France, je t’aime! pt 2

When traveling to France, the two things most people have in mind are: shopping and eating! Here were some of my favorite places to shop and stuff my face in Paris, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes and Bretagne from my recent trip to France!

Cool shops

Obviously France is like the shopping mecca of the world, so these are some of my recent favs:

Springsioux, Paris – the raddest up and coming rock n’ roll Parisian brand. They’ve got badass jewelry, tees and accessories and also carry some incredibly unique pieces from young designers from across Europe. They have a dreamy shop in Le Marais and hold events at least once a week, which usually either includes champagne or Caesars! WHERE: 4e arrondissement.

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The Kooples, Paris – you may have heard of this shop before. @Offner first introduced me to the brand last year. They have such beautiful pieces. I love the entire concept behind the store… Now if only I had more money!! WHERE: There are shops located pretty much in every arrondissements in Paris and shops also in Lyon.

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Les Galeries Lafayette, Paris – a classic if you’re in Paris. Basically, it’s like an enormous Holt Renfrew that carries the most high end brands and that is always beautifully decorated all year round! WHERE: 9e arrondissement

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American Retro, Paris – a super rad shop that carries edgy fashion pieces that are usually very colorful. They’re trendy with a twist. WHERE: There are a few different shops in Paris.

Auchan, Lyon – you won’t really find any clothes there but it’s my favorite spot to buy groceries!! They have such a HUGE selection of fresh products, cheese, vegetarian options, cookies, etc. Each time I go to the store, I want to buy everything! Think of a Costco with lot’s more fresh products and selection and a lot cheaper!! @Offner even found a friend there!! WHERE: everywhere in France!

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Where to eat

Let’s be honest, France has probably the most amazing food EVERYWHERE, so here are just some of places I liked on this past trip:

Tata Burger, Paris – they’ve got the biggest burger made to look like a penis! Yup! The food and atmosphere is pretty wild and super fun! WHERE: 4e arrondissement

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LA Favorite, Paris – very trendy and beautiful looking bistro in the 4e arrondissement. They had the best vin chaud! Yummy salads and desserts! WHERE: 4e arrondissement

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Casa San Pablo, Paris – a Spanish tapas restaurant that’s incredibly cheap and super yummy! Loved the traditional decor. WHERE: located in the 4e arrondissement, right by the Place Sainte-Catherine.

L’épicerie, Lyon – My favorite spot for lunch or for the “goûter”, they’ve got the best tartines and homemade desserts. Yum, I can almost still taste it in my mouth! WHERE: Bellecour, on the presqu’île.

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Pique-Nique en ville, Lyon – A super small and quaint restaurant that serves a great “formule midi”, otherwise known as an appetizer, main and dessert at a fixed price, which is very common throughout France. Absolutely loved their pasta and wine selection. WHERE: Presqu’île

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Abel, Lyon – one of the oldest bistros in the city that was founded in 1928. The place is also called a “bouchon Lyonnais”, which is a place where they serve traditional Lyonnais food, including the Quenelle, etc. WHERE: Presqu’île

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Le Cellier, Les 2 Alpes – For the best “montagnard” food, ie. the food of the mountains, the specialty in that area. They serve an amazing tartiflette, raclette, gratin de crozets, fondue, grilled meats, etc! I love their traditional ski chalet type decorations!

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Crêperie, Bretagne – While you’re in the region, you’ll want to order a freshly made sweet crêpe or even a savoury crêpe otherwise known as a “galette de sarrasin” usually filled with veggies, cheese and or meat, accompanied by a “bolée de cidre“. You’ll also want to order a “Flan Breton” or “Far Breton” to get an authentic dessert. They are so delicious and buttery! WHERE: There are crêperies located in every small town in Bretagne and are all equally tasty.

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Paul – a chain of patisseries that serve all sorts of yummy goodness! They’re now even located at rest areas on the highway and in train stations, they’re like the tim hortons of France but without all the chemicals and crap in their food. They serve salads, sandwiches, quiche, desserts, yummy drinks, etc. WHERE: Anywhere in France

Any patisserie or boulangerie in the area you will be staying will serve you amazing fresh bread, pastries and cakes. The perfect and cheapest place to have breakfast in the morning!

Also, I highly recommend getting cheese from the weekly market or some of the amazing local shops that always feature cheese made from the region. You can get great quality cheese for very cheap and encourage local producers.

