Monday, June 17, 2013

drake store + the bay - a store grows

Do you remember this photoshoot at the Drake Store from years ago?

Well, I was excited to be invited to the grand opening of the pop up Drake Store in The Bay at Eatons Centre. It was surprising that the same indie gift store that inspired us to create a photoshoot would be paired with a mega-retailer like the Bay, but the Drake Store's vision and the Hudson Bay company fit together nicely. The Drake Store brought more fun, and eclectic version of Canadiana to the Bay. If I had to describe the store, I would use the word 'handmade'. Jay Pooley, a local architect who designed and hand made the displays and interior (no pre fabricated designs here, folks) met the challenge of a polished, indie look. I also met Joyce, one of the co-owners of store who was proud to have something for everyone, and watch the Drake Store grow to multiple locations. It's not every day you meet the talented people behind the magic. Oh also, tons and tons of bloggers and friends of friends arrived thanks to Dominka (digital media outreach extraordinaire.) So many creative people in one place.

Below are some awesome people with amazing style, and some of my favorite things.
Salad bowl, heart to heart.
 Chrys, manager of menswear Lost and Found, and...

... her stunning tattoos
Free drinks (my lemonade in the photo rimmed in sugar)

Clever gifts that set their own scene (with the camera just because...)

Blogger Hawley from
and her blue shoes
And souvenirs for the traveller at heart

Saturday, January 19, 2013

sunshine in montreal: sights at sites

One thing I loved about Montreal is that there are so many awesome tourist sites that I would visit regularly if I lived in the city. Unlike Toronto, where some of the biggest tourist attractions, Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, or a really weird double decker sight seeing bus, are sights that Torontonians never go to.

A typical day of the trip:
1. Wake up.

2. Decide to take the subway, or walk it in the cold.. 

 3. Despite the freezing cold -20 C temperature, the walking option usually won. This is Jon's footstep, next to mine. I think this might be two left feet... lol.
But check out the cool architecture of the city. It's a refreshing change from Toronto's mishmash, right. These photos are all on a walk to Mont Royal.

4. Then finally get to the location!
Traveling is funny... most of the time is just spent trying to get there, but it's always worth it.


5. Sort of rinse and repeat. The images below are from the Notre-Dame Basilica, apparently, among the most dramatic in the world. It did not dissappoint. 


6. Often, we'll end the night in Old Montreal for some delicious food. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

sunshine in montreal: food

Sad confession: (story of my life?) as a Canadian citizen for over ten years, Montreal is the first major city I've visited outside of Toronto. I mean, I went to New York City before Montreal. So I was extremely excited about the mecca of Canadian comfort food. Jon and I dedicated a day to sampling amazing food since it was all clustered around one area. Although I didn't try the poutine (sacre bleu!), I experienced first-hand the well-deserved hype over Montreal smoked meat sandwiches, bagels, desserts, and unexpectedly, SUSHI. (whaaa, sushi?)

Let me say that the Jewish people have perfected smoked meat.  Schwartz's is a classic, and cluttered deli, established over 80 years ago on Rue St. Laurent. Their simple sandwich of bread, meat, and mustard just melts in your mouth - like your tongue is being tickled and kissed by deliciousness.There is always a line up, so I recommend heading in before the lunch hour rush. Also, Montreal is much colder than Toronto, which is all the more reason to go early and avoid the nippy weather.

Jon waiting in line at Schwartz's deli
Jon and I. The 'tall' waiter laughed after the photo was taken. He told us he jumped up just to appear taller in the image.
Beauty's: Beauty's is also an old school diner, very much like Franz in Toronto, with a narrower menu of breakfast classics. They offer an amazing Montreal bagel, which is smaller, denser, and more delicious versions of Toronto's bagels.
Graphic menu cover
Maple syrup.. irresistible

Montreal bagel, toasted and buttered

Juliette et Chocolat:
It's an entire bakery and dessert shop dedicated to chocolate. Yes. Below is the fleur de sel brownie, covered in caramel with a cafe au lait. Best brownie of life - because it was soft, dense, and not cake-like at all. Jon took a small bite of the caramel sauce, and felt an immediate sugar headache. Sigh, I'll miss this place. But it's best not to have the crack house near your home.
A cool gift idea - chocolate in lipstick casing.

Oh, and of course, happy new years eve! Sending you great vibes for 2013 =)