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summer

Style
Gorgeous Guy de Jean Can Can Umbrella
August 3, 2010 at 10:33 am 0

umbrella_cancan_ivory
Walking past the Royal York hotel - a luxurious heritage hotel in Toronto, we noticed this absolutely adorable umbrella. We wish it stays sunny for months more so we can use this sun umbrella all the time! This Guy de Jean Can Can Ivory Umbrella comes in various colours and retails for approx $190 CDN.
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Life
Dreamy Outdoor Summer Dining
July 9, 2010 at 10:08 am 0

summerdinnerparty

One of the best thing about summer evenings is the warm air, sweet smells, and relaxed ambience that lets everyone sit back, enjoy a meal together, and linger for just a bit longer. So figure out when your next free evening is, call your closest friends, and have them over for a lovely dinner party. It's just so much more intimate than going out for dinner...and since we're all working our buns off so we can live a great life, let's make sure we are actually living a great life! We found this great recipee in Country Living and just couldn't resist sharing it with you.

menu_summerdinner

Warm Garlic String Bean Salad For Warm Garlic String Bean Salad, blanch a 1-pound mix of yellow and green string beans for 2 minutes. Rinse to cool. Return to a saucepan with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 3 tablespoons minced garlic, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 4 minutes (medium-high heat). Toss in 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest. Serve warm. Pasta with Garden Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta with Garden Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella is redolent with gently sautéed onion and garlic, which beautifully offset perky chopped tomatoes, basil, and cubed mozzarella. Sliced Grilled Rib-Eye Steak Marinade takes just minutes to prepare but adds a lot of flavor. Whisk 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 6 tablespoons olive oil together in a large nonreactive baking dish. Add 1/3 cup chopped Vidalia onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Rib-eye steaks' primary attribute is their juicy flavor, making them great for grilling. Place four 12-ounce, 1-inch-thick boneless rib-eye steaks in the marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour; turn occasionally. The grill should be heated to medium-high. Shake onion bits from the steaks and grill until medium-rare — about 5 minutes — or longer if desired. Serve the steaks, thinly sliced, after resting them (tented with aluminum foil on a cutting board) 10 minutes. Leftovers make great lunchtime sandwiches the next day. Photo Credits: Country Living
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Travel
Traveling to Italy: The Essential Guide
May 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm 0

It's Spring, and the travel bug is spreading like crazy! This year Italy is a very hot vacation destination. With loads of airlines having big sales, hotels offering deals, and a huge desire to get away the time is now to plan your summer vacation. Check out these posts with great tips on what to see, where to go, and what it's like. Florence Tuscany Rome Amalfi Coast Siena 7 Things You Need To Know Before Going To Italy Shopping In Italy
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Life, Travel
A Great Weekend Escape: Toronto’s Harbourfront
March 31, 2010 at 2:47 pm 3


With the Spring temperatures rising this weekend is the perfect time to head to Toronto's Harbourfront and enjoy all it has to offer! Start off by taking a stroll along the waterfront path. You will pass by all the boats, parks, restaurant patios, and see these great deck bridges that were opened last year.

After you've built up an appetite from your walk go to one of the great restaurants for lunch. Il Fornello is a favourite, and they have a large patio right on the water with a great menu and decent wine list too. The Watermark pub is also a good choice for a pub lunch and draught beer. If you're more in the mood for sushi head to Ichiban Sushi or Oyshi Sushi, both have great menus at reasonable prices.

The Habroufront Second Cup patio is the best in the city!

The Habroufront Second Cup patio is the best in the city!

If dining out is not your thing perhaps a coffee is in order. The Second Cup at Harbourfront has the best patio in the whole city! It's right on the water, and you can see all the boats coming and going and just sit staring down at the water. This patio gets full sun from approx 10am-3pm, so keep that in mind. If you are more loyal to Starbucks there is one across the street. Although it doesn't have the patio of the Second Cup it does have great people watching. If there are no spots on the patio you can also sit next door at the waterfall and watch everyone from there! If you are a dog lover there is a great dog centre right by Ichiban Sushi and just off the crazy wave bridges. You can bring your pooch and play away for hours at a time! For art lovers and culture mavens the Harbourfront Centre has cool art shows on a regular basis, and also live theatre which is really popular.

