Happy Weekend + Links I Love

Mount Pleasant Cemetary

Happy Sunday, everyone. It’s been a snowy week here in Toronto and I was one of those people jumping up and down with excitement. On Tuesday afternoon, I took a detour home and ended up strolling through Mount Pleasant Cemetery. I can’t believe I’ve never checked out the trails there before. It’s so incredibly beautiful, especially on a snowy day.

This weekend, I’m getting some much-needed rest. I’ve been curling up on the couch with hot chocolate and good books. I hope you have a relaxing one. As always, here are the links I’m loving this week…

+ A great TED talk: Why great architecture should tell a story.

+ For you listening pleasure: What Should I Read Next?

+ I tried the No Email Diet. “And so my takeaway is this: moderation. I have become obsessed with the concept of self-improvement and I’ll only become the cardboard cut out version of myself once I learn to practice moderation.”

+ This article in The Guardian, The refugee who took on the British government.

+ My favourite instagram this week: The prettiest eclairs via @chevronseclairs.

Winter reading update:

I finished my pick for the ‘a book you can finish in a day’ category of the MMD reading challenge, Last Night at the Lobster.

I’m on a mission to read all Liane Moriarty’s books this year. This week, I blew through What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret. I absolutely fell in love with them. Suspenseful, thought-provoking, highly-addictive reads.

I’m also making my way through The Silkworm.

Up next on the list: Rosamunde Pilcher’s bestseller, The Shell Seekers.

In case you missed it, I shared the 100 books I plan on reading in 2016.

(Photo snapped while exploring Mount Pleasant Cemetery this week)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

Roy Thomson Hall

Happy weekend! For the most part, I’ve been taking it easy. Yesterday, I met up with friends and did a bit of shopping in Kensington Market. Earlier this week, I started re-reading Room and I’m feeling all emotional. I read this poignant and captivating story when it first came out back in 2010 and it’s stayed with me. I’ve recommended it to pretty much everyone over the years. If you’re looking for a great read, this one is a safe bet. I can’t wait to finish it so I can watch the movie. Have you seen it yet?

I hope you’re enjoying what’s left of the weekend! As always, here are the links I really enjoyed this week…

+ The Glass Castle is coming to the big screen. Woody Harrelson in talks to star opposite Brie Larson. Am I the only one who hasn’t read this memoir?

+ I got hit by a subway and I had no insurance. “It’s pathetic that pretty much every developed country except for the United States has universal health care.” A hard-hitting read.

+ Must watch: Garance chats with Emmanuelle Alt about style. And in case you missed it: her inspiring interview with Diane von Furstenberg about her career.

+ Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger on five years of building Instagram. “In 2010, the night before we launched Instagram v1, my co-founder Kevin and I bet on how many people would download the app its first day in the wild. Kevin guessed 2,500, and in an especially optimistic moment, I went big and guessed 25,000. The next day, the realist in me couldn’t believe I had hit it on the nose.”

+ Have a listen: Jess chats with beauty vlogger Anna Gardner of the popular YouTube channel and blog, Vivianna Does Makeup. Bookmarking her blog right now!

+ This Atlantic article on why writers shouldn’t romanticize rejection really got me thinking. “Time and time again, the literary establishment seizes on the story of a writer who meets inordinate obstacles, including financial struggles, crippling self-doubt, and rejection across the board, only to finally achieve the recognition and success they deserve.”

+ Jamie captured the most beautiful shots of Marchesa’s dreamy Spring/Summer 2016 runway show.

+ This affogato dessert bar would be perfect for a girls’ night in.

+ In love with Julia’s perfect fall look.

Fall reading update:

I finished The Secret Life of Violet Grant earlier this week. Packed with love, ambition and lots of intrigue. Guaranteed to keep you up past your bedtime.

Picked up A Fairy Tale by Jonas T. Bengtsson today and can’t wait to dig in.

