Apologies for the lack of updates these past couple of days. Right after spending a few hectic days at World MasterCard Fashion Week I left for NYC at the crack of dawn on Friday. I’m beyond thrilled to have attended the School Of Style this past weekend at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan. The coolest Christmas present! I’ll be posting a new NYC travel blog shortly with more info about the school. Can’t wait to continue my training with them this spring/summer and be able to get my diploma!
Speaking of spring, like most of you, I’m extremely tired of wearing dark colors. I’m currently listening to a lot of “spring” records including this rad new record from a band called Language Arts. Tracks like these definitely add a bit of magic and color to my day. What are your current spring favorites? What colors are you stoked about for Spring?
Zara fabric wedge ankle boots
Zara TRF Basic Short Sleeve T-Shirt Terracotta (get it here)
I got a much needed with break from winter last month when I spent a few days in one of my favorite long weekend destinations: Miami. As expected, the sunshine and heat was there to welcome us. Here are a few things worth your time on your next visit:
We spent our first 24hrs at the Standard Hotel located on one of the islands in Miami Beach. I loved their remote location because it was far removed from the noisy south beach strip yet still close enough to restaurants, entertainment, etc. I absolutely loved everything about my experience at the hotel. The lobby was beautiful (loved the ping pong and foosball table), the room was simple yet super comfy, the gardens were lush, the pool had a superb view as the hotel is located right on the water, the restaurant (especially the brunch!!!) was delicious, the spa was super relaxing, the juice bar was a nice little touch and I loved all the activities they had available for guests (SUP, Yoga, etc.). I recommend booking a spa treatment with them even if you’re just going for the day. You’ll be able to do their steam rooms, saunas, etc. afterwards and will also have access to their pool. It’s also really fun to walk around from one island to the other since you’re already on one of them (Belle Isle to be exact!). It’s so fun to see all the beautiful homes and boats on each island.
Make sure you check out this South Beach institution, whether you’re a fan of stone crab or not, it’s totally worth the experience. It’s first come first served so either show up right at 5pm or be prepared to wait 2-3hrs, which is what we did but was well worth it. The restaurant is absolutely humungous and so is their food. But everything that they make and serve is made in house or caught fresh. I recommend ordering some stone crab, wearing the bib, also ordering a few side dishes and a homemade dessert to enjoy the full experience.
3 – Renting a scooter
Everyone rides around in a scooter in Miami. It’s a super cheap way to get around not only South Beach but also Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, North Beach, etc. There are many places to rent scooters, we rented ours from Beach Scooter Rentals, on Washington ave. just below 14th ave. They have more than one location in South Beach. We got a cool looking Vespa for $80 USD for 24hrs that came with two helmets (no one wears a helmet in Miami!!) and a lock. We even got to take it to our apartment overnight. What’s amazing about having a scooter is that it costs $5 to fill up the tank of gas! Having a scooter allowed us to explore the area a lot more!
@Offner and I are always looking for fun activities to do when we travel. For a while now, he’s been wanting to go wakeboarding and while we were at Otentic (the best French restaurant in Miami! Check out the dessert platter below – bonjour le Café Gourmand!! You have to go check out their new location!!), the owner told us about a buddy of his that owned a watersport company right at the pier. So we hit him up for a two hour session. What’s great is that you don’t really need to bring anything other than your bathing suit. He gives you a life jacket, the board and teaches you how to do it. He’s really patient and super friendly. Not only did we get to do some amazing wakeboarding (it was my first time and I’m now hooked!!), he also gave us a super cool tour of the islands in his boat. It was really special because it was just the instructor, Offner and I! He also offers wakesurfing classes, tubing, etc. So much fun!!
5 – The Beach
No matter how many times I go to Miami, the thing I love the most is the beach. The clear warm water, the tropical fish you see when you’re swimming, the long stretches of sand, the boardwalk… it’s perfect! Even in mid-February, the water was in the high seventies. A little chilly to get in, but once you’re in, it’s super refreshing. Swimming in the ocean has always been my favorite thing to do ever since I was a kid. I would spend my entire day in the water playing games, paddling around, swimming laps, etc. I think I’ve always stayed a kid at heart because the ocean still brings me so much joy. If you’re going to Miami, the beach will most likely be where you will want to spend most of your time. You will also definitely want to invest in either buying, brining or renting a parasol if you’re going between April-November. It gets REALLY hot on the beach!
