Toronto - Editors' Diary
December 5th, 2013
We celebrated all things sparkly at the opening of DeBeers first Vancouver store.
Diamonds for breakfast - what can be better than that?
1088 Alberni Street Vancouver. http://www.debeers.com/
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December 5th, 2013
The brand initially made famous for its city of neighbourhoods themed hats, (I'm sure you've see the 'Queen West', 'Parkdale', and 'Summerhill' tuques around town), has rolled out the full line for you to enjoy in person. Ahhh the Tuck Shop Trading Co. I've been a frequent visitor to the site, and couldn't wait to see the cottage coats in person.
From now until Sunday, the company has set up shop in the recently relocated Love the Design, a new Summerhill design staple. The two brands complement eachother so well, that it's a shame they're not a permanent pairing.
I essentially look like a camp counsellor 90% of the time, so why not embrace it and go all the way? These camp inspired goodies, designed by former camp counsellor Lyndsay Borschke, are amazing. The second you put the cottage coat on - you start looking for a woodpile to destroy. But you're going to have to settle for petting her gorgeous pup, who is also on site today.
The Ossington hat is my daily staple, and it's on my gift-buying list for essentially everyone I know. It's cashmere, it's gorgeous, and it's 30% off at the pop-up (until Sunday).
For those of you who like to party in good company, they are having a launch event tonight from 5-7pm, where you can meet the designer, try on some new duds, and see what's coming for Spring (Muskoka hats!!). I wish these were available for the holidays, but as they're much lighter in weight, I guess it makes sense to wait :)
Happy hunting my friends,
Love the Design, 1226 Yonge Street
Photos by Katherine Holland
November 27th, 2013
Shopping online is not for the disorganized. For those of you looking to get that extra special gift for the ones you love, you need to get your orders in by the end of this week to guarantee delivery by the holidays. And Black Friday won't hurt shipping costs.
I know it's hard to fathom getting all of your shopping done online - but I've been getting better and better at it every year, and it makes the holidays that much more interesting! Packages arrive everyday - and although the *ahem* vast majority of them are not for you, getting packages is just fun, damnit. Beautiful pre-wrapped packages arriving at your door, filled with things you know your friends and family will love. How is that not better than a mall lineup?
I ask my pals to make me an Etsy wishlist. They login to their accounts and *favourite all the odd bits and bobs they love for their house/head/feet, and I get a good idea of where to start.
A lot of times I will customize my seach criteria to only match Toronto sellers if I'm worried about long delivery times. It's also really nice to know you're supporting local craftspeople that you run a pretty good chance of meeting one day.
Etsy has brought us crocheted anatomical hearts on our tree as ornaments, florentine trays on our side tables, customized Santa sacs, handmade scarves, gorgeous mobiles in the baby room, retro wallpaper, and birth stats pillows made for our friends new babes. One of my all time favourite things to gift is customized tableware. This year I found custom plates from Prairie Hills Pottery- made from your mums hand written recipes. Heaven! You just send in a shot of the recipe...
I believe in you. You can do this. Make this years gifts personal.
November 22nd, 2013
I'd heard some talk of a new hotel that had quietly opened on Queen West. Perched by John St, and perfect for a night that went later than expected. The Beverley has 16 rooms, an incredible menu created by Eric Wood, and today - some Icelandic talent.
I was invited to a secret gig, Unnstein from Retro Stefson, Hermigervill and Sigga and Hogni from Hjaltalin played to a limited list of 40 people, and they were really, bloody great.
Hogni looks like a futuristic vampire rockstar, but has a voice that's soft and ethereal. When Sigga was asked about her favourite 'hidden treasure' in Iceland, she told us all about a place where the sand is pure white, and the only shop for miles is a patisserie. Iceland just moved to the top of the must visit list.
The event was thrown as part of the Inspired by Iceland effort, to share some of the best Iceland has to offer. With Iceland-inspired fare, gorgeous music, and an enthusiastic crowd, I got to enjoy the new hotel space in its glory.
Although I can't say I ever really hotel in my own city - I'll be back here for lunch in the window seat as soon as I can.
Fabulous food, fabulous find, all around.
Photos by Katherine Holland
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November 20th, 2013
The first time a Snackbox landed on the Vitamin Daily doorstep, our Editor-in-chief, Sarah Bancroft, was working the midnight oil and got first crack at it (we heard raves about the chocolate-covered kale…).
So it became clear, when the Snackbox arrives, only one rule applies: you snooze, you lose. With a monthly shipment stocked with favourites and tasty new treats, “dibs” has become an important word around the office. This month, this is what we are digging (and digging into).
Kind Bars: We love how easy-to-find and tasty these bars are (and we’re in good company – Gwyneth Paltrow has raved about them as well! This month’s selection is dark chocolate cherry cashew (a definite anti-oxidant booster). Like all of its bars, this is all natural, gluten-free, non-GMO and packed with protein and fibre.
