La Vie en Rose (Part 1)

This particular post has been a long time in the making, but I couldn’t be happier with the final product. My good friend Adrienne and I had been wanting to shoot a session together – something that would capture the playfulness and easy familiarity of our friendship. Luckily, she and I have the same aesthetic tastes, so it was a total dream to be able to collaborate with someone who shared my priorities. Being major girly-girls at heart, we wanted the tone of the photos to be soft, feminine and whimsical, with a retro print-ad feel to it. What better way to encapsulate all these qualities than with a Parisian-themed picnic in the park?

We soon discovered that finding the inspiration and location would be the least of our worries, given that the weather was not ready to cooperate. It seemed that every time Adrienne and I set a date, the forecast would call for rain and/or thunderstorm. Week after week, we had to postpone due to either conflicting work schedules or unfavourable weather conditions (during the summer, no less!) Finally, more than a month later, we hit the jackpot this past week with a perfect day of light, breezy temperatures and a lazy golden sunset to photograph against. I’m so glad we didn’t settle for anything less, and I’m proud to present the results of our afternoon of non-stop hugs and giggles and play.

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To be continued…

Girl in the Pearl Blouse

IMG_0227There’s something so classic and refreshing about a white top paired with the perfect-fitting jeans. While nothing says laid-back like a white cotton tee, I find myself more drawn towards the basic pieces that incorporate little feminine details here and there. I love that this blouse has pearls in place of buttons, and the delicate lace trimming that runs along the edges and cuffs makes me wish I was daintily sipping iced tea on a veranda somewhere, or perhaps, taking a sunset stroll in the garden.IMG_0196 IMG_0216 IMG_0272 IMG_0273 IMG_0286

(I realized that I am looking in the same direction in about 90% of the photos, but I will get better at positioning, I promise! Still getting my feet wet…)

Sunset Garden

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When I first began writing this blog, I knew I would eventually want to incorporate a lookbook/personal style element to it. While I don’t claim to be an expert on fashion, trends or anything of the sort, I did realize that I had gradually come into my own style in the past couple of years. Style, just like any other facet of an individual, never stops changing or developing. My stylistic evolution has gone from being a child with less-than-stellar taste (honestly, cring-worthy outfits in hindsight) to a uniform-sporting high school student with zero interest in fashion, to a university student’s budget closet, finally culminating in the style-conscious and fashion-appreciative person I am today.

My vision for this lookbook segment is simple: to showcase outfits I have put together, which are reflective of my own individual style, in a way that is straightforward and aesthetically-pleasing to you as the reader. Enjoy!

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Last of the Summer

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5:30 am.

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Watching the fog roll off the water is one of the most breathtaking feelings I’ve ever had.

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One last canoe ride before heading home.

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How cute is my mom?

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My younger sister, Angela, enjoying the view.

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We met Menchies! (Yes, Menchies is a real thing.)

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“Memory…all alone in the moonlight…”

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Cynthia and Andy with their giant mug of Butterbeer at the Taste of Danforth, which apparently wasn’t as good as the real deal at Universal.

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Besties :)

Little Green Spaces

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St. James Park

St. James Park is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. It sits adjacent to the magnificent Cathedral Church of St. James, a welcomed oasis in the heart of busy downtown. The garden is always blooming with fresh flowers, and immaculately kept by the Garden Club of Toronto. I love coming here to read on the benches, or enjoy some solitary peace and quiet . In addition to the plants and flowers, the lively water fountain in the center doubles as a bird bath, and the large gazebo hosts free outdoor concerts and movies screenings during the summer.

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Toronto Music Garden

To say that I love the Toronto Music Garden would be an understatement. Located right on the waterfront, this magical and ingenious creation fuses two of the things I am most passionate about: flowers and music. It was inspired by Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, and designed by world famous cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, along with the City of Toronto’s Parks and Recreation. Each portion of the garden was designed to reflect a particular movement in the song.

In the summertime, the garden invites you to come, sit on the steps, and enjoy free live classical music concerts every Thursday and Sunday evening. It amazes me that more people don’t know about this gem, but considering that most tourists and residents alike don’t wander very far off from Harbourfront, it’s understandable why the Music Garden is one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets.

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Cynthia enjoying a quiet, contemplative moment.

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Distillery District

I had never been to the Distillery District until this past summer, and looking back, I don’t know why I waited so long. Perhaps I had always assumed (and we all know what happens when you assume) that it was a beer-lover’s destination, given its name. Boy, was I wrong. The moment I turned the corner onto Mill St. and caught my first glimpse of Toronto’s only pedestrian village, I was enchanted.

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The cobblestone streets were lined with sophisticated red-brick, green-shuttered buildings, which housed numerous cafés, restaurants and shops. Formerly known as the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, this site was once the largest whiskey distillery in the British Empire. Over a decade ago, it underwent a transformation and was reopened to the public as the Distillery District we see today. Interestingly, the new owners would not lease the retail and restaurant spaces to any chain stores or franchises, so as a result you will find a plethora of unique artisan shops, upscale boutiques, coffeehouses, and local restaurants here instead.

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This delightful little shop is home to leather ottomans produced in the shape of animals.

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Soma Chocolatemaker is notoriously famous for their homemade chocolate and gelato. This is basically Toronto’s answer to Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

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You can actually view the entire chocolate-making process through the windows.

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#foodporn – Birthday

My birthday happens to fall on the hottest month of the year (yup, that’s how behind I am with this blog), and every year, like a child who wishes for snow on Christmas morning, I pray for a cool relief from the insufferable summer heat wave. This year, my wish came true, and I was treated to a glorious high of 19 degrees! Below is a photo of me celebrating with a jacket:

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For dinner, a few close friends and I got together for dinner at Il Postino, an Italian restaurant in Unionville.

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My fusili with sundried tomatoes, Unionville mushrooms and peppercorn cream sauce.

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Anna’s chicken with English peas and prosciutto risotto, parsnip puree, pea tendrils and natural jus.

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Nicolas’ lobster linguine with fresh east coast lobster, heirloom tomatoes, and tarragon.

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Adrienne’s spaghettini with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, tedeschi olives, garden scallions, and spicy aglio olio.

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In lieu of birthday cake, we enjoyed some of Unionville’s finest ice-cream, as well as…

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…this giant raspberry macaron delight! It tasted as good as it looks!

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Anna and Adrienne being adorable and PDA-y.

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Back in Adrienne’s home, Nicolas discovered he has a soft spot for Wiz the chinchilla.

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