The more I go to Miami, the more I love it! Yes, there’s the very show off, lound music, crazy side to the city but there’s also a much quieter, local kind of vibe that you get if you explore a bit. Can’t wait to be back!!
This weekend I watched an amazing documentary on Netflix (between some House of Cards episodes!!) called “Spinning Plates“, which profiles three different restaurants in the US that are each so unique and different but who all get struck by tragedy. The doc reveals how meaningful food can be and how powerful it can be to bring people together. The documentary film has won several awards already and I can see why. A truly touching story, worth watching!
Really excited to be going back to LA tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s already been several months since my last trip. It’s crazy how time flies! My upcoming trip can be summarized by the following words: Friends x Surfing x Food x Tattoos x Fashion. Wearing my American Eagle sweater from Topshop to celebrate today. Getting ready to go!!
I was really excited to receive in the mail today two Kidogo Kidogo iphone cases and here’s why: Kidogo Kidogo (which means “little by little” in Swahili) is a super cool nonprofit organization that was started by two sisters (after the youngest of the two spent time working in development in Africa) in Richmond, Virginia. Their goal: to bring mobile technology to women in Tanzania (only 36% of women who live there have a mobile phone!) who otherwise could not afford it. Pretty cool huh? Basically, for each phone case the girls sell, they buy a phone or phone credits for a woman in Tanzania. Reading up on Kidogo Kidogo, made me realize that we often take for granted just how many things we can do with our phones in addition to calling/texting. As they write: “A mobile phone is a flashlight, a watch, a camera and a radio. It’s a way to make secure banking transactions, monitor consumer markets, stay abreast of changing weather and receive health reminders and updates.”
All the iPhone cases were designed by a Tanzanian-based artist named Sarah Markes, which feature some of Tanzania’s most iconic wildlife.
Love my two new cases! Looking forward to seeing how Kidogo Kidogo grows!
Today would have been the perfect day to wear Sorel boots in Toronto! Mother Nature is at it again and giving us one hell of a winter! This is hands down the coldest and snowiest winter I’ve ever seen since I moved to Toronto 4 1/2 years ago!
Keeping warm this evening! I love a good glass of wine & candles to relax after work!
Last week I had the privilege of test driving a brand new Chevy Cruze Diesel from Chevrolet. I was extremely excited to be partaking in my first ever test drive and to be able to take this beautiful car home for the week!
Since I first got my drivers license 12 years ago, I’ve had the chance to rent a handful of cars for work and vacation. In addition, I also owned a car for over three years. It goes without saying that I’ve driven my share of vehicles over the years and none of them had been a Chevrolet.
It was therefore with much enthusiasm that I picked up my Chevy Cruze last Monday. My goal for the week: take the Chevy Cruze on as many adventures as possible to really see what the car was made of!
First off, I was thrilled to see I was getting a beautiful red car (red is my favorite!) for what would be one of the coldest week’s I’ve ever spent in Toronto since I moved here four years ago. Immediately when I sat down in the car, I was excited to see all of the car’s gadgets. The first thing that really caught my attention was the MyLink radio that came with a voice activated system, which could also work with Bluetooth or with the touch screen display. I was happy to see a USB port, auxiliary audio inputs (we’re in 2014 and some cars still don’t have them!!) as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Since I always forget to bring my audio cable with me, I was happy to have some extra radio stations to choose from with the Satellite Radio feature.
Other things that immediately made me happy were the comfortable heated seats, that could easily be adjusted, Cruise Control, the Rear Cross Traffic Alert (which made it so easy to park all week!!) as well the spaciousness of the car. For a compact vehicle, I was pleasantly surprised by how big the trunk was and how much legroom was available for those sitting in the back seats.
So I took the Chevy Cruze on its first adventure, which consisted in first going to work and then spending the night running errands at Target and Ikea in Mississauga, two stores I rarely get to since I currently don’t own a car.
The thing that I most liked after my first day of driving was the Side Blind Zone Alert, a super neat feature on my side mirrors that alerted me any time there was a vehicle in my blind spot. I know that even if I’m a super prudent driver, there’s been several close calls where I’ve almost gotten into an accident because I didn’t see a car when I was changing lanes. I think having this safety feature on your car will greatly reduce your risk of having that kind of accident.
