This was an event that I was beyond excited for: the Third Annual Vintage Prom, hosted at the Great Hall located at 1087 Queen Street West. I was so into it that I actually made my own dress (with the help of my nonna, of course) by tweaking a 1957 Vogue pattern to look like a gown Grace Kelly once wore. Read More
Archives for January 2017
Building off of yesterday’s post on following your passions, I mentioned that I have to finish my undergrad degree still (only a few more months to go!) in a subject I am merely interested in and not passionate about. Consequently, I have been debating where I want to go from there. Do I want to risk everything for a masters degree in creative writing and then try to find a job in my field? Or should I go to teacher’s college and have a relatively safe job teaching students about subjects I love (English and history, maybe psychology) while using my summer, winter, and March breaks to do what makes me happiest: writing.
When I hear the word ‘passion’, several things come to my mind: travel, music, and most of all, writing. These are the things that genuinely keep me sane and in all honesty, keep my mental health in check. However, as important as this fact is, that’s not the point of this article. In fact, as someone who thrives off of pursuing my biggest passion — writing — I decided to explore the importance of this in today’s post.
Aside from my imminent graduation date, another thing that I can reflect on is how I’ve managed to get to this point in time without having to give up eating out; the occasional new outfit; concerts; theatre and ballet; or travel… That is, without the need to sell my body on the streets, get a sugar daddy, or auction off my non-vital organs on the Black Market (I’m not knocking it, I just wouldn’t personally try it). There are times where I’ve wanted to just bite the bullet and not spend any money in order to avoid working while going to school — and I actually did do that during my third year — but it just doesn’t work out very well. Thus, I came to the conclusion that I simply would have to find a balance between working enough to have the money to do the things I wanted to do while also leaving enough time for classes; readings; and studying. Sounds simple enough, right?
Let me begin simply by saying that the Toronto CityPass is definitely worth the money spent, if you are visiting Toronto. Last July, my cousins from Edmonton came to visit and we immediately set out to get the pass, so that I could take them touring around the city. You save a total of (just more than) 40% off regular general admission price for five of Toronto’s top attractions, places I would definitely recommend visiting if you’re coming to the city: (1) CN Tower, (2) Casa Loma, (3) the Royal Ontario Museum, (4) Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, and (5) the Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre.
*Full recipe at bottom of the post*
Picture-perfect French macarons are something my friend of eighteen years (and food blogger extraordinaire) Vanessa and I like to talk about whenever the topic of Paris comes up — which is more often than one may imagine. Because of this, we’ve been planning to attempt making them ourselves for quite some time now, especially since I came back from my trip to Paris this past October. The fact that I’ve so often read that they are difficult and tedious to make; break easily; and don’t always rise to a smooth and beautiful shell has been a longtime deterrent, but I finally decided that putting it off wasn’t going to improve my macaron-making skills any sooner. So, we picked a date and met up with out macaron mats, read to go.
As per Netflix, the plot of their original series “Medici: Masters of Florence” is as follows: After his father’s murder, banking heir Cosimo Medici battles opponents of his artistic, economic and political visions for 15th-century Florence. Starring: Richard Madden, Dustin Hoffman, Stuart Martin.
They had me at “starring Richard Madden” (hello, Robb Stark!), but the fact that it’s based in 15th century Florence… Well, I’m a sucker for historical movies and shows almost as much as I am for Madden’s face, so I immediately downloaded the series onto my phone to watch on my breaks at work. I had faith in this show, especially after I saw what an amazing job Netflix did with “The Crown”. Unfortunately, though Madden delivered in terms of physical appearance (you can’t really mess that up), the show overall was not as good as it could have been.
It’s easy to become caught up in the day to day busy lives that we all lead, where work (and education, for some of us) become the key points in which our existence revolves around. It can be genuinely difficult to find time to keep with our friends in the midst of all this, but I think it’s pivotal to do so. This may not mean having all of your friends together at once, but rather, small groups of them or one-on-one time instead. Typically, in addition to whatever I do for my birthday, I have all my closest friends together at my family’s annual skate in Mississauga, but this year circumstances had only a few able to come (thankfully, my two friends I get to see the least were able to make it). This was fine by me, since I’ll be actively arranging times to meet up with my other friends in the near future.
As I sat down to start this post, the first thing that popped into my mind is: What isn’t there to write about Parisian breakfasts? That is, I think it will be quite difficult to narrow down into mere words the utter bliss of starting off your day so perfectly. While in Paris, I would begin my mornings waking up and thinking, Today I won’t have a big breakfast. I’ll take it easy this morning and save room for lunch. Lunch being a meal I usually only felt peckish for, if I ate at all (mainly because I ate enough to feed a small army for breakfast, but that’s beside the point).
There were a few favourite spots we came across while traversing the city, mainly Le Liège right outside of Liège métro station on Rue d’Amsterdam, right there on the corner. The waitstaff were very friendly and pretended not to notice my lack of Parisian accent, the awkwardly articulated French (unlike so many other Parisians who will haughtily announce, Je ne comprends pas… Yeah, right. Vous me comprenez) while I listed off what I wanted for breakfast: some days eggs folded over chunks of cheese and topped with fresh prosciutto; a soft, buttery croissant; a steaming fresh baguettes; and freshly pressed orange juice, while other days a veggie cheese sandwich on thickly sliced bread with a side salad drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and freshly pressed pineapple juice was the choice. But always, always, always accompanied with chocolat chaud. Hot cocoa actually was the epitome of my mornings. I felt impaired to tour about if I hadn’t yet had my morning hot chocolate. It’s truly one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted, and I was in withdrawal (and still am) every day since I’ve returned back to Canada at the end of October. I had bought the French processed cocoa powder at a market while I was there and brought it home with me along with whatever other foods I could cram into my suitcase. and it tastes nearly as divine. I mean, as wonderful as it can without fresh French milk. Now I’m hoarding it in the corner of the kitchen cupboard until I feel I deserve a ration.
This is what my mornings consisted of, even in other little cafés around the hotel by Liège station, out by the Place de la Concorde (a little food truck selling sandwiches and hot drinks), or the Jardin du Luxembourg (Le Cercle Luxembourg). I tried to fill my mornings with as much eggs, bread, hot cocoa, and cheese as humanly possible. Really, it’s not so different from my life in Toronto, just about a billion times more flavourful.
If there is one place I can recommend traveling to, even if only for its breakfast: go to Paris and fill your mornings with amazing food. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
It’s bittersweet, roaming the campus hallways to what you know will be your last term of undergraduate classes. Of course, I’m beyond excited to complete my degree (in fact, I am so tired of learning about psychology, I would gladly not take a look at any clinical study for the next couple of years) and to have accomplished something that had its difficult moments. However, I’m also somewhat sad about it, too.