I miss the Warmth

So I'm back from Arizona and it was fantastic. My goodness, but Sedona is lovely. The red rocks are just stunning. The weather was warm and sunny, the food (although gigantic portions) was tasty. We only had ONE bad meal the entire trip. It has been officially proven that my sense of direction is great, even if I have trouble reading a map. The cherry on the cake though was meeting Dominic Cooper at customs in Toronto. I was urged on by my mum to beg a picture which he happily complied, he was very nice. Oddly enough I noted that he smelled really good too. Excuse my very red face, I had a lot of carry on luggage and had to wear my winter coat with the heat on high (it was like a savanna in the airport)


Well Read

A side project of sorts that started with me wanting to read all of Austen's works (which I finished last summer) I've opted to work towards becoming 'well read'. Though I have no actual definition for this, I think I'm headed in the right direction. Last year I read all of Austen's works (the six major novels as well as her uncompleted works, and juvenilia) I finished the Three Muskateers, The Count of Monte Cristo and the Black Tulip making me even more in love with Dumas than ever. I versed myself in children's literature by helping my sister with her course during the summer (The Wind in the Willows, The Princess and the Goblin, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Matilda, and many others). This year had started out well, I finished War and Peace, signed up for a group read of Dostoevsky, have the D'Artagnan Romances all lined up for me to finish and I picked up a couple of Frances Burney's works which I can't wait to dig into. Any suggestions for reaching my well read goal? I know I'll never be fully well read, but hopefully it will help keep my mind sharp post-undergraduate.


Noor Boutique

176 Cumberland Street

Rating: 5 out of 5
This great little boutique underneath the Four Seasons Hotel on Avenue and Cumberland street is the only place I'll buy perfumes in Toronto. The owner is so nice and lovely. She goes out of her way to make sure you get what you want, freely giving out samples with every purchase. Lines carried are L'artisan, Penhaligans, Diptyque and a few others. They're currently working on getting a website up and running. But if you're in the Yorkville area give this place a visit.

Noor Boutique


84, Charing Cross Road

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is a lovely story told through a series of letters between the Author who lived in New York City and a London bookshop. Fed up with horrid looking paperbacks she writes the staff at Marks & Co looking for inexpensive but good quality hardbacks. This takes place after WWII and as she gets to know the people in the shop, she starts to take an active role in their lives from across the ocean. She sends care packages full of foods that are not readily availible, nylons and the sorts of things in short supply in London at the time. This is a very quick read, only about 100 pages or so and the letters are generally short. But it is a lovely story and definatly has earned it's place on my books about books shelf.


R.E.D.S Bistro

77 Adelaide Street West

Price: Expensive
Rating: 4 out of 5
R.E.D.S was part of the winterlicious special so I took advantage of a chance to try someplace I would normally never be able to afford. The fixed price cost was $45 a person, plu 18% gratuity so around $60. Seeing as it normally runs around $200+ a person this was a great deal. The bread basket was mini white baguettes with a white bean, garlic and olive oil spread (it had the consistency and taste of whipped pate) For the starter I had the seafood cataplana, which had chorizzo, clams a shrimp in a tomato saffron ragout. It was presented in mini le crueset dishes with yummy toasted cheese bread on the side. For the main I had the beef tenderloin with oie Gras (my first try of Foie Gras) with a roast potato (yes singular) and some roasted vegetables (carrots, brussel sprouts, ect). The meat and Foie Gras was Delicious, the vegetables where good if a little on the sparse side. The Foie Gras was like butter, it was so tender and Delicious. For desert I chose the apple crumble with vanilla bean gelato. I was a little disappointed with this one, the apple crumble was cold. It would have been improved greatly if it had been warmed. I also sampled the deflated chocolate souffle, which tasted like a light chocolate cake. Nothing to write home about.

I would most like never come back here despite the wonderful menu. It's location (the financial district) and prices are what keep me away. If you can drop $200+ on a meal, I'd recommend this place whole heartily. The staff was friendly and answered any and all questions we had about the meal (plus they split our bills up again after we forgot to tell them in the first place. No mean feat with 5 of us) Complimentary coat check is also a plus. The washrooms where clean, if a little crowded with only two stalls. I can see this being an issue if the place was busy. All in all a great experience though.


Costes by Costes

Now, a perfume from a hotel would not normally attract my attention. But Costes by Costes was created by Oliva Giacobetti, who happens to be my favourite nose. I bought the small splash bottle ($20 at noor boutique, sold out at luckyscent) and boy am I glad I did. Costes is a spicy-herbal woodsy scent with a nice heavy hand of incense. One of the sexist perfumes I own (well, I think all my perfumes are sexy but still) I'll eventually doll out the money for a full bottle, but for now the splash bottle is just perfect for travelling.


lavender, bay-tree, coriander, white pepper, rose, incense, woods and light musc

Luckyscent Description

Direct from the ultra-hip Hotel Costes in Paris comes this very limited offering. Costes is dark, sultry, warm and mysterious. This French-kissed eau de toilette perfectly balances woods and rare spices to create a devastatingly sexy first impression.



Winterlicious (a Summerlicious) is anticipated with great joy for the foodie community of Toronto. What is it you might ask? Well, it where super expensive ($100+ per person per meal) restaurants do a fixed price menu, three courses for two weeks. This year I'm lucky enough to be trying two such restaurants (Reds and Annona in the Hyatt) Reds I'm tagging along with my mum and her friends and Annona with my friend B. The main reason to be going to Annona is the Pumpkin Creme Brule. Will report back with reviews of the food and the places.



Even though he might be a sub-par actor, it still breaks my heart that my dream man Hugh Dancy is engaged to Claire Daines.


What a Long Strange Trip it's Been...

Well November was a hard month, and so was December. January was filled with antipathy, but with spring around the corner (6 weeks according to our rodent friend) I find my fingers itching. Itching to share what I'm reading where I'm going and what I'm interested in. It also helps that in exactly 5 sleeps I'll be in sunny Arizona for 1.5 weeks and then seven days after I get back in NYC with C and N. Still haven't applied for my British Visa, but as I've postponed any moving to a new country until next January (my credit cards need paying off first) I'm in no rush. I still hate my job, but it's OK. I'm only there in this location for 3 more months (pretty much one of which I'm away for) and then I'm back home with my mum. This summer/fall I intend to volunteer my little butt off to spruce up my resume (the local library, an arts festival and my sisters school) as well as a new part time job working for the Learning Centre for some extra cash. I'm getting organized and starting to pull myself out of this cycle of depression. This blog may change a bit in content, maybe less fashion and more books. But the heart is still the same.