I try not to get addicted to reality shows. Truth be told, anyone who knows me will tell you: I GET OBSESSED. So, it’s no surprise after I watched the first episode of American Idol, Season 8 … I was hooked. Kris Allen has always been my favourite Idol. There is a certain “earthly” sound and sincerity about his voice. Not to mention, his efforts around the world and his passion for his faith continues to inspire me. I’ve followed Kris’ career since I saw him back in 2009. I’m even guilty of downloading “Brand New Shoes,” his independent album, prior to Idol.
Now imagine my excitement when I heard the news Kris would be in Toronto, performing at the city’s downtown Rivoli. The Out Alive Tour featured New York’s Jillette Johnson – who, without exaggeration, has an outstanding powerhouse voice. She’s not mainstream; I’d classify her more indie, with lyrics that ring of our local Peter Katz.
When this Arkansas native finally hit the stage, he opened with “Out Alive” to a thriving Canadian crowd. Kris sang the favourites, including mine – “No Boundaries” – all while rocking our Canucks flag on his t-shirt. His attempts at pronouncing “Poutine” (with emphasis of the “poo”) were great. And I definitely swooned a bit when he cracked out his ukulele, something he says always gets the same reaction. “It’s so cute, I just wanna hug it,” he joked.
I won’t elaborate on every detail, of course. This is already bordering on my longest post ever. But I can finish up with saying, what a memorable show. I just want to thank Kris. We’re so happy you came to Toronto for your first Canadian gig! I think the feelings were mutual throughout the crowd; your show was remarkable.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by Hy Tea in Pickering. The city’s small tea shop and restaurant is located off Liverpool Road, on Frenchman’s Bay at 1295 Wharf Street. It’s owned and operated by Hy Niles – an extremely personable and kind hearted woman, who served us while we were there for an afternoon of treats and tea.
Now, my friend Lori and I stopped by the tea house for our first time ever, during the off season. But I can tell you, I’ve seen the establishment packed throughout the summer months – so it’s best to enjoy it while the weather is still a bit chilly for a perfect relaxing atmosphere!
If you’re a tea enthusiast, like me, you may always be looking for new and exciting places to visit. Hy Tea in Pickering charges just under $24 dollars for a high-tea experience, and includes a warm scone, whipped butter, tasty deserts, fruits, sweet Devon cream, delicious jam and delicate finger sandwiches. Although, they do suggest a reservation first.
A Message from Stella & Dot
Stella & Dot has taken Hollywood by storm with celebrities and editors adoring Stella & Dot’s boutique style jewelry and accessories line! Elizabeth Banks, an actress, producer and director, has been spotted wearing the Stella & Dot Medina Bib Necklace on multiple occasions! Add this necklace to a summer dress or with a shirt and jeans. Carly Rae Jepsen was seen accessorizing with the Spring Awakening Necklace while posing with Seventeen magazine. This beautiful necklace is perfect for spring! Shay Mitchell looks stunning in the Pegasus Necklace and owns several Stella & Dot pieces. Be your own celebrity and flaunt Stella & Dot’s couture style. Happy Accessorizing!
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to check out a café outside of the Durham Region called Café Mirage, located at Kennedy Commons in Scarborough. The day was drizzling and the wind was cold; a perfect afternoon to spend inside the cozy atmosphere of this GTA date spot.
And by date, of course I mean my best friend Jaya. As you know, we spend one day a week checking out cafés, restaurants and other local treasures – and for the most part, we’ve been pretty successful. Café Mirage was recommended to me more than once, but serves best for the romantics, I think. The chairs are big and comfy, and the desserts are large … too large for any one person to finish alone. But their selection and service is fabulous. So, if you and your hunny usually have trouble picking a treat to split, you shouldn’t have a problem at Café Mirage. I was born with a sweet tooth (a curse, really, especially if you’re trying to stay healthy), and there was a few options that really enticed me. Unfortunately, I will have to taste those another day.
And what’s a date without taking photos to share on Instagram, right? We both shared this photo, using different filters. That’s how much we loved it, and how awesome/quirky we both are. Thanks lovely, for another great afternoon of girl talk.
Calling all fashionistas!
ModCloth has one of the coolest new contests going on the web right now! From today through 7 a.m. PST on March 18, ModCloth is inviting community members to check out their brand new Style Gallery, upload a photo, love images and share the looks that inspire them throughout the week of March 11 – 18. The image that gains the highest community-generated loves will win the top prize of a $100 ModCloth gift card! The other exciting part, you ask? Two random lovers of that winning image will also each score a $50 gift card! Head over to ModCloth right now to participate in the Style Gallery or maybe just check out all of the great fashions available! Other details: The owner of the image with the most ‘loves’ between 7 a.m. PT 3/11 and 7 a.m. PT 3/18 will win a $100 ModCloth gift card. And ModCloth will contact the winners via email by 3/22 and announce the winners on the blog at 7 a.m. PT 3/27.
This past weekend, I had the chance to stop by Balanced Life Yoga‘s brand new studio, located at 274 Mackenzie Avenue in Ajax. Director, founder and senior teacher of Balanced Life Yoga, Shasta Townsend, has rounded up a group of diverse, personable and all around kind women to her team, each bringing something uniquely wonderful to the studio. Over a dozen Balanced Life Yoga teachers welcomed me, and we spent the afternoon taking photos of essential yoga poses and capturing the faces of the vibrant and gorgeous instructors. I must say, I was quite impressed with the strength these women poses – something I can only dream of achieving, right now.
Isabella’s Chocolate Café in Oshawa is pretty famous in the Durham Region. For weeks, people had encouraged me to stop by. And for the first time this week, I made the trip and spent my weekly date day with Jaya there.
The café is located on King Street South, between the TD Bank and the jewellery store – which is a bit tricky to find. Initially, I tried to find the shop around Valentine’s Day, but couldn’t spot it while driving. So if you take a closer look, you’ll find their logo on a window, between those two establishments.
Isabella’s features a lot of homemade treats and a variety of hot chocolates, including Isabella’s chocolate. That particular drink is just like hot chocolate, but features their own dark chocolate chips. I sampled it, and it’s absolutely rich in flavour – a definite for chocolate enthusiasts.