On the ferry to the Toronto Islands

On the ferry to the Toronto Islands

Ready to see more? Consider taking the ferry over to the Islands - here's a post on what you can do there. However you chose to spend your Easter long weekend make sure you take some time out, relax and enjoy one of the great things your city has to offer. Get out there and start living!
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Style
Spring 2010 Shopping Essentials
March 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm 0
Spring is a time of change, renewed energy, and best of all wonderful fashion after months of drab and dark winter clothes! To help you out we’ve made a list of what you need for the new season and how much you should spend to get it. But be warned, this is not your typical list - this doesn't show a list of over priced and super trendy one season only fashions. These shopping essentials are meant to last for seasons and be reasonably priced - helping you look great, and invest in items that you can get maximum wear out of!

neutral heels with fun details
Neutral Coloured Heels With Fun Details – approx $150 These are a good staple because they can go with pretty much anything, can last several seasons and are super versatile for work and for fun. These also go really well with the military inspired clothes that are popular now, in case you want to mix some trendy items in your wardrobe. Shoes pictured are Micheal Kors Spring 2009 collection – that are still very wearable this season!

Open Toe Black Heels – approx $150 Every girl needs a pair of black heels! These are also super versatile but can also easily show fading and general wear and tear. So make sure you take good care of them, or replace them regularly. BCBG always has an excellent collection of basics and super fun black heels.

sandals for spring 2010
Fun Summer Sandals – approx $100 Since the other pair of shoes are basics, splash out and have some fun with your summer sandals. Buy ones that can work at the office or at the park and don’t be afraid to choose ones that are slightly trendy and will be worn out after one season. Summer shoes normally cannot endure longer than one year - so be prepared to replace these next year. Shoes pictured above are from NineWest.

White pants – approx $100 Nothing says spring like white pants. Yes, they may be hard to keep clean, but they look great coupled with bright shirts and the neutral coloured heels. Throw on some fun accessories and you have an outfit that looks amazing and can repeated almost once a week! Jacob is a great source for basics like white pants. You an usually score pants on sale from $50 up to $100.

Femme de Carriere Spring 2010


3 Colourful Shirts With Fun Details – approx $100 each Lighten up! Enjoy all spring has to offer with brightly coloured shirts, fun patterns and cool cuts. Not only will these fun shirts make you feel springy these three shirts can be mixed with pants, cute skirts, or shorts and are a great addition to your regular rotation of spring clothes. Femme de Carriere is always a great source for fabulous shirts with fun colours and very flattering cuts. Sometimes they can be really pricey, so watch out for when they have sales (very regularly) and you can score the same great shirt for $$$’s off.

ClubMonacoMollyDress


An Everyday Dress – approx $125 Now that you don’t need to cover up as much enjoy the ease that a spring dresses offers. You don’t have to worry about what tights to wear or if it’s warm enough outside to wear it. Just put it on! Add either of the three shoes above, pile on the accessories and enjoy! Easy peasy! Club Monaco is a good source for dresses, and Jacob also has some great and inexpensive basics.
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Style
Spring Shoes To Love
February 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm 0
With the smell of fresh grass filling the air, little flower buds bursting through the moist soil, and the last drops of ice and snow slowly getting smaller and smaller there is something amazing that happens...girls can once again dream of wearing spring shoes outside. And dream away we do! Flats, open toed, heels, peep toes, in so many colors and so many different patterns and fabrics it can almost make a girl dizzy! And this Spring over at Nine West there are some gorgeous shoes that inspire all sorts of fashion dreams.

strappy spring sandals in metallic finished leathers

strappy spring sandals in metallic finished leathers

This stappy sandal, called Jiles, has a 4" heel and comes with gorgeous woven leather. It could go with pretty much anything, and at $120 with so much versatility seems to be a great wardrobe staple this Spring/Summer.