Tuesday the adventure began with a drive to work (driving to work reduced my commute time by 45mins!) and after work I took the Cruze to my favorite place to shop for healthy food in the city – Whole Foods Market. Driving around with the Cruze reminded me of just how lucky people are to not have to carry big grocery bags around with them on the streetcar or outside. Shopping with a car is so hassle-free. I then followed that up with a nice dinner at the current Toronto hotspot – Playa Cabana Hacienda. I had heard a lot about it but had yet to visit because it is pretty far north in the city. They have an amazing churros poutine dessert, it’s to die for! I capped off the night with a little visit at my friends’ album release party.
On Wednesday I took the car again to meet one of my girlfriends at my favorite vegan restaurant in the city – Hogtown Vegan. Look at that Southern Combo below, it was SO Yummy! The day was really cold so I made full use of the heated seats and features like the defogger. I think it’s so important when driving in the winter time to have a good defogging system in your car as well as good wipers because of all the dirt and slush that gets thrown onto your windshield while driving.
I was really excited about my Thursday adventure because it was an activity I’d been meaning to do for quite some time but had never been able to get there. I decided to take Offner, my partner in crime, to Skyzone, the indoor trampoline park located in Mississauga. It was great to take the car on the highway again to see just how great the traction, acceleration and suspension was. The car proved to be solid on all fronts! We had such a blast at Skyzone- not only did we get to jump around on all sorts of trampolines but we also got to do flips, play basketball and dodgeball. I totally recommend checking it out!
Friday after work, Offner and I headed to Polson Pier to watch the sun set. Polson Pier is my favorite view of Toronto! It was a cold but beautiful day so we also took that opportunity to take a few lovely pics of the car.
I couldn’t believe that after 5 consecutive days of driving to and from work and around Toronto and Mississauga, I was still left with more than half a tank of gas!
All week I had done a bunch of city driving so I was excited to take the car to the country side and on the highway for a longer period of time. So Saturday, Offner and I headed up North to spend the day antiquing. What made the trip even better was that it was snowing during the entire day, which made it the perfect occasion to see how well the car handled the snow. On the 4+ hrs of driving we did, never did we feel unsafe. The car reacted well when I needed to break rapidly, steering was easy and the car was also heavy and sturdy enough to not slip very much while driving over snow. We were both very impressed! The Cruise Control was super easy to use and always a relief to have when driving several hours. Though we didn’t find what we were looking for, we did bring back some cute little vintage teacups!
Sunday we took the car on a last spin around the city. We made full use of the radio system, listening to new tunes loudly in the car. As a music fan, I can say that the makers of this car definitely did a good job with the sound system. Every type of music we listened to sounded great.
Before returning the car on Monday morning, I filled up the tank with diesel. I had never driven a diesel car (except a tour van!) before but my dad has always owned and vouched for diesel cars. A lot of cars in Europe still run on diesel but it seems a lot rarer here in North America. I was astonished at how great the Chevy Cruze was on gas. An average of 4.2L per 100km (67 mpg) on the highway & 7.5 L per 100km in the city? Amazing! What I also learned about the car after doing a bit of reading is that the 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel or as they call the Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has the best highway fuel efficiency of any gasoline or diesel powered car in Canada. In addition, the car also meets the very strict new clean diesel standards plus the noise and vibrations that were once associated with older diesel cars are no longer there.
All in all, my 3 favorite things about the Chevy Cruze Diesel were:
-Side Blind Zone Alert
– MyLink system
All in all, I truly had a wonderful week with my Chevy Cruze! I was sad to say goodbye to the car but the Chevrolet staff were super kind and even offered me a lift to work after dropping off the car at the dealership.
If you’re on the lookout for a new car, I highly recommend checking out the 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel. The car is safe, has every feature one could possibly want/need, is cool and will give you more bang for your buck!
A few weeks ago, Offner and I finally got a table at ICI Bistro. We had wanted to go check out the place but it was always booked every time we had tried to make a reservation. So if after reading this blog, you’re dying to try it out, make sure you plan your visit in advance!
