Spring Outfit Inspiration

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Spring has finally sprung in Toronto, and one of my favourite things about the warmer weather is the outfits! It’s finally time to break out the colour, pretty blouses, and to ditch the winter coat. Cherry blossom madness recently hit the city, with hoards of people flocking to High Park, Trinity Bellwoods and other popular spots to get a glimpse of the pretty petals. I did venture one weekend to High Park, but was disappointed to find that the blossoms hadn’t fully opened yet. I had heard that Robarts Library near the U of T had some stunning trees of their own, so decided to stop by – it definitely lived up to the hype!

The outfit I styled below is an easy spring look, incorporating two trends I’m currently loving: off the shoulder tops and frayed denim. My favourite thing about this blouse (besides the pretty colour) is the sleeves – they add a feminine boho vibe to the look, perfect for the spring!

Top – Forever 21 / Frayed Denim – Zara / Blush Slip-Ons – Target

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CF Hello Spring!

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Spring is one of my favourite times of the year – after a seemingly never-ending winter, the sunlight and warmer weather are a huge breath of fresh air! I recently teamed up with CF Fairview Mall for a fun little video shoot featuring the stunning “Garden of Light” display they currently have featured at the mall.

The whole experience was pretty surreal for me, having worked a not-so-glamorous retail job at Fairview Mall myself in high school. Having the opportunity to film a video with them was beyond exciting (if not a little nerve wracking) and I had such an amazing time!

Check out the video below:

The Garden of Light

The interactive display features 1,600 LED flowers that light up to music, spreading the spirit of spring! The installation currently features light shows set to an upbeat soundtrack and the soothing sounds of nature. Shoppers can also activate the display with the touch pads featured in the video, or by using the hashtag #CFHelloSpring (this blew my mind!).

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I think what I miss most in the winter is colour – I love the beautiful flowers, green grass and bright shades I can inject into my wardrobe during the springtime! The Garden of Light does an amazing job capturing the colours, sounds and feeling of spring, and I love how it has the power to instantly brighten someone’s day. I saw so many people, families and children having a blast interacting with the installation, which made me smile!

The Outfit

To celebrate the season, I picked out a new outfit to channel my inner springtime goddess. Naturally, I gravitated towards a floral piece – this beautiful cold shoulder fit and flare dress from Dynamite with adorable shoulder cutouts. I paired the dress with a simple gold choker also from Dynamite, little rose gold hoops from Aldo, and a pair of chunky heeled sandals from Call it Spring.

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It felt SO good to release my legs from my winter uniform of sweats and Uggs! I feel like my closet comes alive in the spring, and this outfit made me so excited to start wearing cute dresses and skirts again for the warmer weather!

If you’re a spring lover like myself, definitely make time to head to CF Fairview Mall to check out the Garden of Light for yourself – I promise it’ll get you into the spring spirit and you won’t be disappointed!

Baddies Toronto

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Baddies is a hip little eatery located at 679 Lansdowne Ave in Toronto, serving up breakfast, brunch and lunch items Monday through Sunday. After seeing swoon-worthy snaps of this cafe on Instagram, I had to go check it out for myself!

When I first arrived at Baddies, I was surprised by how small the space actually was. The cafe runs on a “seat yourself” concept, with tables for around eight parties set up. If the restaurant is full when you arrive, you can choose to sit on the “bleachers” located at the back of the cafe until a table frees up, or you can even order your food to eat there. Food is ordered at the main counter where you pay ahead, and a server will bring it out to you when it’s ready.

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The atmosphere is quite casual and noisy (since the space is so small), but beautifully decorated with exposed white brick, marble accents, surf-themed wallpaper, and hints of greenery. I also loved how much natural light came into the cafe!

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I had the smashed avocado (with heirloom beet labneh, seasonal greens, sunflower seed, pickled beet, roasted persimmons on Prairie Boy sourdough) and added a fried egg as well as a side of bacon. For avotoast to really be a “wow” dish, it has to be executed well – and this version was delicious. The meal was filling and full of bold flavours and interesting textures.