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If you like macarons (for some reason, I just can’t get into them!), you’ll want to stop by Pierre Hermé, the best macarons in Paris! WHERE: Several locations across the city.

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*NOTE*: If you’re a vegetarian like me, I hope you like cheese, bread, pastries and salad because as I’m sure you know, a lot of the French cuisine revolves around meat. So you’ll need to find substitutes to meat for your meals. Even when you ask for a vegetarian salad or sandwich, from experience, they have the reflex of offering you fish or seafood. That said, you can survive! I’ve never eaten so much and so well in my life as I have in France!

Well there you have it! Hope this travel post was insightful! Let me know if you have any food or shopping recommendations for my next trip to France!

Writing this blog makes me miss France even more!! Can’t wait to return!

France, je t’aime! pt 1

This blog post was long overdue! I can’t believe that Offner and I have been back from Friday for almost two months now. It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for this three week long adventure.

My trip was a little different this year. Since we had more time, we decided to explore more places than we had last December. On the itinerary: Paris, Bretagne, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes & St-Etienne. Here’s a little resume of our amazing adventure as well as tips for any of you going to France soon!

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Getting there

Because we were able to book our flights almost four months in advance we were able to find a super cheap deal with Orbitz for multi-destination trip with Air France. I really enjoy using Orbitz as a search engine when booking flights as they always have good selection for Europe, you can easily compare prices with other airlines and they’re booking is hassle-free, no hidden fee bullshit! We flew from Toronto -> Paris direct and on the way home we did Lyon -> Paris -> Montreal (It’s impossible to get a direct flight from Lyon to Toronto/Montreal). I was really excited to fly with Air France again since I hadn’t flown with them since I was a kid. I know the airline has made great strides in improving the quality of their service in the last couple of years, especially since that unfortunate crash in 2009. I was able to organize everything before my flight easily on their website. I was able to chose our seats, my vegetarian meal as well as get our boarding passes all sorted out before even arriving at the airport. The in-flight service was top notch! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of my vegetarian meal as well as Offner’s fish selection. I appreciated the fact they gave us quality wine and champagne as well a balanced meal. Air France also had a great selection of movies and entertainment options available that made the 7hr overnight flight a lot more bearable. Leg room was decent, the only negative comment I’d have was that the seats were really hard, they could have been a little more cushiony.

Traveling while in France

We opted for different modes of transportation to get to the different areas we were traveling to. We took the TGV from Paris to get to Rennes, where we spent two days with my family. I highly recommend using this mode of transportation for quick, painless travels across the country. I had booked the tickets online in November and they were 29 Euros per person for the one-way. They also have complimentary wifi on the train and at the train station while you wait. Instead of taking us 4hrs to get to Rennes by car, it choped the travel time in half.

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One thing you need to remember is that if you’re renting a car, most places will be closed on Sundays, so since we were arriving on a Sunday in Rennes, we had to find a car at the airport. It was a 20 Euro cab ride from the train station to the airport in Rennes and the car rental place only opened at 1:30pm (more like 1:45pm France time :p) and was open for 4hrs. That said, we had tried to get a car through a website where individuals rent their personal vehicles (a cheaper option and worth looking into!) but unfortunately that fell through.

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We then flew from Rennes to Lyon. It was a 1hr flight. Though Rennes doesn’t have a very big airport, they have a few flights every day going to different areas in France and even to other countries in Europe. We took Air France’s regional jet HOP!, not only was the flight cheaper than the TGV but it also reduced our traveling time from 8hrs to 1hr. It was really a no-brainer for us.

While we were in Lyon and Paris, we also used the subway system a lot. It is super efficient and cheap. Also, you can use Uber taxi in Paris if you’re looking to get somewhere rather quickly but be prepared to dish out quite a lot of cash for cabs in Paris!

Where to stay

Offner and I are really lucky because we get to stay with family and friends while we’re in France. That said, we didn’t want to spend the entire three weeks crashing on people’s couches so we opted for our favorite type lodging: Airbnb. We spent one night in a Campanile, which is a big chain of environmentally friendly hotels that you can find across France. They’re a cheap alternative if you’re on a budget and hotels are more your thing. Though we could have stayed in a handful of different hotels, we opted to stay at cute little lofts/apartments in the neighbourhoods that we really liked. In Paris, we opted for Le Marais and in Lyon, La Croix Rousse. Both are safe and beautiful areas with lot’s to do and amazing food to eat!

