April 30, 2010


Writer, urban activist and Annex resident Jane Jacobs

I love to travel, it's right up there at the number one spot on my list of life passions (followed closely by brunch and discovering new nail polish colours). That being said, after spending the past two months plane-hopping it has been pretty nice to return home and fall back in love with the city I left behind. Toronto is sometimes a hard beast to love. At the worst of times it's cold and dirty and you're waiting for 45 minutes for a streetcar in the middle of a garbage strike. But when I'm gone for a long period of time I always miss it. After all these years of traveling I know for sure that there is absolutely no substitute for a pemeal bacon breakfast sandwich at St. Lawrence market.

Anyways, with 20-ish degree weather on the horizon this weekend it seems like now is the perfect time rediscover all of the best things TO has to offer. So if you city dwellers aren't doing anything on Saturday or Sunday (and even if you are) I would suggest that you take some time to reacquaint yourself with your neighbourhood and tag along on a Jane's Walk tour. Inspired by the work of Toronto community activist Jane Jacobs, these free walking tours are led by local neighbourhood know-it-alls who uncover fascinating stories from Toronto's past while traversing through the city streets. With 120 tours to choose from in and around the downtown it's a great opportunity to meet your neighbours, discover hidden treasures and learn about the history of your 'hood. I'll be strolling the Sorauren and Wabash railway corridor on Sunday - fueling up before hand at Mitzi's no doubt.

Click here for a list of all of the tours happening in the city this weekend. And if you happen to be a neighbourhood nerd like myself then I would definitely suggest reading Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

April 29, 2010


Kermit gabbing away on a pay phone (remember those?) via this awesome post at I Love Hotdogs.

Happy Friday.

April 28, 2010

quelle couleur?

Yves Saint Laurent Colouring Book

Colouring is therapeutic. Recently, I showed one of my younger students the very (ahem) technical skill of outlining dark then filling in lightly (while colouring always in the same direction). It was a nice break from barking subject/verb agreement rules, as it was clear that seven-year-old Apple (yes) was more interested in learning how to properly colour than conjugate.

I like the idea of this YSL colouring book because, well, it's very pretty. It would be nice for a coffee table. I also like it because it treated me to the memory of Jessica's Gangsta Rap colouring book which decorated our fridge while we lived together in undergrad. Word.

once upon a manicure

The Shrek Forever After Collection
Who the Shrek Are You, Whats With the Cattitude, Rumple's Wiggin, Ogre-the-Top Blue, Funkey Donkey and Fiercly Fiona.

Today, in bizarre collaborations I never could have imagined: the folks at OPI thought that a film about an ogre and his motley band of furry friends would make great inspiration for a new range of cartoon coloured polishes just in time for summer. Strangely enough, I kind of agree. A bright palate of blues, purples, and, yes of course, ogre greens make up the soon to be released Shrek Forever After collection. Coinciding with the launch of the fourth and final (you promise!) installment of the franchise, these shades are as bold and offbeat as their namesake - not a pink or red in sight! Personally I'm loving the pastel blue What's With the Cattitude but true Shrek fans will fall for the swampy green Who the Shrek Are You.

April 27, 2010


Here's a true (and kind of embarrassing) story. Recently I was reading a rather forgettable novel (Kinsella? Keyes?) in which the young female protagonist kept referring to slipping on her espadrilles. Somehow in my two decades of education and countless years of shoe loving I had never come across the term. Wikipedia quickly resolved that. And now that I've been educated on proper footwear vocab I'm dreaming of adding these preppy espadrille sandals from jcrew to my summer wardrobe. How perfectly sweet would they be with a white eyelet dress on a balmy June eve?

dancing on my own

Remember Robyn? I certainly do...i'm pretty sure Show me love was on heavy rotation on my disc-man for the better part of 1997. And just as sure as denim on denim and bicycle shorts are returning to your summer wardrobe this Swedish pop sensation is making a comeback. If the rest of her album is anything like this Royksopp collabo and this soon to be summer dancefloor/H&M fitting room fave then I'm pretty excited about it.

April 25, 2010

great DJ

The Music Room, New York - The Sartorialist

I like so much of what's happening here.

April 23, 2010

colourful kicks

I have a very strict rule about wearing running shoes on my feet outside of the gym. It just doesn't happen. However...if I was somehow convinced to cheat it would be with these new Nike Air Royalty sneaks inspired by the tasty shades of Ladurée's best selling treats. The new Macaron series (yes for real) offers mono-chromatic pastel coloured kicks in white, pink, blue and yellow. Unfortunately, just like their dessert counterpart, this feminine footwear collection is currently only available in Paris. Of course.

But it's not all bad. You can still satisfy your cravings for some pastel-hued edibles at any number of pretty patisseries around the city. The photo above is from Nadege, a particularly sweet spot overlooking Trinity Bellwoods park.