King Island Coconut Milk: Our managing editor Maria is a coconut water fiend, and this takes it to the next level. Combing the rehydration benefits of young green cocnut with the delicious, dairy-free milk from brown coconuts, this is an afternoon treat that hits the sweet tooth spot.
GimMe Organic Seaweed Snack: Our Western Sales Manager Samira was first to the box, and first to get her mitts on the Gimme Organic Seaweed Snack. Grown in a protected bay in Korea, this brand has 50+ years of organic certification.
Mary’s Gone Crackers Chocolate Chip Cookie: Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free. That’s what we call a guilt-free trip to Cookietown.
Home Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: A girl can never have too many cookies, especially when they are all natural, kosher and made with gluten free oat flour.
Brothers All-Natural Pear Fruit Crisps: Just because our fruit dehydrator is tucked back (ok, way back) in the cupboard doesn’t mean we love dried fruit any less. This baby packs 1 ½ pears in every package, just throw it in your purse and go!
Nature’s Path Q’ia Superfood Cereal – Cranberry Vanilla: This super cereal is packed with superfoods like chia, hemp and buckwheat (which makes for a super morning). Just 2 tablespoons of cereal added to your smoothie or stirred into your breakfast yogurt pack a powerful punch.
Brookside Dark Chocolate Fruit: A little bit of chocolate a day is just dandy – especially when it’s smooth dark chocolate and covers a fruit juice piece made with acaia, blueberry and other select fruit juices. It would be downright irresponsible not to eat them.
Rocket Food Appleberry Oatmeal: Oatmeal does a body good, but not when it’s loaded with sugars. That’s why we love this wholesome snack that’s free from the top 10 allergens. The most important meal of the day, done.
Dan-D Pak Macadamia Sea Salt: The crunchy, salty taste of macadamia nuts is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. And the fact that these little ones are full of brain boosting essential fatty acids makes snacking on them pretty smart.
Angie’s Kettle Corn: If you want to get your co-workers in to your office, and quickly, open a bag of kettle corn. Bring it out at the next meeting and you’ll have everyone’s full attention.
Discover the experience of opening a curated box of the most delicious snacks on the planet. Each Snackbox contains a mixture of sweet, savoury, chewy, and crunchy snacks. All snacks are nutritionist-approved and taste great.
Join Snackbox today at www.getsnackbox.com
Use code VITAMINDAILY and get $15 Off your First Box
Code expires Dec 15 2013. Valid for new customers only.
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November 15th, 2013
Like the old story goes: small town girl is discovered in a mall in her hometown of Nebraska and grows up to be on of the most successful models... ever.
Well, maybe we don't all know that story, but in the case of Ashley Graham, it's all true.
For the first time ever, this gorgeous femme has teamed up with Canadian brand Addition Elle and created a 14-piece lingerie collection.
“I was looking to create pieces that I would want to see in my own closet. More of my style, vintage, luxurious. Whether it was the size of the bow or the type of crystal - every little detail was selected carefully and thoughtfully”
The collaboration has been in the works for over a year now (did you know there are 16 separate pieces that make up a bra?) and there will be two more capsule collections to look forward to!
We love how Addition Elle has created an inclusive environment across their 123 Canadian retail stores (that are more like one-stop-shop mini department stores). Emphasizing the importance of the customer experience and feeling comfortable (and sexy) in her lingerie.
So comfortable in fact, one woman was comfortable enough to walk through the store in just her bra and comfortable enough to be filmed by Ashley’s husband! (Don't be alarmed, he's a director of photography.)
Ashley, a long-time lingerie model, shared a few of her fit tips.
Tips for fits:
- You want to use the first claps and move it back as the bra wears
- If you’re spilling over go down a size in the band and up in the cut
- To test your bra fit, place two fingers at the back of your bra and pull. if it goes beyond 2 inches its too big
Follow Ashley on Twitter @theashleygraham and shop her lingerie collection at Addition Elle now.
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November 15th, 2013
The Isabel Marant for H&M collection is finally here and, when it comes to shopping this hot designer collaboration, the competition is extreme. Here are a few tips to avoid walking away empty handed:
#1 Grab First, Think Later
After lining up in the cold and earning my numbered wristband (#124, despite having arrived at the 7pm pre-shop event for 6:45pm), I felt seriously motivated to lay down my credit card. What's worse, I spent the 45 minute wait surrounded by women hoping to scoop the very same leather pants and oversized coats as me - according to overheard conversation, that is - so as I neared the front of the line, panic set in. Groups of 30 were permitted to shop the designated racks together and as I made my way, suddenly I found myself grabbing pants in multiple sizes, boxes of jewelry without even seeing the contents, and novelty items that I wasn't even in the market for.
