Summer to-do: day 9

Foodie

Eat up. And make it delicious. 

  Roasted southwestern veggie soup, cucumber basil salad and organic grilled chicken.  

 Flatbread pizza with pear, prosciutto, Brie, and basil.   

Sweet potato and French lentil with Swiss chard.   

   
Sweet potato and cauliflower bake.     
    
    
Tandoori chicken nachos. 

 Mixed greens, carrot and date salad with chicken and quinoa in a mustard dressing     

Cucumber and cilantro gazpacho from Hive in Toronto. 

 Sweet potato, asparagus and steak. 

  
Homemade pizzas.    

Grilled corn and roasted veggies with steak, chicken and sausage. 

Inside Out Launch Party

Art

 This is what a crew of diverse LGBTQ folks and their allies looks like. Boy, do we have a gay old time. A good time. A blast. At the launch party for Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival, 2016, the night started with a panel discussion with the jury and key players of the festival. My wife got to sit in the fancy chairs and charmingly answer questions. Hosted at St. James Cathedral, it was a stylish affair.



  Looking lovely, as ever, Allia voted for The Same Difference as her ‘must watch’ film. The trailer is available online and this film is pretty powerful; charting the strict gender roles within urban black lesbian culture, it was such an eye-opening film. I was excited, hearing all of their top picks, to flag the films I will be checking out throughout the festival.
 After the panel discussion, the drinks flowed freely and people mingled, taking advantage of the passed hors d’oeuvres, great company and photo booths. As the evening unfolded, we were treated to vogue-ing, a selection of djs and dancing late into the night.

Check out the silliness of our photo booth pics (by Monocle Booth); can you guess which are from early in the festivities and which ones are from later?

And what does one wear? A mix of cheap and cheerful separates that blur masculine and feminine. It’s almost laughable how cheap this outfit was.

 All in all, it was a blast and I cannot wait to see the full line-up of LGBTQ films!

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I want to live in Club Monaco

style

I used to live adjacent to the Royal Ontario Museum and often, on my way home from classes at U of T, wandered along the Bloor Street strip to eye the clothes that tuition kept out of range. I would look at the sale racks and find treasures that were just within my budget. It’s been years since I’ve lived there, and so much has changed.

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The Royal Ontario Museum at Bloor and Avenue Road, Toronto

The ROM

The ROM; my old neighbourhood.

I live in a new neighbourhood and now I’m able, more often, to afford the treats that catch my eye (being employed full-time will help in that department). Still a budget conscious girl, I watch and I wait. I’m getting good at knowing what I really need and what indulgences will truly satisfy.

One of my favourite old haunts was Club Monaco, but it’s been years since I’ve been inside one of their stores. Recently I set foot in the flagship store and, be still my heart… it is more beautiful than I remembered. They’ve updated the store, the line and – if I could be made into a liquid – I’d happily let myself be poured into any number of their store vignettes, clothes, couch, pillows and all. Preferably, ease me into the size 2 samples of sumptuous knits, tailored dresses, add a great bag, and then hit Ctrl + a few times.

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Club Monaco welcomes you.

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Every turn holds a well-curated feast for the eyes.

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From the pendant light to the semi-gloss dark walls, mosaic floors and fresh greenery, they know how to make you feel aspirational.

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A favourite handbag.

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Come sit. Come get dressed. Come enjoy the fire. Come imagine your life in a couch like these, in boots like these, in a dress like this, in a store like this.

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Raw wood pillars are display worthy in and of themselves, tall boots, glass, tufted couches, and everything but a crackling fire…

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Fashion parade. Neutrals draw attention to the simplicity and timelessness of the pieces. Modern, but classic.

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From floor to ceiling, the palette is cohesive.

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I’ll take one light fixture, one top and one table.

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Poufs. In case you had trouble picking between the pale leather jacket and the cashmere sweater.

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They know how to do a visual display. I feel calmer even as my heart races.

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Into the lower level, accessories and a gallery wall make the space feel like a really cool loft, rather than a cleverly, calculated feat of visual merchandising.

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I want to live here.

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Quirky art and perfectly chosen separates.

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Miaow.

It must be said that I didn’t buy anything this day, but I did have a very strong urge to rearrange my furniture and hang some artwork.

Do you find inspiration for your home in your favourite clothing stores?

Crown Flora: Shop Profile

Art, DIY

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Sometimes you fall in love with something frivolous. How could you not love this gold stegosaurus, with a jaunty little succulent protruding from his spine? At the One Of A Kind Spring show http://www.oneofakindshow.com/toronto/index.php, we found this little guy, who came home with us that day; I’d had my eye on this kind of thing since our wedding. We were inspired by some things we had seen on Etsy and I’d pinned a bunch of cute little animal-projects to add whimsy to our celebration.

Some of the best included:

Gold animal cake toppers.

Gold animal cake toppers.

Jar toppers for cosmetics, q-tips and cotton balls, or even candy jars.

Jar toppers for cosmetics, q-tips and cotton balls, or even candy jars.

Fridge magnets.

Fridge magnets.