(Photo snapped outside Roy Thomson Hall.)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

toronto fashion week

Happy Friday! The transition to fall has been a bumpy one; one minute I’m throwing on my leather jacket, the next I’m scrambling for my down parka, scarf and gloves. In an attempt to get in the fall spirit, I’ve swapped out my regular hand soap for this seasonal scent– Cozy Vanilla Cream from Bath & Body Works.

This weekend, I’ll be busting out the flannel pajamas and binge-watching Homeland. I’m two seasons behind. Have you been watching? What’s everyone up to this weekend? I hope you have a good one! As always, I’m sharing my favourites from around the web this week…

+ ‘Homeland’ Times Two: Claire Danes and Jeh Johnson.

+ True story: You can never have too many scarves. And Zara is killing it in the cozy scarves department. On the wishlist: double sided checked and striped scarf, soft check scarf, and geometric jacquard scarf.

+ Victoria launched The Party Podcast. I really enjoyed the one on throwing a dance party!

+ The NY Times makes a case for preschool: why what you learned in preschool is crucial at work. “Preschool classrooms look a lot like the modern work world. Children move from art projects to science experiments to the playground in small groups, and their most important skills are sharing and negotiating with others.”

+ What I wish more knew: Down Syndrome Awareness Month. “She taught me how to do that. How to stop. How to slow down. How to enjoy something as simple as oatmeal for breakfast. My daughter has Down syndrome.” Incredibly moving.

+ Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls. Because it’s the season.

+ Sarah Silverman opens up to Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about depression, comedy and troublemaking. Her much-anticipated new movie I Smile Back opens today in select theatres.

+ Room is also out in theatres this weekend. I devoured the book during a four-hour long plane ride when it came out back in 2010. One word: Unforgettable.

+ Goop breaks down the ABC’s of Vitamin B.

+ Joanna put together this list of 10 great audiobooks. I’ve avoided audio books up until this point given my short attention span. But I might try Garlic and Sapphires from my Fall reading list on audio.

+ This year’s National Book Awards finalists unveiled. I haven’t read any of these picks yet. How about you?

Fall reading update:

+ A couple of days ago, I finished Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce. The story takes place ten years after 9/11 and zeroes in on an Italian-Irish American family on Staten Island. Joyce paints a startling portrait of how each family member copes with the tragic loss of the youngest son, Bobby a firefighter. A stunningly executed, profoundly relatable read. I can’t recommend it enough!

+ I’m still reading The Martian and laughing out loud in public. A great subway read.

+ This weekend I’m picking up The News Sorority by Sheila Weller.

(Photo snapped outside the tents at Toronto Fashion Week.)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

graffiti alley chameleonHappy Sunday! It’s been one of those perfect summer weekends with blue, cloudless skies. Yesterday, I spent a relaxing morning by the lake, had lunch at this place (I ordered the Apple Porkfection which I was happy to discover lived up to its name!), and strolled through Kensington Market.

I hope you’re savouring these glorious summer days. As always, I’m sharing a bunch of noteworthy links I stumbled upon this week…

+ I came across this post, why we need rest and solitude at the perfect time. “When we are too self-assured with our own abilities, we are drawing from a limited resource. When we are too busy to stop and rest, we are too busy.”

+ More Than an ‘Other’ by the lovely Meghan Markle is worth reading.

+ Lauren shares her amazing guide on how to host a ladies’ night in.

+ Beach Town. A feature by Anthony Bourdain.

+ Worth the read: This alarming exposé, The Bail Trap by New York Times Magazine. “The long-term damage that bail inflicts on vulnerable defendants extends well beyond incarceration. Disappearing into the machinery of the justice system separates family members, interrupts work and jeopardizes housing.”

+ Take note: 10 tips for upping your burger game from A Cup of Jo.

+ I just discovered The Coveteur’s Deskside series. This interview with Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO of Glossier and Into the Gloss is pretty amazing.

+ Toasted marshmallow ice cream cake with salted caramel screams summer.

+ This NY Times opinion piece, The Closing of the Canadian Mind. “Mr. Harper’s campaign for re-election has so far been utterly consistent with the personality trait that has defined his tenure as prime minister: his peculiar hatred for sharing information.”