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Some must-see spots from my trip

Paris

Le pont des amoureux

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Le Marais

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La Place des Vosges

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Le Louvre

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L’Île St-Louis

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Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower (duh!), les Champs Élysées, Place, Sainte-Catherine, etc.

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Lyon

Vieux Lyon

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Place Bellecour

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L’Opéra de Lyon

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Place des Terreaux, presqu’île de Lyon, Croix Rousse, Confluences, etc.

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La Bretagne – I may have a little bias towards this region of France because it’s where my mom’s family is from but it’s a beautiful small region that has much to offer. If you’re going to make the trek up there, I recommend you visit the following places: Dinard, Dinan and St-Malo. All three historic towns with beautiful scenery. While you’re there, you gotta eat “galette de sarrasin” the best salty crêpes on the planet as well as a bowl of traditional cider and my favorite dessert: le flan Breton! Also, if you like butter, you’re in for a treat! They put butter on EVERYTHING! Make sure you bring an umbrella with you, as it tends to drizzle (they call it “crachat breton”) quite a bit there.

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Les 2 Alpes – everything about this ski village and station is amazing! Unlike most Intrawest or big ski stations, Les 2 Alpes has kept the old school small village feel. It’s not too loud and too touristy. Though there are people that ski there from all over Europe, the people it attracts are a little older or families. That said, there are really cool bars in the small town, local wine and cheese producers, markets, a small cinema, amazing restaurants and all the ski equipment your heart desires! The daily lift ticket is 42 Euros and includes insurance in case you get hurt or something happens, which is incredibly cheap for such a huge resort as compared to lift tickets here.  Recommendation: Stay an extra day to go hiking in the mountains beside the village, it’s breathtaking. Also, you can ski at Les 2 Alpes almost all-year-round. In the summer, you can ski on top of the glacier and then go golfing or swimming in the nearby lake. Sounds dreamy!

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Stay tuned for Pt 2 of my France travel blog featuring some of my favorite places to eat and shop in France. Coming soon!!

 

 

Purple & Grey #DailyOutfit

Best tweet read this morning: “Wow, I love Mondays. Said no one ever.” This couldn’t be truer! Mondays are always so hard, no matter where you work! I think the cold weather is also making me want to hibernate even more.

I’m staying motivated knowing that I have an amazing trip coming up in just over a month. In December, I get to go back to France for over two and a half weeks. I’ve always loved going to France and seeing my family but now my trips are even more special since I have a French boyfriend. On this upcoming trip, we’ll be going to Paris, Bretagne, Lyon and Les 2 Alpes. Can’t wait to celebrate the holidays over there! So exciting!! I will be blogging about our trip while we’re there and upon my return. Stay tuned!

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I also can’t wait to go shopping in Paris again. Any new shop recommendations? Looking forward to adding unique Parisian pieces to closet again this year. The long sleeve shirt I’m wearing today, is one I got on the Champs Élysées last year. I love the faux leather shoulder pads!

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Zara long sleeve shoulder pad shirt

Biko Jewellery Kyma Neckkace (get it here)

Forever 21 accordeon pleated purple skirt (similar one here)

Urban Outfitters knee high socks

Helloberry mini smoothie bracelet (get them here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

Vanessa Mooney Little Ways Gold Bracelet (get it here)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Zara laced ankle boots with block heel (get them here)

Weekend Getaway in Williamsburg

A few weeks ago, I took Offner for a weekend birthday trip to Williamsburg. Though we’ve both been going to NYC quite a bit lately, we tried checking out a bunch of new places on this trip.

 

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We flew with Porter Airlines, which is always the most convenient when coming from downtown Toronto. There is never a line up at customs when you arrive in Newark and it’s conveniently located by a train station that brings you directly to Penn Station. For $13, you can get from the airport to downtown NYC using the free terminal airlink train and NJ Transit. The train comes every 15 minutes and even more often if traveling during rush hour. It’s only a three-stop ride. By using the train, you will avoid all traffic and paying tolls to get into the city.