There are so many ways to chop and rearrange these little cuties.

There are so many ways to chop and rearrange these little cuties.

We ended up using skewers and spraying them silver and gold, then arranging them throughout our hydrangea center pieces. Each table had an animal of its own: the lion table, the giraffe table… it was questionable who should be seated at the hippo table (the group with the best sense of humour).

At Crown Flora Studios’ booth at the Spring One Of A Kind Show, we fell in love with the dinosaur, as well as this sweet terrarium. For the cost of purchasing all the materials, we figured it was just as easy to get one that was already put together. They do such a good job and the arrangement of the elements inside the glass container were so well balanced. The folks at Crown Flora let us select our animals (two little giraffes) and our new terrarium can be hung/suspended or sit table-top. This was one of our favourite finds!

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Two giraffes are right at home in their little bubble with an air plant, some moss and stone.

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This quirky addition to our coffee table is adorable, but definitely gets hidden when our small nieces come to visit.

To check out more of Crown Flora’s work, visit their website: http://crownflorastudio.com/  They also do styling, workshops and flowers…

Crown Flora: crownflorastudio.com

Crown Flora: crownflorastudio.com

Fit Girl Challenge: Day 7

Foodie

So, the tortilla chips won. It was too much for me. I caved and ate more than a handful; fortunately the guide prepares you for this and advises that if you get off track, the whole day isn’t a write off. Basically, you’re already doing great, so allow yourself some slip ups and congratulate yourself for being human.

The food has been delicious and we’ve overcome some serious hurdles, namely a visit to my parents’ house (in wine country), a trip to the theatre, and a baby shower. Phewf! Success. And we spent last night (by we I mean my amazing wife) getting our food ready for today, day 8, week two.

The past few days have seen no end to my enjoyment of Cherry Pie Fridge Oats. Seriously, yummm.

Cherry Fridge Oats, with fresh Ontario cherries.

Cherry Fridge Oats, with fresh Ontario cherries.

The food we’ve enjoyed has had colour, variety and lots of great textures. Here is a sampling of some of the yummy lunches and dinners.

Pizza Party and Tempeh on the side. I'm LOVING this.

Pizza Party and Tempeh on the side. I’m LOVING this. Mini pizzas with cheese, artichoke and olive, spinach, a side of apple and green peppers.

I joined Allia at work, taking our lunch and dinner for a full day of activites: Film screening in the morning (of Mistress America – very funny and well-written). Herbal tea with a friend. (Hi, Katey!)

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We went to browse the books at Indigo/Chapters. Here are some of our faves. There is a lot more time for reading when you don’t have to worry about what’s in your fridge. Now that we spend less time looking in the fridge there is more time a lot of things. wink wink.

At work, Allia got some stuff done while I read a book and drank my water. We ate our delicious lunch on the patio, located on the Much Music Roof.

Downtown Toronto, skyline from the Much Music rooftop garden.

Downtown Toronto, skyline from the Much Music rooftop garden.

Patio picnic.

Patio picnic.

Studio's in Bell's building - E-Talk, The Social and the Marilyn Dennis Show, Breakfast Television - they all film here.

Studios in Bell’s building (the Much Music building) – E-Talk, The Social and the Marilyn Dennis Show, Breakfast Television –  all film here.

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The Marilyn Dennis Set.

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The empty set.

It was easy enough to travel with our pre-prepared food and to enjoy taking time to eat slowly.

We had a similar approach for the time we spent in Niagara on the Lake with my family. We treated it like a restaurant, choosing protein and grains carefully and eating lots of greens. I had one of my two servings of alcohol for the week in the afternoon, sitting by the pool. How can you come to wine country and not partake? (I can think of a few ways, but that’s not very appealing). Then I gave myself a pass and had a second glass at dinner, before we headed to the theatre to see The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Guide to the Scriptures  at The Shaw Festival http://www.shawfest.com/playbill/the-intelligent-homosexual/story/ . The play, by Tony Kushner, was brilliantly acted and intense. We enjoyed tea at intermission and a stroll in the gardens.

Shaw Festival's IHO (Intelligent Homosexual's Guide...)

Shaw Festival’s IHO (Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide…)

The Shaw is one of Canada's premiere theatre companies and always has a wide variety of beautifully rendered drama.

The Shaw is one of Canada’s premiere theatre companies and always has a wide variety of beautifully rendered drama.

The Shaw gardens are perfect for stretching your legs at intermission.

The Shaw gardens are perfect for stretching your legs at intermission.

This week’s reward was a mani-pedi in a style/colour you don’t usually get. I did my own nails, but chose a shade from my mom’s collection. At the end of week two, we get to treat ourselves to a new workout outfit. I have my eye on Titika’s Dip Crop (which is on sale!), and one of these stylin’ workout tops or bras.

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Dip Crop

Titika Workout Top

Titika Workout Top

Titika Workout Top

Titika Workout Top

Titika Workout Bra

Titika Workout Bra

Titika Workout Bra - not your average sports bra.

Titika Workout Bra – not your average sports bra.

Wish us luck!