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LIFESTYLE: How to Make Valentine’s Day Delicious

There’s nothing saintly about a Valentine’s Day well spent. Celebrating love is all about indulgence. So is eating, and so am I. As your guide to all things delicious, there’s nothing I love more than rounding up excuses for you to go enjoy something tasty. Toronto is overflowing with ways to treat your special someone, even if that someone is yourself! Here’s a taste of what should be on your plate for Valentine’s Day 2015.

1. Tiffin Boxes from SOMA Chocolatemaker

For the chocolate conneiseur in your life, SOMA’s got one of the coolest spins on the typical box of chocolates that I’ve ever seen. Based on an interesting meal service originally from Mumbai, Soma Chocolatemaker will pack a Tiffin Box with four tiers of sweet surprises for the apple of your eye this February 14th. Highlights of the box include ginger snap hearts, pomegranate prosecco truffles and white chocolate bark made from 5 types of berries and poprocks. Say it with me – chocolate bark with poprocks. 

Tiffin Box, $75, SOMA Chocolatemakers

2. Truffle Tasting Menu at Skin + Bones

SKINandBonesScenario: you sit down to a meal with one dish that has all your favourite ingredients, and another dish made with a bunch of things you’ve never heard of… topped with truffle.  I’ve had this good problem pop up a few times, and when confronted with how best to spoil myself, truffle just always makes sense. The team at Skin + Bones has taken it upon themselves to solve this problem for you and your valentine this year, but only up until Feb. 13. Though they do have a Valentine’s Day menu too, if you wanna be my lover, take me here before the big day. Because in addition to quail egg in the starter soup, there’s truffle. On top of ricotta gnudi, there’s truffle. In the white chocolate pot de creme, truffle poached pears. No one has ever been disappointed with an all truffle everything meal.

Truffle Prix Fixe Menu, $55 pp, Skin + Bones, 980 Queen St. E

3. Juice Cleanses

According to legend, there are some who only eat healthy things. If your beau is one of them you do still have options! Pick some sweets with natural sugars like the nutrient-packed juices from The Good Press or Juice Matters. With names like Jalle Berry (raspberry and Jalapeño) and hues like Ruby Tuesday (beet, carrot, apple, ginger, lemon), the lucky recipient will get the hint that your cold pressed offering comes from a warmer place. After all, love isn’t all truffles and poprocks.

Ruby Tuesday – The Good Press // Jalle Berry – Juice Matters, see websites for details.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Nicole Edwards

Photos courtesy of Soma Chocolatemaker, Skin + Bones, The Good Press, Juice Matters

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FASHION: Show Stopping Holiday Outfits

The holidays might be a month away, but we’re starting to hear the carols and collect the party invites. But before we can dance the night away, we have to find the perfect outfit, whether it’s a cocktail party or a fun-filled cookie exchange. We’ve gone through our closets and picked out a few of our favourites – without the ugly Christmas sweater. Whether you’re headed to a corporate party or a new years bash, you’ll be sure to sparkle and shine long after the clock strikes twelve.

Holiday - LBD
The little black dress should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe but there are many different silhouettes and styles to choose from. The LBD can be worn just about anywhere and can easily be dressed up or down with the right shoes and accessories. I love adding statement pieces (like a chunky bib necklace) to any LBD to complete the look.
(From left to right) Viscose Blend Dress, $50, Topshop at The Bay. Sequin Top Dress, $1695, Ted Baker. Embellished Overlay and Feather Dress, $865, BCBG Max Azria.