 

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From Penn Station, we took the J train all the way to Williamsburg where we were staying for this trip. I had rented a cosy little apartment on South 8th Street through airbnb. Not only was the place super well located, the apartment was very affordable, more than any hotel we could have gotten in the area. So far, I’ve only had really positive experiences with airbnb and it’s really changed the way I travel. Though we didn’t make use of it on this trip, having a kitchen or even a patio is always fun when you’re staying somewhere for a longer period of time!

 

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We spent lot’s of time walking around Williamsburg during the weekend. Here are a few of our discoveries:

 

East River Ferry: this is a super fun way to get from Williamsburg to Manhattan. The ferry comes approximately each half an hour and can take you to midtown or downtown. Not only is it pretty quick, it’s also a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful skyline and sights of Manhattan, Williamsburg bridge, Brooklyn, etc. A one-way ticket is $4 and a day pass is $12.

 

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Free outdoor shows: while strolling around Williamsburg, we found a super huge outdoor stage right by the water and at the Williamsburg park. Though the concert series is over for the rest of the year, there’s no doubt that it will be back next spring. So many amazing acts were playing this year including: The Shins, Odd Future, New Order, HIM & a ton more! This wasn’t the only free show going on that weekend, there was also a free metal and beer festival happening by the waterfront and a Noisey/VICE Bonfire Session show.

 

Kristophe: on Saturday morning we were looking for a place to have brunch and like we sometimes do, we walked around to find a spot that looked cool. We found Kristophe, which had a super neat interior – looked like an old wine cave and a very cute back patio. Being out there, you couldn’t imagine that you’re just a few minutes from Manhattan because it was so quiet and luscious. They started by offering us a complimentary mimosa glass. They had a varied menu with gluten free and vegetarian options. I opted for one of their crepes that was filled with fresh market cheese and homemade jam. The atmosphere was quaint and the food was super filling. The perfect way to start the day!

 

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Williamsburg Antique Mall: we found this great antique flea shop in what looked like an old garage while on our morning stroll. Though the place is a total mess, they had so many neat vintage pieces. We brought back two American collector jars at $3 a pop – one with Apollo 14 (as a kid, i met Edgar Mitchell, one of the astronauts on Apollo 14!) and the other of John F Kennedy.

 

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Patrizia’s Pizza & Pasta: for our last meal of the weekend, we found a family-run Italian restaurant that served the biggest pasta and pizza plates I’ve ever seen. The restaurant was loud and festive, packed with families, just as you’d imagine a family dinner at your nona’s house would be. The thing that stood out from the restaurant was that everyone seemed to be having the best time! I opted for a house salad and homemade pizza and Offner got some shrimp. The food was very comforting and tasty.

 

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We also spent some time in Manhattan. We went to visit his cousin at Spin, the ultra-hip ping pong club located on East 23rd Street, a club that is partly owned by Susan Sarandon. As expected the place was packed and they were holding their usual Friday night tournaments, which are always fun to watch.

 

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Though we didn’t have nearly as much time as we wanted to walk around everywhere, here are some of our favorite things from the island:

 

Gallow Green: I took Offner there as part of his gift for his birthday. I chose the spot because it was rated the most romantic restaurant in the city. The restaurant is located on the beautiful McKittrick Hotel rooftop on the west side. The rooftop is decorated with many plants, flowers, flag and little lights. All the staff is dressed as if they’re working on farms back in the day. The night we went, they also had a jazz band playing. We got there a little early so we took at custom drink at the bar. The bar menu was really delicious and original. We then were given a table right in front of the jazz band. The menu consisted in a whole bunch of fresh, organic and delectable plates to share. I opted for a cheese platter, marinated vegetables and a quiche while Offner had a plate of different meats. The food was absolute perfection and surprisingly not as costly as I had imagined.

 

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The Highline: We walked on the Highline to get to Gallow Green. It was my first time taking a walk on this beautiful structure. What a great idea to put a passageway above the city and fill it with plants and trees. I loved the architecture of it, the idea of putting benches and grass around everywhere. The view of the city was spectacular! Though we only did it at night, I’m sure the view is just as fascinating during the day.

 

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VEDA: They’re a really small boutique company from New York City that make all sorts of rad leather products. They recently collaborated with Pamela Love on a series of colorful and unique leather jackets. They also have some of the best leather pants. VEDA just opened up their first shop on Mercer St. in Soho. Their shop is small but super quaint.

