new music, new products and the newest Scandinavian lifestyle ethos.
Sunday morning, we wake up and put on our best attires. we clean up and try to make sure we look as decent as possible and we head out for one of the most important rituals of the week: brunch. An amalgamation of breakfast and lunch, this special meal originated in England in the late 19th century and gained popularity in the 1930s in the Unites States. Acting as a perfect excuse to consume alcohol at eleven in the morning, brunch has traditionally consisted of english muffins, egg benedicts and pancakes drizzled in maple syrups. It will come to no surprise to everyone that brunch is my favourite meal of the week but most brunch places often offer safe and interchangeable menus. Today, I am talking about food from my favourite brunch places in Toronto who offer their own take on the weekend meal.
I recently posted an old photo of a restaurant on my Instagram page. I was running low on photos, and it was a photo I never posted before so I figured why not right? The food looked delicious and the location was relatively pretty, yet I refused to geotag or tag the restaurant in the photograph. Why you may ask? Simply because that photo reminded me of the horrible service that I received at that restaurant that day.
June 2016. I packed my bags and left for Scandinavia. After nine days in Stockholm and Copenhagen, I had an epiphany, a revelation of shorts. I realized that I was not happy doing what I was doing and that I needed a change. Thus began my career as a full time blogger. Was it everything I thought it would be? Above and beyond. Was it as much of a breeze as everyone thinks it is? Absolutely not.
My latest visit to Kasamoto marked my fifth time at the upscale Japanese restaurant in Yorkville. Opened in 2015, the two-story restaurant has been a blogger favourite for quite a while now. After experiencing their great brunch, a night out having cocktails with the girls and a few dinners, it was finally time to give their lunch a try.
In part one of my Winter skincare series, I talked about some of my favourite face masks. Part of my weekly routine consists of doing at least one or two masks per week, whenever I feel like my skin requires a small boost. However, it is important to keep your skin in prime condition during the rest of the week as well. While proper cleansing and toning are essential first steps, the key to keeping your skin supple and healthy is proper moisturizing. I often talk about my love for higher end products from brands such as Aēsop, so for this post, I will focus on three moisturizers that may be found at drug stores that are effective and at a lower price point.
Ingrained deep in Swedish culture, you will find a word that refers to a very special social institution; Fika. A back slag originally created during the 19th Century, the word fika is derived from an old variant of the word kaffe, meaning coffee in Swedish. While the literal meaning of the word is “to have coffee”, it now also refers to small meal breaks that may be taken during the day, similar in concept to an afternoon tea with the inclusion of sandwiches and fikabröd (fika bread) such as cardamom buns. The global crush we seem to have developed for everything Scandinavian started with fashion and furniture and organically led to our desire to adapt their lifestyle ethos to our lives. Today on the blog, I am talking about a few of my favourite places to fika in Toronto.
City of Stars, Are you shining just for me? Those few words, lyrics to La La Land’s City of Stars, have been stuck in my head ever since I saw the movie last week. After winning a record breaking seven Golden Globes this year, the movie is a front running to amass even more gold at the 89th Academy Awards to be held on February 26th. The movie has been a critical and commercial success so far and has been applauded for its revival of the old Hollywood musical genre. It is a story of passion, love and the love for the things you are passionate about. La La Land is a movie about dreamers, made for dreamers, in a time of uncertainty in the world. It is a reflection of what we hold dearest to us and the sacrifices we incur when we strive to reach for our dreams. More than anything, It is a piece that seems airy on the outside but acts as a reflection piece on our own lives.
As we brace ourselves for the upcoming coldest months in Toronto and we start getting over the holiday cheer, the winter blues start settling in slowly. The sun casts a gloomier light on the city and sets earlier. The trees are barren and the ground is covered in ice and slush. Worse of all, my skin starts drying out and is more prone to breakouts and cracks, my lips are chapped and I look dehydrated and dull. Winter is the season where my skin requires the most care, pampering and regular exfoliation. I decided to write a small series of posts about how to take care of my skin during those dire months. Part one of the series focusses on facial masks.
Bulgar wheat and diced tomatoes. Chopped parsley, green onion and fresh mint. Add in some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. This is not a hot new recipe that I have just come up with as part of my New Years resolution but it does make for a nice salad. Those are the ingredients of tabule, one of the quintessential Middle Eastern dishes and the mixture immediately conjures up images of pita bread, delicious hummus and shakshuka dishes. It also happens to be the name of a restaurant in Toronto.
New year, New me. As we bid adieu to a very interesting 2016, we partake into another big cultural tradition: New Year resolutions. Each January, we choose some goals we would love to achieve throughout the year and we try our best to adhere to them. As a global community being influenced by the same social pressures and beliefs, we do tend to have a somewhat mainstream list of goals we would like to tick off our check lists. However, how realistic are the goals we set and how likely are we to achieve them?
Since 1971, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has thrown an annual fundraising Gala to finance its Costume Institute for the year and to signify the launch of a new exhibit at the museum. Each new exhibit has traditionally opened on the first Monday in May since 2001 but the show did not receive much global recognition until 2011’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty which honoured the deceased designer and broke attendance records. Since then, the Met exhibits have been under the scrutiny of the World, with each new show highly influencing brands and designers globally. 2015’s China: Through the Looking Glass became a glass shattering success which in turn created a huge revival of asian influences in fashion.