Holiday Accessories
With any outfit, you can easily make a statement with the accessories. The bigger, the bolder, the better. We love strong accessories, whether it be bib necklaces, fur collars or opera-length gloves. Accessories can change the whole look and take you from simple and subdued to show-stopping in a matter of minutes.
Crystal Bib Necklace with Beaded Detailing, $1100, Swarovski. Beaded Strappy Heels, $175, Barbie by Town Shoes at Town Shoes. Crystal and Palladium-Plated Clip Earrings, $340, Swarovski. Beaded Clutch, $50, Nine West. Fur Collar, $299, Danier. Leather Opera-Length Gloves, $79, Danier. Multi-Chain Bracelet, $115, Jenny Bird.
Holiday - Jumpsuits
If the LBD (or any dress for that matter) isn’t your thing, why not try a jumpsuit? Look sharp and sophisticated in a tailored one-piece that can be worn day-to-night. During the day, throw on a scarf and blazer, and in the evening, you can accessorize with heels and a clutch. Jumpsuits are a fun yet feminine alternative to the skirt or dress option.
Silver Cascade Bib Necklace, $208, Stella & Dot. Vegan-leather Clutch, $60, Nella Bella. Leather Two-Tone Heels, $100, ALDO. Polyester Blend Jumpsuit, $98, Express. Polyester Bandeau Jumpsuit, $115, Topshop at The Bay. Multi-Chain Necklace, $68, French Connection. Clutch, $225, House of Harlow 1960. Leather Cage Heels, $110, ALDO.

Holiday Metallic Menswear Inspired

I love menswear. We took some inspiration from the boys to create this dressed-up look that is still full of glitter and glitz. These separates can be worn anytime, whether it be to the office or out on the town. But when you put them together, they create a confident and sexy statement.
Polyester/Spandex Blend Blazer, $90, Minimum. Saffiano Leather Wristlet, $69, Danier. Silk with Lace Trim Camisole, $90, Wilfred at Aritzia. Leather Heels, $110, Nine West. Pearl and Gold-Plated Earrings, $209, Club Monaco. Pearl and Gold Spikes Bracelet, $64, Stella & Dot. Sequin Trouser, $325, Ted Baker.

I love the versatility of all of these pieces. No matter the occasion, you can easily transition from day-to-night, or even get a few wears out of an outfit by changing up the shoes and accessories. You can combine traditional pieces (like the LBD) with opera-length gloves for a classic look, or pair it with a multi-chain bracelet for something edgier. By mixing and matching, you’ll create your very own holiday look. Just don’t forget to dazzle this holiday season.

– Chenessa Lam

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FASHION: Yorkdale Celebrates Black Friday on November 28th (+ GIVEAWAY!)

SPONSORED POST

I love to shop. But the one thing I love more than shopping itself, is scoring a good deal. As I’m sure everyone knows, there are two days where the sales are huge: Boxing Day and Black Friday. Although the latter may be borrowed from our American friends down south, we aren’t going to let them have all of the fun. We’ve partnered with Yorkdale this Black Friday to get you the latest style scoop and you could win a $50 gift card!

Yorkdale

On November 28th, Yorkdale Shopping Centre is launching its full suite of services just in time to for the busy holiday season! This includes special shopping hours (7:00am-9:30pm on Black Friday and holiday hours will begin on Monday, November 17), Dine on 3 reservations, and the best part, the first 100 guests at Yorkdale will receive a $50 gift card (you can also win one below!). Here are a few of our favourite trends and some of the stores we will be visiting.

Style Empire - Trends, True Colours

Forget the blacks and greys, brighten up your wardrobe with a bold punch of colour. Whether it be a belted trench, oversized cocoon coat or wrap coat, these colourful coats are sure to keep you warm all season long.
Yellow Trench, $1995, Burberry London at Holt Renfrew. Pink 3/4 Sleeve Coat, $795, Pink Tartan at Holt Renfrew. Oversized Mohair Coat, $170, Topshop at The Bay. Deep Pink Wrap Coat, $525, Ted Baker.

Style Empire - Trends, Mad About Plaid

We may not be in the highlands but this season we’re seeing plaid everywhere. Whether it’s Buffalo Check, Tartan or Black Watch, plaid can be spotted on coats, tops, pants and accessories. You can opt for just one statement piece or mix-and-match a few.
Wool Blend Coat, $325, Wilfred at Aritzia. Red Acrylic Scarf, $90, Ted Baker. Twill and Leather Purse, $398, Kate Spade. White Plaid Blouse, $29, H&M. Black Leather Pumps with Oxblood Heel, $90, ALDO. Buffalo Check Pants, $305, Rag & Bone at Holt Renfrew.