 

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Modern Vice: the first day we got to NYC, we stopped by the Modern Vice factory to meet the brand’s founder Jordan and his girlfriend, blogger/model Natalie Suarez (check out her super cool fashion blog here) and to also get a pair of Modern Vice’s dreamy boots. They graciously took the time to show us around their factory. So impressive to see everyone working so hard, making handmade boots. I had never really seen that before. The phone kept ringing every few seconds but Jordan and Natalie made sure we were well taken care of! So excited to have gotten a pair of Camo Jetts. Can’t wait to receive them!!

 

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Apotheke: Located in a small nook in Chinatown, this super trendy basement bar definitely has the coolest concept. Apparently the place used to be an old pharmacy so they retained that concept and serve “prescriptions” instead of drinks while wearing white lab coats. All of their “prescriptions” are made from local, organic produce picked from local markets or straight from their rooftop herb garden. Their drink menu is perfection! Every drink was so creative and uber tasty! (photo credit: Apotheke’s website)

 

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We had a super early flight back at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. If it hadn’t been so early we would have opted for the train route but we decided to see how long it would take by cab. The disadvantage of staying in Williamsburg and flying out of Newark is that it is far. A closer airport would have definitely been LaGuardia but because everything else is so convenient when flying with Porter, we still thought it was worth it in end. The money we saved by not taking a cab to and from Pearson Airport, we were able to get a cab from Williamsburg at 4am. Note that the cab ride from Williamsburg to EWR should cost you around $72 US. I recommend calling in advance and making sure you have a fixed price and calling a Williamsburg-based cab company. The cab drivers also prefer cash.

 

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Another fun weekend getaway in the books! We’re thinking of doing a museum-themed weekend next time we go. There are just so many different museums to see and we always get caught up in other things so we never actually make the time to go. Can’t wait to go back! 🙂

Welcome to Miami!

Two weekends ago I was able to spend a few days in Miami. My last visit to Miami dates back to last November but I had only spent 48hrs in this tropical wonderland. Growing up in Quebec, Florida was always a very popular destination for my family in the winter. I think my first ever trip as a baby was to Orlando when I was just a few months old. I’ve done the Orlando/Disney trip a handful of times, stayed in West Palm Beach with my grand-ma, went to Fort Lauderdale a few times but hadn’t spent too much time in Miami before.

So I was really happy to have more quality time there to discover some of the city’s hotspots.

Summer isn’t necessarily the best time of year to head to Miami, that’s when it tends to rain a lot just because it gets so humid and hot. We got lucky with the weather, it only rained one morning out of four and a half days. It was 42+ celsius and sunny the whole time.

We spent most of our time at the beach, the water was SO warm! It is also really clear and the ocean floor is soft and sandy, so you can see all sorts of tropical fish swimming around you. It’s beautiful! Though a little pricey – $50 a day for two chairs and a parasol but you can come and go as you please the entire day, we made sure to protect ourselves from the hot sand and intense sun. There’s really nothing quite like swimming in the ocean. It’s oh so relaxing!!

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I was able to do a little bit of shopping while I was there. My two favorite spots are: Collins Ave. (where you’ll find everything from Zara to LF, to Armani, etc.) and also the pedestrian outdoor shopping area on Lincoln Road.

I’m a huge fan of Art Deco so seeing all the different art deco hotels, buildings, clubs, museums, etc. are so amusing to me. We took the time to visit one of their Art Deco themed museum – the Wolfsonian FIU, located on Washington Ave. They had interesting collections on women and sports, Zeppelins, Art Deco, Architecture, etc. It’s only $7 per person and will take 1-2 hours of your time.

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3 favorite places to eat:

The Dutch – is located in the W Hotel in South Beach. They offered a brilliant fall fixed price menu with one appetizer, one main and a dessert. Everything everyone had there was absolutely to die for! The wine selection was also top notch! The vibe of the place was cozy yet stylish, the staff was knowledgeable and super helpful. I loved my dinner there and can’t wait to go back!

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Otentic – I officially found the best cheese platter in Miami. This small restaurant located on Washington Ave. makes typical French dishes. I loved drinking a Monaco (beer & grenadine drink), their charcuterie boards and salads are also killer. They make a mean chocolate mousse! I love their attention to detail, offering customers a free glass of white wine and tapenade as soon as you walk in. The owner Aurélien (yup, same name as Offner!) is super young and friendly. A must!