April 21, 2010

"on Wednesdays we wear pink"

pastel trench love affair at Burberry

pink peep-toe pradas on Tommy's blog

sweet candy cotton found here

blossoms in bloom outside Buckingham Palace

marvelous Marie in magenta

custom macarons at Laduree

Rococo at its fussiest - Fragonard's The Swing

I love pink, although let's clarify - pastel not neon. Funnily enough I don't even wear the colour that often (although I certainly wouldn't say no to that Burberry Prorsum trench). I actually think the typically feminine shade looks a lot better on my boyfriend. Still, with it being springtime and the blossoms blooming in my front yard I thought this delightfully pretty hue deserved a shout out.

p.s. Remember how totally fabulous Mean Girls was. What happened to you Lindsay?

April 20, 2010


Illustration by Fanny Bostrom

In light of Jessica's love for french bulldogs, I obviously had to post this playful drawing by Fanny Bostrom (which I found after admiring her sweet City Hall wedding). I think the gold watch is my favourite part.

boutique in bloom

I just finished reading about a lovely little flower shop in H&H and thought I should share my floral findings with all of you. Coriander Girl, an adorable botanical boutique in the heart of Parkdale, offers up whimsical bouquets in vintage vases alongside sweet smelling soaps, lotions and candles. Alison Westlake, the coriander girl herself, opened the shabby-chic flower and gift shop last September after forgoing her acting career in favour of her green thumb. The charming little shop is right at home amongst the increasing number of antique shops, cute cafes and vintage clothiers that seem to be popping up along the Queen (seriously) West strip. Westlake (who blogs about her fleurs here) promises that she'll create fresh and unique floral arrangements to suit any budget. So even us penny-pinching flower fanatics can walk away with a petite bouquet of artfully arranged foliage.

Visit Coriander Girl at 1537 Queen St. W. Afterward, stop by the nearby and newly opened Belljar cafe in Roncesvalles.

awful library books

Okay I'll admit it, I have a serious flaw when it comes to buying a new book. I always judge a book by its cover. The prettier the cover, the more likely I am to buy it. If the cover isn't eye catching - well, it better come with a very good recommendation from Oprah (or Katie). And don't even get me started on paperbacks with movie posters for covers, I cannot stand to have them on my bookshelf. I made a small exception for An Education because I was desperate to read it and I couldn't find a copy sans Carey Mulligan on the front. Anyway, I know Katie loves a good book cover as well, which is why I'm sure she'll find Awful Library Books as hilarious as I do.

Librarians Mary and Holly are the curators of his quirky little blog that showcases outdated and often quite odd public library holdings. The covers are anything but pretty and often border on offensive but they're certainly worth perusing if you're looking for a giggle.


If wearing peasant dresses with cowboy boots while drinking beer out of plastic cups isn't a good enough reason to wish you were at Coachella this weekend - there was also some seriously good music. Every year I read the lineup and wish that I could coerce someone into flying to California for a three day camping trip. I will make it there one year. Until then, I'll spend the day recreating the festival feeling in my backyard with a DIY Coachella playlist on itunes.

la roux - cover my eyes
vampire weekend - white sky
florence & the machine - rabbit heart (raise it Up)
imogen heap - clear the area
hot chip - over and over
she & him - why do you let me stay here
pheonix - fences
lcd soundsystem - daft punk is playing at my house
the xx - islands
mgmt - time to pretend

April 19, 2010

'those cherry blossoms really remind me of this...'

'...and by "this" i mean the cover art...not the tragic yet ultimately fictional biography riddled with drug abuse and heart ache.'
-a recent post from Jessica on my Facebook wall

Funny girl.

April 18, 2010

what next?

I just watched The Graduate - I want to wear majorly winged eyeliner, grow my hair to be Elaine-length / I need Mrs. Robinson's cheetah coat.

April 17, 2010


April 16, 2010


I love that striped maxi and I can only imagine how much Jessica wants/needs that penguin sweater. Don't even get me started about the coat.

hype dis

Some sweet new pieces are up at Carlos's blog - check it.

April 13, 2010

the dilemma of foreignness

Beware, then: however well you carry it off, however much you enjoy it, there is a dangerous undertow to being a foreigner, even a genteel foreigner. Somewhere at the back of it all lurks homesickness, which metastasises over time into its incurable variant, nostalgia. And nostalgia has much in common with the Freudian idea of melancholia—a continuing, debilitating sense of loss, somewhere within which lies anger at the thing lost. It is not the possibility of returning home which feeds nostalgia, but the impossibility of it.

But we cannot expect to have it all ways. Life is full of choices, and to choose one thing is to forgo another. The dilemma of foreignness comes down to one of liberty versus fraternity—the pleasures of freedom versus the pleasures of belonging. The homebody chooses the pleasures of belonging. The foreigner chooses the pleasures of freedom, and the pains that go with them.

-Being Foreign, The Economist via M. Dash

April 6, 2010

the simple life

Organic living through gorgeous photographs found in Ahorn Magazine (via We Love You So).