When it comes to shopping, the competitive beast comes out, but everyone else is doing it, so snatch what you can and then find reason in a dark corner of the men's section once you've been dismissed from your 10 minute allotment amongst the Marant. There's also zero shame in buying and returning.
#2 Look Outside Your Designation
Speaking of the men's section, that happens to be where I scooped up a great sweater. And then I hit up the kids section and found a fiddler cap. What? I have a small head and like my knits oversized, so why not benefit from the two designated sections that were still rich with merchandise rather than fight the quick fingers and cut-eye in womenswear?
#3 Scope Out The Cash Register
My favourite item came to me as I was pulling out my wallet and a sales associate walked out from behind the register holding a rack's worth of discarded merch. Many shoppers intend to purchase with single price tags in mind, but once those items add up, the total requires a rethink. As a result, pieces pile up behind the cash desk, waiting to be run back on to the floor and it's fair game to get in there and see what's for grabs.—Laura Lanktree
November 11th, 2013
Holiday collections are hitting the stores, and our eyes are on everything short — you know, things that bring attention to our legs.
This holiday season, we will be borrowing from some of our favourite celebs (Gwyneth, of course!) and embracing the short suit. It’s sharp and smart, yet still formal enough for the hipper (less stuffy) of the holiday parties.
Going bare-‐legged requires a lot of thought, especially in winter. Our legs are most likely pasty pale -‐ a blank canvas for every single tiny imperfection. Like those pesky varicose veins some of us develop in our 30s — like we didn’t have enough to worry about.
Witch hazel is proven to help diminish the appearance of varicose veins by reducing the inflammation of the vein. And now, there is a cream for that! New Varicose Vein Cream by Canadian brand LivRelief is not only powered with witch hazel (smells lovely, by the way), but also their trademarked delivraTM system, which allows six times the absorption. If our math is correct, those unsightly varicose veins will be fading away faster than we can pick which suit to wear.
Do we want to be Gwyneth, Kate, Eva, Miranda, Diane, or Amanda? And the shoes? Gwyneth’s open-‐toes booties, or Amanda’s sexy pumps? One thing’s for sure: they all have great stems.
P.S. Remember to exfoliate and moisturize before heading out into the night.
We’ve got a $10 off coupon for any LivRelief Pain, Nerve or Varicose product, redeemable either online at www.livrelief.com, or at participating retailers such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and Walmart. Enter the code ORR#4 online or print off the coupon (find it on Facebook here) to redeem. Enjoy!
November 7th, 2013
Down on the corner of Bay and Wellington, there's a man smashing desks with a sledge hammer. No need to sound the alarm, however: Toronto-based artist Justin Broadbent is deconstructing the office staple to promote Microsoft's new Office 365 platform.
In order to push the software's "work from anywhere" cloud features, the tech company commissioned Broadbent to bring his hands-on approach to their #ditchthedesk campaign. As a multi-disciplinary artist whose breadth of work runs from creating Metric's Juno Award winning album art to curating AGO's Massive party two years running, Broadbent is perhaps best known for his freestyle installation pieces.
Familiar elements like spray paint, cats, and the number 81 are peppered throughout the orange Office 365 platform, but the artist's main intention is to tear down used office desks and transform the wood and parts into sculptures. Not without a touch of irony, Broadbent is doing what he does best by poking fun at the idea of an artist taking over white collar run Bay Street. A spray painted "Bank -> see" points to the towering RBC building behind the installation, while "Oooh Gary you make some fine art" decorates the opposing wall.
Is it time for the suits to embrace an artist lifestyle and get up out of their desk chairs, then? Judging by the crowds gathered to see Broadbent bounce around with a paint brush, the idea certainly seems intriguing.
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October 30th, 2013
One of the best ways to start a Monday, hands down, is tasting the iconic Veuve Clicquot sparking wines.
Since 1977 the French champagne house has created beautiful blends. Chef de Caves, or Cellar Master, Dominique Demarville shared his wisdom, and many years experience, as he walked us through the different sparking wines.
The 2004 La Grande Dame has a distinct brioche taste, with hints of sweet and spicy. These flavours are more coming in the vintages and are developed over time. Champagne flutes are wonderful for quick sips and cheers, however this glass is new on the market and is perfect for spending some time with your wine.
Save those corks. Each cork is labeled with specific code, and we have the trick to decipher them: supplier / year / semester (jul aug batch).
Key takeaways for the smart buyer:
2012 was a great year for the Meunier (aka the wedding wine who's flavour balances out the bolder pinot noir and chardonnays)
Blends are put through a meticulous blind taste test by 8 discerning palates and are judged based on finesse and elegance, body structure, and ageing potential.
Ideal temperatures for serving: 8 degree's for the Yellow Label and 12 degrees for la Grand Dame.
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