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The Forge – Loved eating at this over the top Art Deco inspired restaurant. The atmosphere was young, hip and fun! The styling of the place was unreal. They had a special on Veuve Clicquot champagne the night we went so if you ordered a glass of champagne at the bar, they would serve you unlimited appetizers. Unreal! The food was also heavenly. They had very tasty bread baskets and a fabulous selection of wine. I had the soup and grilled cheese, Offner had the burger and his parents, the biggest steak I’ve ever seen! Their little dessert tray was also yummy. It’s a festive place with loud music so if you’re looking for a quieter spot, this may not be the place for you!

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Now for something completely different, the 11th Street Diner located on Washington and 11th Street is also a superb place to grab some quick breakfast or lunch. It’s the original building that was constructed in 1948 in New Jersey that they moved to Miami in the 1990s.

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A bar to check out:

The Broken Shaker – is located in the hip Freehand Miami hostel. Offner always loves checking out up and coming bars in every city we visit. He had heard of this place because of their original handcrafted drinks made from ingredients, herbs & spices directly taken from the place’s garden. We tasted their savory sweet and spicy homemade punch. They also had a tremendous outdoor garden/patio with a pool, lot’s of fun seating areas, little lights, trees, ping pong tables, etc.

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(photo credit: The LA Times)

Finally, if you’re looking for a cool morning or afternoon excursion, I highly recommend taking a trip to the everglades at the Everglades Safari Park. I’m not one to do too many touristy things on vacation but this was really well organized, informative and fun. For $40, they take you from South Beach (the location of your choice) on a 40min bus ride to the everglade national park. You then go on a 45min airboat tour where they teach you about the different species of snakes, alligators, wildlife, etc. in the national park. That is followed by an informative alligator demonstration (no one wrestles with alligators!) and time to walk around their sanctuary where you can see all sorts of alligators, crocodiles, lizards, etc. They then take you back to your hotel in South Beach. Honestly, well worth the money and super amusing!

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Our time in Miami went by SO fast! With it only being a 3hr flight from Toronto, it’s the perfect long weekend destination! Can’t wait to go back soon!

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SoCal Adventure Pt 2

It was long overdue, my SoCal Adventure Pt 2 post. Apologies for the delay! It’s been a busy two weeks since I got back from vacation. We shot a bunch of pilots, commercials, etc. at work for the upcoming season so I was spending a lot of time working on that.

For the second half of my most recent California trip with Offner, we decided to stay in Marina Del Rey. It was the first time we were using Airbnb to find a room in someone’s apartment. We’ve done the individual apartment before on numerous occasions but it was a little scarier scoping out places to share with people. We got super lucky and found an amazing little studio fully equipped with a private bathroom and small kitchenette in a lovely woman’s home right at the limit of Marina Del Rey and Venice. We had a beautiful balcony that overlooked the little housing complex that had a beautiful pool and garden. This is where we ate our breakfast every morning. It was such a relaxing place to stay! Offner and I were like two kids in the swimming pool; playing games, doing contests, synchronized swimming, etc!

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While in the area, we spent some time wondering around the Venice boardwalk and legendary skatepark. We are also really fond of the Venice canals, a super quiet and beautiful area in Venice that is removed from all the waterfront chaos. Offner and I walked around picking out our “future” home, going to garage sales and enjoying the pretty sights!

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Our breakfast go-to spots in the area are Deus ex machina in Venice & Urth Caffé (Hello!! Green tea almond milk latte, my favorite!!) in Santa Monica. Deus were actually have a really rad surfboard swap event the second day we were there so we had to stop by. No boards were purchased but it was nice to meet a lot of local vendors, eat yummy food and drool over amazing surfboards!

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We returned to Offner’s favorite fish taco joint in the area called Reel Inn, for some fresh tacos and veggies after an amazingly relaxing day of surfing in Malibu. The water had really warmed up the second week we were there, so surfing was delightful! The waves weren’t breaking too often, so you really had time to sit on your board and relax while you waited for the next set. I honestly think that this little spot is one of my new favorites. Thinking about it just warms my heart and makes me want to go back so badly! There’s nothing quite like riding a nice longboard beach break 🙂

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We also had the chance to go out on several nights after spending the day either lounging around, surfing, shopping, etc. We tried out The Bungalow in Santa Monica. Though the decoration and overall concept was great, the crowd and atmosphere was disappointing. My top spots that we tried this time were:

The Standard in downtown Los Angeles (there’s a new SPIN Ping Pong club there too!). It was a super hip spot with a dreamy pool and a cute beer garden on rooftop. The view of downtown LA was spectacular. Interestingly mixed crowd as well!

