Jul 23, 2010

Obsession - Nervous System

Meet Nervous System, my new jewelry obsession. I crave their earnings and necklaces in all patterns. They are just so beautiful and so unique and so delicate and timeless... Stainless steel and 24K gold-plated models are available in almost all items. Read more about the concept here.


Jul 22, 2010

Orla Kiely

My co-worker Ashley was wearing this amazing colorful bag the other day. It was a coated canvas tote by Orla Kiely, a British designer who makes bags, some clothing, and accessories in leather and fabric. The best part is that her bags are sold in Canada and US for a fraction of the UK price. Anthropology carries a selection, as well as Amazon - I found this beauty there for only $168 US.


Jul 21, 2010

I Got...

A gift from me to me... This sheep leather Juicy Couture bag at ssense.com. $500, on sale for $300. Love it!

Summerlicious Part II - Pangaea

My second Summerlicious adventure took me to Pangaea on Bay Street. This upscale downtown restaurant is famous for its international fusion cuisine made with the locally sourced ingredients. Unlike Canoe, booking at Pangaea was a breeze and my taste buds were anxious for some serious action.

Pangaea is a beautiful space full of light and subtle decorative accents. A nature-inspired centerpiece in the middle of the dining area is made out of a tree brunch. It's very clean and almost weightless, emphasizing airiness and size of the room. A great piece of wall art across from the entrance is also low key but memorable. Pangaea is perfect for a business lunch or a conversation with an old friend over dinner. The atmosphere is warm and intimate and not at all pretentious. You'll feel equally comfortable wearing Valentino or Gap.

I will skip all the "got there-was seated-just some water please" blurb and get straight to the point - the menu. A full selection of fine dishes is available for those who are not into prix-fix lunches and my curious eyes have noticed a $20 sandwich and a $800 bottle of sweet wine. I am again grateful for the opportunity the Summerlicious is giving us - I would never set my foot in to this resto if not for the great $20 deal. Ilonka gets in a few minutes after me and we quickly decide on what to get. The order is taken and fresh bread with beat butter is served. This time the pre-meal carbs come out of a large communal basket and we get two slices each. The butter is light in texture but full of flavor.

I order grilled calamari for appetizer, and Ilonka gets a soup du jour that happens to be cream of carrot and ginger. The calamari is easily the best I've ever had thanks to their tender chewy texture and rich savory souse. Ilona's soup looks great too - bright orange with red pepper shavings in a snow white plate. It's almost art!

For the main I get a leg of lamb and Ilona gets muscles in coconut souse. Again, both dishes are delicious, although mine is not enough to feed even a cat. I love the presentation as well - Ilona's muscles are arranged on the plate by someones' careful hand.

The desert comes right after along with the bill. My tiny little cheese pieces look very lonely on a large plate, but the flavor is so electric that I forget about the serving size. The pear compote is sweet and fragrant, and the crackers are perfectly plain highlighting the other flavors.

Pangaea is a solid 8.5 out of 10 with points deducted for the slow service and a light dusting of snobbery.


Jul 15, 2010

Summerlicious @ Canoe

images from oliverbonacini.com

This year, I've kicked off the Summerlicious with a lunch at Canoe. 45 minutes on the phone and I've scored the last available lunch reservation for a late 1:30p.m. seating. I was warned that the table will be held for 15 minutes only and I will loose the spot if I am late. At that time all this sounded fair and I was anxiously waiting for a "meal with a view".

I've arrived right on time and was greeted by a nice young hostess who got someone else to take me to the table. That person in turn got someone else to bring over the menus… Ilonka arrived just a few minutes later and was brought to the table by yet another person. At that point, there were four people who've served us in one way or another in the past few minutes.

Canoe's décor is surprisingly conservative. Plain white walls are highlighted with wooden panels and very unassuming decorative shelving. The pastel color palette is surprisingly blunt bordering with boring. However, Canoe is famous for its cuisine and the magnificent view on downtown Toronto and lake Ontario. The view is truly breathtaking and I sincerely hope that the food is more like the view and less like the décor.

We both order rabbit rillette for the appetizer that arrives on a long narrow dish accompanies by a rainbow of pickled vegetables and herbs and spicy Dijon mustard. The serving is small, but the silky texture of the rillette and the spiciness and zing of the veggies fully compensate for it. The main course is equally delicious! Roasted chicken and Ontario asparagus served together with a mini cornbread is enough to fill you up. Again, the clash or textures makes the dish interesting and enjoyable to the very last bite.

For desert I get my fave - a creamy panna cotta with a crunchy pastry and blueberry compote. It's delicious and light enough for a hot summer afternoon. Ilonka got a berry tart that was great too! We are both full and happy with the meal, but not with the time it takes our server to get each dish and the bill in the end. We wonder if this is a regular thing, or are the servers simply overwhelmed with the Summerlicious crowd. Overall, Canoe is a solid 7 out of 10, with the majority of points lost to the conservative setting and slow service.


Jul 14, 2010

Jul 13, 2010

Fira is on Her Way To a Better Self

Did I tell you I was doing a bootcamp? Well, I am! It's been almost two and a half weeks since I've started Best Body Bootcamp in High Park. It runs three times a week at 6a.m. and consist of a cardio/strength circuit training, some stretching, and some core exercises. It's been quite a challenge from day one, but I can feel that every class is easier and more enjoyable. Intense muscle pain is a good evidence of the workout being beneficial for me. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any results in terms of my weight and measurements, but I am sure that it will take a bit longer for them to show. I've already signed up for the second month of training and will keep you updated on my progress.

The cost is $225 per month for the first month and $199 for the consecutive months. Classes are available in many locations across the GTA and all you need is a yoga mat and a medium resistance band (both can be purchased on BBB's site). From experience, also bring a towel, an insect repellent, and a towel. The classes are rain or shine, so be prepared to sweat in any weather.

BBB offers incentives for the newly referred members, so let me know if you are interested in joining.

Get skinny!


Garance Dore For Club Monaco Fall 2010

It's very New York... More here.


Jul 7, 2010

Biotherm at The Bay

Hello my dear readers! Sorry for not posting much these days - Capa is away, and I am just too busy with everything else in my life. It will get better soon, so expect lots of great content, reviews, and much more!

In the meanwhile, here is a little something to brighten your day! Head to The Bay between now and July 22 for an amazing deal from Biotherm. Spend $30 and get one of the 4 full sized products for free! The options for the free product include:

15 mL
50 mL
50 mL