+ I am currently reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and I am in awe. It’s not on my summer reading list, but TIFF announced that the adaptation will be premiering at the festival next month. I decided to read it in advance of the film. If you’re interested, check out the trailer.

Summer reading update:

+ Finally finished The New Yorkers, from my summer reading list. Such a beautiful story.

+ Started Still Life by Louise Penny this week and I’m flying through it. Thanks for the recommendation, Anne.

+ Also reading and loving The Summer of Good Intentions. Throw this one in your beach bag, but be forewarned: it’s much, much more than just a beach read.

(Photo snapped in Graffiti Alley.)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

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Happy weekend everyone and happy long weekend to all the Canadian readers! This week was filled with sweltering days and fun times with family. On Thursday morning, we hopped the ferry over to the Toronto Islands, enjoyed a picnic by the sparkling lake, and soaked up the sunshine.

I hope you’re making the most of these summer days. Got any fun weekend plans? I plan on seeing Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation at some point and breaking a sweat at The Extension Room tomorrow. If you’re taking a breather, here’s a roundup of amazing links for you to click through….

+ TIFF 2015: Gala Presentations and Special Presentations were announced this week!

+ A Voice for the Voiceless. “I want women to be safe and I want babies to be born.”

+ Women in Calais camps: ‘I have to focus on how I can stay alive’. Hannah is 24, five months’ pregnant and can’t remember the last time she had a shower, let alone a medical check-up. The Syrian says she trekked through eight countries, her belly growing all the time, before ending up at Calais.

+ Sarah introduces us to her adorable baby bunny, Pepito Mora.

+ Exploring the beautiful birthplace of sport climbing. Acrophobes, view at your own risk!

+ It isn’t summer without funnel cake. This cinnamon sugar funnel cake with peaches and raspberries looks incredible!

+ Joanna shares a simple way to chill a glass of white wine.

Summer reading update:

+ I blazed through Elin Hilderbrand’s latest summer novel, The Rumor. If you’re looking for your next beach read, look no further.

+ Yesterday, I finished reading My Salinger Year, from my summer reading list. I didn’t want this engrossing memoir to end.

+ I also finished The Expats. This spy thriller really gets the blood pumping.

+ This weekend, I’ll be starting Francesca Marciano’s short story collection, The Other Language. Have you read it?

I hope you have a beautiful one!

(Photo of the skyline snapped from over at Centre Island.)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

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Happy Sunday! How’s your weekend going? I adore Toronto in the summertime.

The Front Street Foods culinary market opened shop at Union Station on Monday. The 2015 Pan Am Games officially landed in Toronto on Friday and the city is set to play host to over 10,000 athletes and coaches from 41 countries and 250,000 visitors from around the world.

This weekend, I explored Old Town Toronto and joined in the Pan Am festivities. I hope you have a fun, relaxing one! Sit back and enjoy a few of my favourite reads this week…

+ Amanda Lindhout sells hostage story to Hollywood. I was beyond thrilled when I found out that the first book I read this year (and one of my favourites!) is moving to the big screen.

+ Watch: A warrior’s cry against child marriage.

+ An Ode to Statement Sandals. So shiny and new.

+ Just in case you were wondering: What It’s Like to Face a 150 M.P.H. Tennis Serve.

+ An Ice Cream Cone, a Ring, Then After 23 Years, a Promise. The sweetest love story.

+ This polka dot cake is almost too pretty to eat.

+ It’s that time of the year again: A guide to packing the perfect picnic.

+ Game changer: Misty Copeland leaped across barriers recently becoming the first African-American woman to be named a principal in the history of the American Ballet Theatre. And now, she’s landed the lead role in the Broadway musical, ‘On The Town.

+ Darling Magazine has partnered with International Justice Mission to end sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. Catch up on their update posts here, here, and here.

+ This is wayyyy up there on my list of must-see summer movies.