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Hotel Erwin‘s rooftop bar. It has the best view of Venice, hands down! Our friends Lisa from This Beautiful Day and her husband joined us and so did my lovely friend Rosie, who I met last year through instagram. Such a memorable night!

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Since we’re big foodies, we also checked out a few new & hip restaurants. My top two were:

Nikita, a brand new ocean-front restaurant right beside Nobu in Malibu. It just opened in July and is already super popular. It was surpringsly easy to get a table on a Friday night. The atmosphere was chic but also laid-back. The food was spectacular (I would have taken photos but I didn’t feel it was appropriate in this kind of environment), the wine was delectable and the service was impeccable! We also really enjoyed their beautiful oceanside patio. The perfect romantic evening!

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Tar & Roses, a beautiful Spanish-influenced restaurant in Santa Monica. They had incredible tapas and probably one of the best cheeseboards I’ve ever tasted! They had a very big selection of fine cheeses and for $20 for a selection of 5, you can’t beat that. Attention cheese lovers, this next pic might make your mouth water 😉

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We also returned to the Melrose Trading Post and visited the beautiful town of Manhattan Beach for the first time. The beach there was so peaceful and uncrowded, it was a perfect place to hang out for an afternoon. Their little downtown area is also super cute and fun to explore!

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This trip wouldn’t have been complete without many lunches, walks, shopping excursions and hangs on Abbot Kinney. Loved the TOMS flagship store & café and the 3 Square Café for an afternoon snack!

Before leaving my dear friend Maggie came up to the Santa Monica area to take pictures of Offner and I on the pier. It was a lot of fun modelling for her and taking pictures with such a stunning scenery! She has lovely photo site that you can check out: http://emwhyphotography.com/. Here’s my favorite photo from our shoot:

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On the way to the airport in Vegas, we stopped by Calico to visit the ghost town. It’s an $8 admission fee per adult. Though it may sound like a lot to just visit an old mining town, it was pretty neat to see just how well preserved these buildings were. Plus, there’s a beautiful view of the desert from the top. It was definitely a lovely way to end this vacation!

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All this blog writing and remising is making me miss SoCal SO MUCH! Can’t wait to be back to continue the adventure! I love you California <3

Back from vacation #DailyOutfit

Hey everyone!

Sorry I’ve been neglecting the blog lately. I decided to not bring my computer on vacation for once (I think it’s only happened once or twice in the last five or six years) and also didn’t have access to very good wifi where I was staying.

I hope that you’ve all been doing well! It was definitely nice to get away for a bit and refuel before the crazy festival season that starts later this week! I’ll post a little recap and “best of” from my vacation later this week. It was really nice to be back in California, to see friends, eat good food, hang out, surf and relax!! I also had the BEST birthday, thanks to @offneraurelien. A big thank you again to everyone for all of the kind birthday wishes! It was a very memorable birthday!

Now, it’s back to work and it’s pre-Francofolies de Montréal crunch time! I leave Wednesday morning for 10 days, so I’ve got so much to prepare leading up to this festival. In addition, to all of the festival madness, I’m also going to be hosting a very special livestream on Thursday June 13th at 11am EST, live from the Polaris Prize Long List unveiling. You can tune in live via BRBR‘s facebook page: here. I’ll post the exact link later on in the week. Following that, I’ve also been asked to be one of the panelists on the Polaris Salon being held that same afternoon live from the Phi Centre in Montreal. For more info, or to attend, go here.

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When I got back yesterday, I had a lovely package waiting for me from Uranium 🙂 I decided to wear their rad new tank for today’s outfit along with my brand new Verameat hand necklace. I got to check out her Beverly Hills shop while I was in LA, what a cute little spot!