ninewest_spring10_2
These lovely and office appropriate shoes look fun, but can also look conservative based on what you're wearing. The 3.5" heels can give you some nice height. This shoe, called Yessa, sells for $120.

ninewest_spring10_3
These wedge sandals are perfect for going from day to night - they can look more work appropriate for day, and with a fun patterned dress look like the perfect dress to hit the patio with. These shoes are also pretty comfortable, so you can spend most of the day in them, running errands, doing work, or standing at a party and feel good. These shoes retail at $78, and are called Guinevere.
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Style
The Best Part of February – The Amazing Sales on Shoes!
February 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm 0
Here up North the winter is not fun. There's no point in saying it's lovely and fresh and blah, blah, blah - it just sucks. Plain and Simple. And by February most people are tired of the heavy jackets, winter boots, mittens and scarves. Even if you had nice things they've probably been ruined by the salty roads already. But, around this time of year something wonderful happens that offers a glimpse of hope for all the winter haters. All the shoe stores have amazing sales!

Shoes on sale at Aldo for $69 vs. the $125 original price

Shoes on sale at Aldo for $69 vs. the $125 original price

They have to clear out all the inventory from the previous year, so most stores have shoes on sale from 50-70% off! As long as choose a style that wasn't super trendy last year (and now outdated) you've scored yourself some great deals on beautiful shoes that are ready for spring wear, whenever the big thaw happens.
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Life
Delicious And Super Healthy South Beach Salad- Try This Tonight!
February 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm 0
A fresh take on an everyday salad

A fresh take on an everyday salad

We discovered this South Beach Salad when we were in the Florida Keys. It's so delicious and easy to make! Ingredients: 1 (6 ounce) can water-packed tuna or fresh grilled chicken 1/4 cup light yoghurt 2 tbsp curry powder handful of cashews 1/3 green pepper 1/3 cup chopped cucumber 1/3 cup chopped tomato 1/3 cup chopped avocado 1/3 cup chopped celery 2 cups freshly washed lettuce Dressing: 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Directions: Mix the tuna or chicken with the yoghurt, curry powder and cashews. Place lettuce on plate, put chicken or tuna in the centre, and then place the other vegetables around the plate. For the dressing mix the olive oil, limejuice, garlic, and pepper. Drizzle over the salad. Mix it Up! Feel free to use different vegetables and different types of lettuce. For a change you can put spices or sauces on your chicken or tuna. I used light yogurt and curry spices to make this chicken taste extra delicious, but feel free to expirement, as long as you choose low sugar and low fat options to keep it healthy.
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Life
The Secret to Extending the Summer
September 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm 0

This year our summer in Ontario was not so perfect. Until mid August the temperatures were well below our seasonal average, and we had so much rain it felt like we were in Vancouver! When the good weather finally hit the whole province seemed ready to celebrate. Here in Toronto people seem much happier, friendlier and positive. To get the most of this good weather I try to take in every morsel of sun and nice weather possible. And then I found the secret. Morning walks by the lake. During the week I set my alarm a little bit before my usual time. I pull myself out of bed, grab a coffee and take a nice long walk along the lakeshore. It's so nice to see the city before everyone has woken up. The air is still, the sun is white, and the grass is dewey. Joggers pass by, people walk their dogs, and the boats gently cut through the waves. I get half an hour extra of summer weather everyday. It's the perfect way to start the day.
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Life
Ice Cream Hater
August 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm 2
My name is Ingrid and I DO NOT LIKE ICE CREAM. Yes, that's correct, Chunky Monkey is not for me. It’s too rich and it makes me very thirsty. People are always shocked when I tell them this – a girl that doesn’t like ice cream?? Can anyone relate?
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Life
Seven Ways to Have Free Summer Fun
August 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm 0
Summer is here and it’s time to get active and enjoy the good life – but with this still slow economy some of us are not feeling like celebrating the change of seasons. Turn that frown upside down, there are several ways to enjoy summer fun for free this year.

