Hey, Fifty

style

Last night, we drove to North York to celebrate our cousin’s 50th birthday. She treated us all to a grand celebration with a live band, Diaspora, that played reggae and classic hits, a formal dinner, speeches and some indoor fireworks.

We waited until we pulled up to put on our final touches. Before and after adding our bling! I happened to have a cutout maxi that is super comfortable and will fit long into the second or third trimester – a perfect solution when you need to be relaxed but dressy. I like a good behind the scenes peek 😉

What a night. I feel so blessed to have family that is a blast to hang out with. Who, while the live band plays, can rock out and sing along, always ready to start the party on the dance floor. Mightiest of happy birthdays to Natasha. She looked like a goddess!

We were sent off with champagne – which Allia will enjoy, and even with a belly that is starting to pop, I lasted well into the night. Sweet dreams xo

Taste Toronto: Momofuku

Foodie

Set behind a spectacular sculpture of curling metalwork and birds, Toronto’s Momofuku Noodle Bar was the perfect place to visit with a visiting Chef.

Montreal’s Jae-Anthony, owner and chef behind Seasoned Dream, was keen to try Momofuku (and you would be too if you had tasted what we did!)

I tried the carbonara noodles and fried chicken bao, kimchi and a local brew, Oast House x Momofuku peach lager.

It’s cozy, communal seating and reservations are a must. If you’re feeling fancy, get yourself on he list for their chilli chicken and caviar… starting at $500.

Check out their website for more

photo credits: #momofuku c/o Instagram

Not as posh as you’d expect, but super tasty and surprisingly affordable (if you aren’t getting the caviar) – it was a great start to our evening out and is perfect for rubbing elbows with foodies (who might just so happen to be some big-time influencers like the Chef from Epic Meal Time.

If you are in Toronto – Momofuku won’t disappoint.

Take Over Tuesday

Love

Photo cred: @theangelalewis

It’s not new news to me that my wife is a force of nature; but it seems today that everyone else is getting wise to my long-known-n0n-secret. Today, She Does the City is featuring Allia on their Instagram, as she takes over their feed; today, her vlog and article – about coming out, living proud and being at peace with losing part of her past –  go live on Huffington Post Canada. I’m proud of her, understandably. And she is opening up today about her job, her family and what it’s like to live this life.

She Does The City

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If you know her even a fraction as much as I do, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her. Follow her at @buttonsmcleod on Instagram, or check out our baby-making journey right here in WordPress or see her video and article on Huff Post Coming Out As My Father Became A Priest


She’s a light in the dark: Instagram: She Does the City

A Day in the Life – In the snow, from Huffington Post Canada’s headquarters, to after work winding down… here is a peek into her fab life.


9AM: Hey People! I’m Allia McLeod; director, writer, and creative producer with 10 years of experience on my ticket. I’m currently working with Huffington Post Canada, producing their 2017 slate of web series and co-founder of a feminist, lifestyle and humour blog, launching this Summer. Today I’m taking over! Come along on this fantastic ride. Photo cred: @theangelalewis@buttonsmcleod #takeovertuesday


10AM: shedoesthecity At 36, I walked away from a secure, fabulous (as my wife likes to say) job, that wasn’t feeding my creative or activist soul and stepped into the freelance world. This new gig is both scary and exhilarating. Current motto: It’s never too late to do what makes you happy. – @buttonsmcleod#takeovertuesday

MIDDAY: 

3PM THE ARTICLE AND VLOG LAUNCH

4PM BACK TO WORK – on set.  

And by 7PM: WE ARE SO READY TO RECONNECT AND TALK ABOUT OUR DAY OF going to fight a parking ticket (a first for me), my foray into micro-blading, and Allia’s writing debut on HuffPost. Time to cuddle up after making dinner together. 

Now and Then: Album Launch

Indulge

Katey Morley is a force. Small, but mighty (a cliched phrase, typically, but she is not typical in the least). I first met her when I was working in a Vespa shop. Our eyes locked and we became fast friends. She has since entertained at her piano, behind the microphone, everywhere from the Rose Water Supper Club to regular gigs across Toronto venues. Or maybe, like other Torontonians I know, she dj’d her way into your heart, or crept in with the striking visuals of artistry (because she doesn’t just sing, play and spin, she is an incredible visual and ceramic artist). Katey has also brought innovation to the Toronto design scene. It’s official; she has a hand in so many exciting projects that she might be an octopus, hiding in the pint-sized body of a transportingly sensual, powerful musician.

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Katey Morley. Live at The Piston, Toronto. Photo courtesy of Kelly G Kelly

At the album launch for Now and Then she released a series of new tracks (Now) and some of her most iconic tracks from the past (Then). Her voice is beyond describing. So I won’t. Just go check her out at https://kateymorleymusic.com/

She is someone whose music straddles so many genres, from folk, to indie, to country, to jazz and blues. At times she reminds me of the big sounds of belters like Florence Welch, while at others there is an understated sweetness, powered by raw emotion, like Feist. All poured out with warm honeyed-sound and something familiar, buttery and cinnamon spiced.

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Live at The Piston, Toronto. Photo courtesy of Kelly G Kelly

All this is to say, that I’m thrilled to have my own copy of her album on my Itunes playlist, and on vinyl. Give it a listen. Then listen again. You won’t be sorry.

 

Eve and Gwen: See an icon, or two! Summer to-do: day 31

Indulge

  We are both longtime fans of Ms Stefani and seeing her with Eve as her opener held the promise of live versions of their decade old collaborations. We were not disappointed.  Gwen Stefani held thousands rapt and eager for more at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre. All views, whether lawn or seating, were powerful and the pop (formerly punk) princess was regal as ever.    

    
    Rich Girl was a highlight and I surprised myself ( and Allia) by knowing all the lyrics to Eve’s rap breakdown. 

   Stefani’s candour and gratitude to her fans was charming and sincere, hinting at how much her career has helped get her back to a place in the sun and onto her feet after quite a dark year; maybe this is part of her appeal- she may have it all, but man,  she has been through the ringer, clawed her way back and, as she always has, proved she is still a business woman, an artist, a brand in her own right, and she is still, thirty years into her career able to put on a killer show../ and she can hustle. 

It was also wonderful to see Eve step back into the spotlight. What a great duo to share stager one.  I can’t believe how many songs of theirs I know, and how many have been part of my own journey. 

  Shake your tambourine!   

  Always lovely: At Toronto concerts, you are as likely to see cuddly queer couples as you are to see straight folks, all snuggled and sprawled amidst families and groups of friends on picnic blankets. At left: a hugging pair of punk rock gay boys who clearly came out to support E. V. E.      

 Show footage

Anythaaaang I waaaaaant

A post shared by Ateeya Manzoor 💋 (@ateeyax) on

Inside Cirque du Soleil

Art, Indulge

  
Cirque’s newest show premiered in Toronto and Luzia was spectacular, magical and breathtaking. It was everything I could have hoped for under a big top. I don’t know if a performance could be better.  

Contortions, trapeze, pole, juggling, flight, strength, balance, ropes, swings, hoops, grace, beauty, water and magic. Let the pictures speak the thousand words. And see it, quickly, before the magic is over.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
  

The show didn’t stop once you stepped outside the tent; Mexican wrestling, red carpets, wine and champagne, celebs and magazine editors …under the night sky.   
    
        
  

Up close and vert yet personal; “Wanna turn around for the good picture”