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H&M white quilted moto jacket (similar one here)

Uranium Wandalicious tank (get it here)

Forever 21 accordeon pleated purple skirt (similar one here)

Biko Jaci necklace – Lilac (get it here)

Verameat Hand necklace (get it here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 etched Geo cuff set (get it here)

Lionette the JOPLIN bracelet (check the site for more info)

Target being ankle boots 

 

May 1st!! #DailyOutfit

May is finally here!!! I love the month of May because all the trees and flowers start blooming. It also means summer is right around the corner, patios are opening up and we can finally start stripping some layers off! May will be a very busy month for me. I’m off to Ottawa tomorrow to present a free outdoor show on Friday live from the Canadian Tulip Festival. Hollerado, Hotel Morphée and Pandaléon will all be performing. The show starts at 8pm. For those of you who can’t make it out in Ottawa, you’ll be able to stream the show online on BRBR‘s facebook page. All the event deets are here.

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Following my trip to Ottawa, I’ll be heading to Montreal for a few days and in just over three weeks, I’ll be going back to California!! If you ask me, it’s also the best way to celebrate my upcoming birthday!! I couldn’t be more excited to hang out with friends, go surfing, shop, etc.

For today’s outfit, I kept it simple with a white moto jacket, plain white tee, printed denim pants and wedge sneakers.

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H&M white quilted moto jacket (similar one here)

H&M white jersey top (get it here)

Urban Outfitters bleu and grey southwestern print skinnies

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)

Lionette HARLEM necklace (check the site for more info)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 etched Geo cuff set (get it here)

Bing Bang Wanderlust cuff (get it here)

TOPSHOP Aerobic2 Hi-Top Wedges (get them here)

Regina travels #DailyOutfit

Happy Thursday!

Yesterday I traveled to Regina for the Juno Awards. Apologies for not being able to post anything on the blog.

It’s been a while since I last traveled to Regina. The only time I’ve ever been to Regina was in 2006 while I was on tour so it was nice to get re-acquainted with the city today. It was definitely a lot colder and snowier than Toronto but the one thing I noticed right away was everyone’s friendliness! We didn’t have much time to explore the city but we had a lot of fun getting props (see the pic below) for the sessions and interviews we’ll be doing this week while there. We gave Dollarama a whole lot of money today!

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On the schedule for today, going to get our sound gear that made it a day later and then start doing interviews and performances with two Saskatchewan acts: Pimpton and Fly Points.

So excited for our live hit happening this Friday live from The Juno Awards welcome reception! Make sure you tune in at 7pm CST/9pm EST to see what musical guests and nominees I’ll be speaking to.  You can tune in live right here: http://facebook.com/brbrtfo

For the occasion, I got some neat gold and black nails done at Sparks Nail Salon in Toronto. I had heard that the place did some rad 3D Japanese nail art so figured it’d be the perfect opportunity to check it out. I didn’t want something to crazy but wanted something classy and that could go well with my RUDYBOIS dresses & my Biko Jewellery.

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Yesterday, I opted for comfort on the plane and went with a comfy skirt, chambray shirt and sweatshirt. One thing I’ve learned through frequent travels is how cold it can get on a plane, so the more layers the better!

Have a lovely day!!

xo

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Forever 21 accordeon pleated purple skirt (similar one here)

Forever 21 eagle sweatshirt

H&M chambray buttoned-up shirt (similar one here)

HM gold spike necklace (similar one here)

Biko black chainmaille bracelet (get it here)

Lionette the JOPLIN bracelet (check the site for more info)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

 

30 days and counting…

In exactly a month from today, I’ll be back in LA.  Since I first visited LA in 2005, the California coast has quickly become my second home. There are many reasons why I love California but I think the main ones are: the people, the surf, the lifestyle, the nature (their big trees, colorful flowers, gardens, mountains, the ocean, the dessert) and the culture.

I usually try to go to California at least a few times a year to surf on my board (My lovely friend Maggie has been keeping it for me these past couple of months, I miss it tremendously!), to hang out with my friends (I can’t wait to see you ladies!!!), to eat great food (Bulan Thai, Flore, Cafe Gratitude, Urth Caffe), to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway (freedom!!), to hang in my favorite little towns (Encinitas, Venice, San Clemente, La Jolla, Santa Monica, etc) and to go shopping (Melrose Blvd, 3rd Street promenade, Main Ave.).

Contrary to what some people may believe, Californians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Some of my favorite people on this planet are from LA and its’ surrounding areas. Everyone is so friendly, welcoming and laid back there.

All this to say, I couldn’t be more happy to be going back next month… And if you’ve never been to California before, it’s definitely worth the trip. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this place!

LA