30.7.13

uhdinger camera strap giveaway


ETA: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Christy!

I have been using this pale pink leather camera strap from Uhdinger for a few weeks, and I love it so much that I’m excited to share this giveaway with you! Uhdinger is a line of high-quality products created by Salinya and Jay Uhdinger, and as you can see from this adorable video, they do what they do out of passion. I really relate to this line: “While the world is sleeping, we are most likely punching some buttons in a strap of leather or sewing some pieces of fabric together,” and it makes me think of so many of the hard-working small business owners I know who sew and dye and cut and paint well into the small hours.

For this giveaway, Uhdinger is offering one camera strap in the colour of your choice. Simply visit the website and leave a comment here telling me which colour you like best, and be sure to leave a method by which I can reach you if you are the winner.



This giveaway is open internationally, but if you live outside of the United States you may be responsible for your country’s import duties or taxes. I will select a winner at random on the morning Friday, August 2. Good luck!

Last week Geoff and I went to Sugar Beach and my camera strap matched the umbrellas!

25.7.13

claire's knee

I recently re-watched the 1970 Éric Rohmer film Claire’s Knee. It’s probably my least favourite of the Six Moral Tales (Jerôme’s particular moral crisis is kind of creepy to me), but I adore the scenery and wish my July could look like this one on Lake Annecy in the French Alps. What a summer house! Just some 18th century frescoes, no big deal.

























18.7.13

dog days

A variety of film photos taken from peony season to hydrangea season. When there are pink flowers to be found, I am at my happiest.








This book is very exciting to me: it was written by my friend Kat Asharya, who I have been reading since the Live Journal days. She recently compiled and revised all the blog posts she wrote for NOGOODFORME.com and published them as this book, All Things Glorious and True. I am so glad she did. NGFM was way, way ahead of its time, cool and smart and girly and fun and very rock n’ roll. I’ve been dipping in and out of the book and it’s like hanging out with an old friend, the kind that you haven’t seen in a long time but that you have no trouble reconnecting with. So good for the soul. Recommended!



Cute camper of vintage clothing at the Parkdale Flea.





We made waffles at Geoff’s family cottage this weekend.




17.7.13

free people @ the grove


On August 3rd, I’ll be going to the Grove Music Festival at the Fort York Garrison Common with Free People (look at that lineup of bands! I am STOKED) and I wanted to tell you about FP’s Grove sweepstakes: until July 26th, enter here to win a chance at ten (!) tickets, for you and for nine friends. The winner and her friends will also receive their own personal styling event at the Toronto boutique. That is an insanely fun opportunity, a sleepover in the sun. 

Related to this, Free People is also having a party at the Toronto location on the 25th to celebrate their first year, with a braid bar, treats, and styling consultations. The Facebook event with more information is here.

And below, some inspiration images from the Grand Adventure lookbook to get you started on your potential grand adventure at the Grove.





16.7.13

a guide to my toronto

Finally, I have compiled a Toronto primer! This is a loose guide to some of my favourite spots. I get quite a few emails asking me for my Toronto recommendations, which I understand because Toronto is such an unknown to so many people. It’s a bit challenging, because the most beautiful experiences I have in Toronto are having good conversations with friends over wine or going for a really long walk; Geoff and I don’t even eat in restaurants that often, and there are thriving “scenes” I know nothing about (e.g. theatre, clubbing). However! If you were to come to Toronto and we were to hang out for a few days, here are a few things we could do.

Toronto is very neighbourhood-y, and this particular guide will skew towards the west end, mostly because that’s where I live and where I spend most of my time, and it will skew towards the affordable. Toronto is LARGE. I stick to a fairly small area of it, so this is just a start. Oh, and sales tax is 13% so have fun with that, especially if you’re from the US! I love it here, and I hope you will too. Please feel free to add suggestions or to ask questions.

Many of these places and things to do have appeared on this blog before, but I thought one master guide could be helpful (if you would like to see more, click on the Torontolabel at the bottom of this post).



Climate:
Freezing in winter and sticky humid-hot in summer! Of course, not as extreme as in some places, but enough that we complain bitterly/languidly at each low and high point. Same/similar latitude to Cannes and Boston, apparently.

Transportation: 
I don’t think you need a car to get around Toronto, although I suppose it depends. I have a car, and in two years I’ve put about 9000 kms on it (about 5500 miles). Most of the time I ride my bike, walk, take the subway/bus/streetcar, or use cabs. You can rent bikes through Bike Share, or from places such as Bateman’s Bicycle Company in the Annex (I’ve borrowed their Linus bikes and it was great!). A car does come in handy if you would like to explore some real nature, or, say, want to hit up a drive-in movie theatre! There are gorgeous lakes and provincial parks all throughout Ontario, really lovely spots to visit in summer. I really want to go swimming in the Elora Quarry, for example.

Where to stay: 
I can’t help much in this respect! I suppose the usual suspects would be the boutique hotels: The Drake, The Gladstone, Hotel Ocho, The Thompson. I haven’t stayed in any of them myself, though. I always use Hotwire to get cheap hotel rates or AirBnB for unique spaces.