1. Go to local festivals and street parades. In almost all towns and cities there are several free events around town that are fun to watch and cost nothing. My favourites are the jazz festivals, sandcastle contests and street parades. Instead of saying “oh I’d like to do XXXX this summer” or “we should go to XXXX this summer” put it on a list and get ‘er done! You’ll have summer memories that will last a lifetime. 2. Make outdoor picnics. You have to eat meals anyways, so make them into events and have them in local parks or at the beach. It will be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and you can also invite friends and family to join for extra fun. 3. Take regular after dinner walks in different neighbourhoods. I love the routine of tidying up quickly after dinner and just taking a nice stroll in a new area. It helps me clear the day out of my head and learn about a new neighbourhood. 4. Volunteer at a local charities special event this summer. You will be helping out the community, feeling good about yourself and maybe making some new friends. Success!

5. Become an outdoor photographer. Most of us have cameras and all the tools we need to discover a new hobby like photography so use it! Learn on the internet (free!) how to take great photos and use your newly acquired talents. When it’s chilly in the winter you can spend your time indoors organizing your photos into albums. 6. Visit all the local art galleries in your area. Free and oh so cultured! 7. Learn about astronomy and study the night sky. I love the idea of sitting outside, watching the stars, and dreaming of far off places – can it get more tempting?
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Travel
Siena: Italian Dream Part Five
August 3, 2009 at 4:35 pm 0
Siena After driving for five hours it was a relief to arrive in Siena. It’s a charming small city that has a rich history and amazing views of the Tuscan countryside from all sides. The city itself is perched atop a hill, and considering it’s known around the world and has many tourists, it still manages to maintain its small town feel. Walking around the city is a must, and given its size there is no need for a car, especially since most streets seem to be pedestrian only. There are lovely buildings to see, a great core to the city where they have famous bareback horse races each year, and a very relaxed feeling to the city. We went out for lunch with another couple and I had another outstanding meal. I wanted to try something very adventurous, and not the standard pasta or salad and antipasto, so I had pheasant roasted with pinenuts and raisins, and it was delicious. It was juicy and sweet and had a powerful combination of flavours that blended extremely well. As we drove out of Siena after our two days in the city it was time to face the sunset of our trip and prepare to come back to Canada. With so much moving around I didn’t realize all the places we’d visited and how alternating cities and countryside every two days had been the perfect combination. We got to enjoy a lot of exciting historical and cultural offerings in the city, but we also got to relax and recoup in the countryside. Not only did we see a ton, but we felt relaxed about our trip instead of frazzled from all the moving around. It’s the first time I’ve tried this format for a trip, and I’d recommend it to anyone, including my boyfriend for our next trip…….hmmmm….where to go?
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Life
Outdoor Entertainment
July 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm 1
Earlier in the summer I felt like I wasn’t having a summer. The weather didn’t help, but mostly it was because I spent most of my time in my office, with air conditioning and cubicle dividers, and nothing summery! Not one to rest on my laurels, I decided to seek outdoor activities that would be fun, and somehow convinced my friend to join me. I found an outdoor exercise class in this lovely local park in the evenings – it was just what I was looking for. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve started and I can see some changes in my physique, but that’s only part of the fun. There is the ride to class and all the chit chat along the way with my friend, the lovely clean smelling outdoor air, the joy of releasing work tension while doing push ups outside…and of course the laughs we give all the passer-byers who stop and watch twenty girls in tight outfits doing lunges and squats in a park. Sometimes they look confused, sometimes they smirk, and sometimes they stop, sit down and open a can of beer. Who said you need a tv for this kind of fun?
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Life
Summerbreak Substitution
June 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm 2
Last week I had a one day mini vacation. I woke up late, drank my coffee slowly and then took a long walk. As I was walking I looked carefully at how the leaves were moving gently with the breeze, the waves were rocking back and forth silently, and the sun was shining brightly casting light upon the lake. And then I realized, this is what it’s like to have extra time on my hands - to be able to see all the great things that happen around me daily, the same ones that I’m too focused on tasks and errands and work to actually notice. So I made a decision. This summer I’m going to live my weekends like I'm on a summer break, just like school children get every year. It's a little time out to step back and enjoy our lives, our families, our friends and all the great things happening around us that we’re too busy to notice.
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