The Bistro is located on Harbord St. just at the corner of Manning St.. There aren’t that many restaurants in the area but I think that when a restaurant is good, it doesn’t really matter where it’s located, people will go to it. And ICI Bistro was sure worth the trek!
The first thing that appealed to me about this place was their slogan: “Food, Wines & Happy People Is What We Are Most Passionate About At ICI“. Sounds perfect!
We received a warm welcome when we arrived at the restaurant. The host took our coats, made sure we had everything we needed. Because there aren’t too many tables in the place (there are like 6 or 7) we opted to sit at the small bar, which gave us a really nice view of the room. The decor was simple but really nice. The restaurant felt extremely cozy. I loved their slightly elevated open kitchen concept.
We started off with a nice bottle of wine from their extensive wine list. We opted for a French wine since we were in a French inspired bistro. We noticed that a lot of the staff were also either from France or from Quebec and as a result spoke both French and English. As we were picking out our meals, the waiter brought us a really yummy appetizer on the house, a sort of fine rice and cheese ball.
We started off our meal with a plate of cheese. It was $18 for a selection of 3. We opted for double that just so that we could get as many different cheeses as possible. The cheese portion was great for the price and the cheese were all different and extremely tasty. The chef even came over to personally bring us a plate of fruit, nuts and jams to accompany the cheese we had ordered.
While we were waiting for our mains, the server came over and offered us some homemade gnocchi on the house in order to tie us over before the mains arrived. I must say I was REALLY impressed by the quality of the service. Little things like that go a long way in my opinion. Plus the gnocchi melted in my mouth!
By the time our mains arrived, I was almost full! Though they don’t have a big vegetarian selection (1 out of 11 dinner choices), I was told that the chef could always prepare something special for me if ever I didn’t like what they had on the menu. I opted for their homemade patties with cheese, fresh salad, pesto and homemade sauce and my boyfriend the duck magret. His said his was pure bliss! Mine was also very delicate and flavored perfectly. The chef even came by again during our meal to make sure everything was ok and asked us if we had liked everything. A very nice gesture!
All in all, our experience at ICI Bistro was delightful. There aren’t too many restaurants in the city that have served us that well and that are so in tune with what their clients want. The staff at ICI made sure that we were fully satisfied with our meal.
Getting ready for the Festival d’été de Québec today. Really excited to attend the festival for a 7th year in a row! The FEQ is without a doubt one of the best organized and raddest festivals to attend in North America! Crossing my fingers for good weather because we have so much stuff to shoot for BRBR while in Quebec City! Keep an eye out for interviews and performances as well as new segments with – The Balconies, The Hunters, Xavier Caféïne, Ponctuation, Doldrums, Austra & more! We’re also organizing a rad “after-party” on July 7th. I’ll post up all the deets shortly but here’s what you need to know:
WHO: BRBR x I. Found
WHAT: 1 band + 2 DJ sets FREE! Beers, Skate Ramp & More!
WHEN: July 7th – 10pm
WHERE: Quebec City, Qc
Rare color combination for today’s daily outfit. I decided to challenge myself today and wear some clothes that I don’t usually wear much. I find that it’s a good exercise to do once in a while, to see if you still like to wear some of your clothes or if it’s time to donate them! Feeling like a mermaid with this shinny blue skirt… I think today’s outfit was most likely influenced by the doc I watched on Dolphins last night 😉 *nerd*
So excited for this long weekend! Though I have vacation time coming up real soon, I couldn’t be more excited to be spending the next three days hanging out in Toronto. I’ve been on the road a lot lately so it’s nice to be home for a few days 🙂 Plus! It’s supposed to be sunny this weekend, how exciting!
I’ll be kicking off the long weekend with a 3D Imax screening of the new Star Trek movie! Yea! Growing up, I spent many (many!) Saturdays watching Voyageur & Deep Space Nine with my dad. I only recently got around to seeing the last Star Trek movie directed by J.J. Abrams so I’m looking forward to seeing the continuation tonight!
Today’s look is inspired by the cute white shellac mani that I got last night. Since I didn’t want to do a full Andrew W.K. white outfit, I added a bit of blue to it with a chambray shirt and my Luxe Craving necklace. I’m loving my new Sign ring from Uranium, which goes perfectly with my Springsioux ring and today’s look!
Yes… I know, I have man hands!
Zara white denim pants
Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)