Style Empire - Trends, Modern Militia

We’re paying homage to the soldiers and taking charge with military style – without the uniform. Statement pieces combined with bold hardware create a polished utilitarian look to ensure that you’re armed and ready for the season ahead.
Oversized Chain Necklace, $340, All Saints. Leather Phone Case with Chain Strap, $60, Rudsak. Quilted Leather Jacket, $599, Danier. Knee-high Leather Boots, $395, Rudsak.

New WingYorkdale Food Collection

While you’re holiday shopping, you might need a quick break. You might even want to drop your coat and bags off. To recharge, just download the Yorkdale App to reserve a table in Dine on 3. Free fruit-infused water and magazines also occupy the third-level food collection, which features 19 restaurants, including four of which are fully-licensed with table service. If your bags get heavy, you’ll want to swing by the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique where you can forget about lugging your coat and bags around. Here you can find coat and parcel check, a concierge service and a VIP Lounge and Café. On Black Friday, shoppers will also receive free gift wrapping for up to three packages. Throughout the holidays, the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique services are complimentary for all RBC Avion cardholders and are available to the public for a donation to charity.

November signals the start of the holiday shopping season, especially with Black Friday on November 28th. We will be celebrating at Yorkdale, mainly by eating and shopping to our heart’s content (or until the credit cards are maxed). To stay in-the-know, subscribe to Yorkdale’s e-blasts (subscribers are the first to receive details on this year’s Black Friday promotions) at www.yorkdale.com, or follow @YorkdaleStyle on TwitterFacebookInstagram or Pinterest. For your chance to win a $50 from Yorkdale and Style Empire, just use the widget below.

Goodluck and Happy Shopping!

– Chenessa Lam

*Please Note: This is a Sponsored Post

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#WMCFW Spring/Summer 2015: Day 3, Hayley Elsaesser

Forget the conventional. After a return from Australia, Canadian designer Hayley Elsaesser debuted her collection at World Mastercard Fashion Week with retro inspired silhouettes in fun and whimsical patterns that were “out of this world”. The collection was bright and vibrant with pastels combined with graphic intergalactic prints including planets and shooting stars as well as more unconventional imagery including a mix of hands, mouths and illustrations of women.

img_4083 img_4043 img_4025 img_3997 img_3973 img_3911 img_3871 img_3827 img_3790 img_3761 img_3734

We saw some 1960’s inspiration in the flared mini-skirts, wide-legged trousers, jumpsuits, cropped tops and graphic tees. Some of the graphics were repetitive, and very Warhol-like. It was a colourful show and Elsaesser definitely brings some fun onto the runway. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.

– Chenessa Lam

 Photographed by Paul Ross for
OPIQUE / Top of the Runway

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FASHION: Coveting Capes

There are a few style staples for this fall: leather boots, quality knitwear, and my absolute favourite, a good cape. Since I’m currently out of town, this week’s Style Snap is brought to you from sunny Italy! Even though the days are warm, the evenings cool down and once the sun sets, it’s time to reach for my cape.

image

Cape Jacket, Nasty Gal // Convertible Dress, Henkaa // Rope Necklace, ALDO // Vegan Leather Clutch, Nella Bella // Leather Sandals, Miss Sixty

There are few pieces that are easier to wear and more stylish than a cape. They’re perfect for layering and can be worn over almost anything. In Toronto, I often wear mine with jeans, a long sleeve and long leather gloves, or even over another jacket. But over here, I’m just throwing it over a lightweight dress.

Layering is huge for autumn as the weather can be temperamental. A cape is the ideal piece no matter what the occasion (from day to night, or work day to cocktail hour). It’s the perfect way to freshen up your fall wardrobe.

– Chenessa Lam

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