What to do:

Park hangs in Bickford Park


Sweet Woodruff

Coffee:


Northwood


Dessert:
  • Bakerbots Baking (Bloorcourt): the BEST ice cream sandwich you will ever eat in your life (100% serious; all freshly-made ingredients and the sandwich is prepared at the time of your order). Also, banana pudding & carrot cake. Related (same owners): Bang Bang Ice Cream (Ossington) and Home Baking (Bloorcourt).
  • Glory Hole Donuts (Parkdale)
  • Clafouti (Queen West): really good croissants if you get there early enough.
  • Nadège (Queen West): most photogenic treats & Kusmi teas.
  • Bobette and Belle (Queen East): a friend gave me a bag of their marshmallows once. They were gone so fast.
  • Patachou Patisserie (Rosedale): I still think about the bûche de Noël I ordered there years ago.
  • Petite Thuet (King West)
  • The Big Chill (Little Italy): freshly made waffle cones, smells amazing in there.
  • If you’re in my Toronto, you have to eat a pastel de nata, or Portuguese custard tart. HAVE to, sorry!
  • Dutch Dreams (St. Clair West): this place is a little bonkers and there’s usually a long lineup, but it’s been around forever and it’s just a really fun place to visit.
  • Bunner’s (Kensington Market, The Junction): vegan and gluten free treats, including soft serve.
  • The Bake Shoppe (Little Italy-ish): homemade pop tarts, ice cream milk shakes, etc.
  • Ed’s Real Scoop (Roncesvalles, Leslieville, Beaches): amazing ice cream.
  • Kitten and the Bear (Parkdale): This spot is tiny but serves up the most incredible jams and scones.

 Bakerbots ice cream sandwiches (insert chorus of angels)


The Big Chill

Drink:


North of Brooklyn

Where to eat:

You can get pretty much any type of food in Toronto, although in some cases you have to travel out to the suburbs for specific ethnic foods. Always worth it! Restaurants in Toronto have gotten more interesting and daring in the past five years, which is very exciting. Acqtaste is a locally published magazine about food, so check it out if you’re interested!

Lineups are a possibility, but I doubt you would ever have to wait more than an hour to get a table... it just depends. You can usually leave your number and they will call you when your table is ready. But really, it shouldnt be too much trouble. Also, you’ll have to check with the restaurant to see if they are cash only/accept credit cards, etc.

Robber (sadly now closed!)

Shops:
  • Gravity Pope (Queen West/Ossington): shoes!
  • Eleven Thirty (Dufferin Grove): leather bags and cuteness.
  • Easy Tiger (Dundas West): cute shop in my neighbourhood, a good place for gift items and some clothing and accessories (Samantha Pleet swimsuits, Dieppa Restrepo shoes).
  • Jonathan + Olivia (Ossington): clothing; brands include Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Band of Outsiders, Jeremy Laing.
  • Lost and Found (Little Portugal): clothing (and coffee); brands include Alden, Makr, Saint James, Dana Lee.
  • The Future of Frances Watson (Parkdale): clothing; brands include Penfield, Filson, Fortnight Lingerie.
  • Vintage clothing shops (some of which offer a mix of vintage & new): Philistine (Parkdale), Penny Arcade Vintage (Little Portugal), I Miss You (Ossington), 69 Vintage and V by 69 Vintage (Queen West), Cabaret (Queen West), Magwood (Queen West)
  • Coal Miner’s Daughter (Queen West and Mirvish Village): clothing; lots of lovely Canadian brands.
  • Coriander Girl (Parkdale): flowers!
  • Sweet Woodruff (Dundas West): more flowers!
  • Art Metropole (Dundas West): artist books.
  • The Workroom (Parkdale): sew by-the-hour space, but also sells a variety of craft supplies, books, and fabric.
  • Drake General Store (Queen West & various other locations): pretty good for gift items, lots of Canadiana.
  • Good Egg (Kensington): bookstore with a cooking bent.
  • Type Books (Queen West): not going to lie, bookstores in Toronto are in a sorry state. This is one of the few independents left.
  • Likely General (Roncesvalles): amazing selection of home goods.
  • Scout (Roncesvalles): nice selection of gifts and cards.
  • Music: Soundscapes, June Records, Rotate This, Sonic Boom.
  • Mjölk (Junction): modern design (furniture & objects) with a Scandinavian/Japanese focus. Really beautiful. While in the Junction, walk around; lots of design/antiques in the area.
  • Blue Button Shop (Dundas West): clothing shop stocking Japanese imports.
  • The Monocle Shop (Little Italy)
  • Holt Renfrew (Yorkville): a classic Canadian department store. Our version of Nordstrom.
  • Sydney’s (Queen West): fancy menswear.
  • Hoi Bo (Distillery): handcrafted waxed canvas & leather bags.
  • Victoire (Ossington): (mostly) Canadian-designed clothing for women.


Bicyclette (sadly now closed)