When one thinks of the 20s, we have a couple of things that come to mind. We might recall The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece set during the decadent era. It was the beginning of a new world post the First World War and the Prohibition was in place in America. Women wore beautiful beaded flapper dresses and the world was influenced by Art Deco. A style drawing its inspiration from cubism, fauvism and Les Ballets Russes, Art Deco became one of the world’s first International Architectural styles. Many examples of the style still remain: The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in New York, Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík, Palais de Tokyo in France and even The Maple Leaf Gardens right here in Toronto. Modern interior designers still take inspirations from the style, including the one who created Oretta.
Sometimes it’s easy to take the small things for granted. My move to the big city and to a First World country was fairly recent but at times, it is easy for me to forget my origins. Growing up in Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, life was simple and definitely not as bountiful as it is here in Toronto, Canada. We did not have as much of a selection for everything but we were happy with the things that we did have. One of my fondest childhood memories was about Cadbury chocolates and I am excited to pair with the chocolate brand this holiday season to help #freethejoy.
This time of year holds a different meaning for everyone. Students are glad to be done their exams and to head home for the holidays. Bloggers start working on their holiday gift sets and end of year giveaways. Others start stressing out because Christmas is at our door steps and we ended up buying more presents for ourselves than for our loved ones. When it comes to the Hospitality industry, restaurants start gearing up to launch their Holiday menus. Today, we shall take a look at Miku’s.
I am your father. You had me at Hello. I’m gonna make him an offer he won’t refuse. Movies and televisions shows have often been a source of popular culture quotes that transcended time. Each generation of viewers end up adapting their own jargon to the movies of the moment. I remember when Mean Girls came out and everyone could quote the entirety of the movie. To this date, I can still quote parts of it. Isn’t it fetch? In my everyday life, I make a lot of references to such quotes and yesterday I got to use one of my favourite ones from Gilmore Girls. I smell snow.
It is 12.45pm on Thursday and I am currently sitting at my desk, trying to think of what I want to write about for Friday’s blog post. Obviously my attention is getting deviated to such things as Netflix and making more coffee, as if three cups today were not enough. Today’s blog post is a tad unconventional. It is about being uninspired.
December is upon us and that marks one thing: winter is here. The frozen season can be a source of many joys including hot chocolates for children of every age, mulled wine for children above the legal drinking age, sleigh rides in the snow and lots of shopping for the ones we love. Winter is also the harbinger of something else. It is the vehicle for snow storms and sub zero temperatures in Canada. While it might be lovely to look outside your winter while you’re cozying up next to your fire place, stepping outside is a whole other story. Thankfully, the market abounds of nice coats to keep us warm.
Milk. From infancy, we have known the importance of this opalescent beverage. As mammals, it is the first form of food that we ingest. It contains all the nutrients that we need to develop and build a strong immune system during the time of our life where we are devoid of teeth. Our relationship with milk does not stop there: as we progress into adulthood, we continue to consume milk as it is a fantastic source of calcium which is needed to keep our skeletal strong. Milk is a substance that has so much character and strength despite its unassuming looks. How adequate was it then, that when Juli and John Baker decided to open their minimal dream of a store, they chose to name it after this primordial liquid.
The blogger world is comparable to a bee hive. We all work in unison to create the honeycomb that is our feed and just like bees are attracted to honey, we are attracted to minimalist locations, pretty latte arts and photogenic food. Luckily for us, the latest incarnation of this holy trinity manifested itself in the form of Baddies, located at Landsdowne and Bloor.
The food chain is something that is simple to comprehend. Plants take in the minerals and nutrients from the earth and are then eaten by small herbivores. Medium predators prey on the former and are in turn the prey of larger animals, including humans. That is the gist of it. Over the years, humans figured out ways to obtain additional by-products from animals up and down the ladder. Milk is harvested from the cow and made into cheese and their hides are turned into wearable goods. However a subgroup of the population chose to forgo some steps in the food chain and to go back to its roots. The term veganism was hence born and allowed for the rise of food institutions such as PLANTA.
Roses are red, my favourite colour is blue. Purple is an intermediate between the two. The colour purple may refer to multiple things: It could be a reference to a movie featuring Whoopie Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, a symbol of royalty or in today’s case, it could simply be the colour of my whole outfit. The specific shade we are looking at is aubergine, a fancy word of eggplant or simply how you say it in french.
Ophtalmoception. Audioception. Gustaoception. Olfacoception. Tactioception. Those are the five senses that are traditionally recognized when one talks about the human nervous system. Each of them comes with its own set of attributes and characteristics and they work together to achieve an all inclusive experience of the environment around us. Scent, along with the sense of hearing, is often the second most used sense we use on the daily. Scents have the power to evoke emotions, memories, desires and repulsions. Each morning, we put on a scent or we try to devoid ourselves of our corporal smell in an attempt to shape the olfactory image we project to society. We often overlook the power of smell and the way it alters the perception of a room but there are multiple ways to create a subtle aromatic environment in our own homes. Today we will talk about three different methods to create such an environment.
Few things fit perfectly when you purchase them off the rack. Tee shirts are often too baggy or too tight, jeans are too constrictive or completely annihilate the numerous (or very few) hours you spent squatting at the gym. From time to time, you will find a piece that fits you like a glove. In Poop Brown. While most of us manage to manoeuvre around the issue and somehow find ways to make it work, some pieces in a man’s closet simply cannot be worn ill fittingly, namely a proper suit. That’s where companies like Indochino come into play.
Tis the season to be shopping. It is mid-November and it once again this time of the year when we all have to wave our magic wands and somehow conjure up the perfect present: One that is personal, unique, pretty, within a specific price range and that your special ones have not purchased for themselves yet. It is becoming increasingly hard in this highly consumption centric society to find such a rare gem. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to find a needle in a hay stack. Thankfully we have wonderful shows like the One of a Kind Show and its online shop.