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I paired my smashed avo with a matcha latte, which was equally tasty!

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My friend got the brekky roll (with cumbraes dbl smoked bacon, sunny egg, chimmichurri, tomato relish, and blood brothers IPA BBQ sauce), which she also enjoyed!

The menu offered some yummy sounding sweet options as well, but my friend and I both lean towards more savoury dishes. We laughed about how we wished one of us liked sweets so we could get a better picture! Overall I enjoyed my experience at Baddies and would return – just be prepared to wait for a table if you’re visiting on a busy Saturday like I did.

Winterlicious 2017 at Pukka

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I have mixed feelings about Toronto’s annual winter culinary event, Winterlicious. Each year I find myself debating whether or not the three-course prix fixe menus are worth it, or if I’d be better off just ordering off the restaurant’s regular menu. However I always do end up making it out to try a few restaurants. I wouldn’t normally order three different dishes for myself, and Winterlicious is a good way to sample more of the menu than I typically would.

This year’s event took place from January 27th – February 9th, and I did have time to visit a couple of places for their Winterlicious menus. The standout for me was Pukka, a modern Indian gem tucked away on St. Clair West. At $28, their dinner menu fell within the lowest of three price tiers offered through Winterlicious. I had previously visited Pukka with a friend and enjoyed my experience, but had not had a chance to sample any of their entrees.

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To start, I had the Pukka Chaat, a vegetarian dish I would say is similar to a salad, comprised of vegetable strings, rice crisps, pomegranate, green apples, mango, chutneys and yogurt. This was such a bright, fresh and delicious dish – the perfect start to a meal. According to Google, “Chaat” is a term used to describe savoury snacks served at food carts in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

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For my main, I had the Lamb Shank Xacuti, with coconut, red chili and fennel seeds. The dish came with basmati rice, but I also ordered some naan on the side. The lamb itself was extremely tender and fell off the bone, and the sauce that accompanied provided wonderful flavour with just the right amount of heat and a hint of ginger. This was an extremely large portion for the price point.

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I chose the Mango Mousse to end the meal, which was velvety, rich and full of sweet mango flavour. By this time I was absolutely stuffed, but could not stop spooning up mouthfuls of this dessert!

The atmosphere at Pukka is intimate, with candles and dim lighting throughout. Our server was super friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. If you’re thinking of trying it out, I’d recommend the restaurant for date night or visiting with a group of friends, as many of the dishes are great for sharing. What I loved most about the food at this place were the bold flavours – every bite was interesting and had me going back for more. I had an awesome Winterlicious experience at Pukka and will definitely return!

 

GIMME360°: Fashion x Tech x Philanthropy

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I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Toronto based apparel company GIMME360° and absolutely fell in love with the brand. While I’ve always supported companies that work towards driving change through charitable initiatives, I’ve never been able to see the actual impact my money has made past the point of purchase. This is where this company really sparked my interest.

GIMME360° sells technology enabled bamboo apparel that gives back to people all around the world by directly funding charitable initiatives, bringing clean water to developing countries. By tapping the GIMME360° logo on your apparel with your smartphone, you can see in immersive 360° video showing how your purchase makes a difference. Using Virtual Reality (VR) you’ll understand the story behind your garment, including the people you’re giving back to and the manufacturing of your product.

The hoodie I’m wearing in the photos below is just one of the awesome pieces available through GIMME360°’s Kickstarter campaign. Anti static, water resistant and anti pill (not to mention super soft and cozy!), this is pretty much the perfect sweater for every day. The best part? The coordinates on each garment directly correspond to the area helped by the charity you’re supporting.

Today is the last day of GIMME360°’s Kickstarter campaign! Check our their campaign page to learn more about the brand, their products and to support the company. GIMME360°’s current goal is to bring 300,000 people clean water with 1001 Fontaines and the United Nations.

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Thank you to the talented Josh Mankz (@joshmankz) for these beautiful photos!