Summer reading update: This week, I finished The Painted Girls, from my summer reading list. I can’t believe it took me this long to read it. A beautifully-written, mesmerizing read.

I also finished Laura Dave’s new summer novel, Eight Hundred Grapes. I found it incredibly refreshing and deeply satisfying.

Earlier this week, I checked out The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar from the library. I’ve never read anything by the veteran journalist. But this one grabbed me from the first page and hasn’t let go. I highly recommend checking it out.

Have a great week!

(Photo of Caroline and I at Nathan Phillips Square.)

Happy Monday + Links I Love

Whiplash-5547.cr2

Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe it’s March? Wave your hands wildly if you’re ready for spring. I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I turned the final page of this exquisitely crafted book last night. I was so sad to say goodbye to the beautiful language and lovable characters. Have you read it?

If you’re in the mood for a bit of internet browsing, feel free to click through these incredible links I’m loving lately…

+ Inspiring: Photographer Laura Boushnak’s TED Talk, For these women, reading is a daring act.

+ For all the grammar nerds: Compose vs. comprise.

+ Mental health: Medicating women’s feelings. Julie Holland, a New York psychiatrist and author says, “The problem is too many genuinely ill people remain untreated, mostly because of socioeconomic factors. People who don’t really need these drugs are trying to medicate a normal reaction to an unnatural set of stressors.”

+ Chriselle shares 7 ways to beautify with pineapple. The skin softening mask and pineapple peel body scrub sound heavenly.

+ Women’s issues: “We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman,” says ML Sharma, defence lawyer for the men convicted of medical student Jyoti Singh’s rape and murder in India’s Daughter, a powerful documentary by filmmaker Leslee Udwin.

+ Simple health tip: Love kale? Express your feelings with a little massage.

+ For your must-watch list: Over the weekend, I watched this movie and can’t stop thinking about it. It’s hands down the best movie I’ve seen in ages.

+ And just in case you missed Lady Gaga’s flawless tribute to “The Sound of Music” at the Oscars.

(Movie still from Whiplash via The Hollywood Reporter)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

red carpet

Happy Sunday everyone. The Oscars are on at 8:30 EST this evening. Will you be tuning in? Also, fashion month is in full swing. New York Fashion Week wrapped Thursday and London Fashion Week kicked off on Friday. Catch all the live action from the London runways.

If it’s freezing where you are and you absolutely must go outside, make sure to bundle up. And if you’re hiding from the sub zero temps, curl up and check out these amazing reads I came across this week…

+ Oscars fun: Print off this ballot, make your picks and follow the action during tonight’s telecast.

+ Hollywood Food Stylists Know: You Can’t Film Styrofoam Cake and Eat It, Too. Actor Jon Favreau, who also directed the film Chef, says, “The trick with food on a set — you have to eat and then you have to eat again, and then you have to eat again for every angle and every take.”

+ “You see the big moment isn’t the show; it’s the midnight run to the fabric store … it’s the sketches on the 7:00a.m. subway of a jacket for next season six months before the show.” Brooklyn-based lifestyle photographer and founder of The Refined Woman Kat Harris on Fashion Week 2015 and why it matters.

+ Mars One released the names of the 100 semifinalists who will battle it out on a reality TV series for the chance to take a one-way trip to Mars. Six Canadians made the cut.

+ “On September 3, 1996—the first day of grade six—I suffered a mental breakdown.” Emily Landau’s on her battle with anxiety, My Prescribed Life: After two decades on antidepressants, who am I?

+ The Shame of Solitary Confinement. “Many of the inmates who are sent to isolation aren’t there because they hurt or threatened someone. They are in solitary for breaking a rule. It is nothing less than a form of torture, and yet American prisons have used it unthinkingly for decades…”

+ Pat McGrath by the numbers: T The New York Times Style Magazine sums up everything you could ever want to know about the makeup genius in this cool infographic.

+ Hilarious read: Garance on her winter style and that time she ended up sitting across from Jake Gyllenhaal. “As for Jake, he was also wearing a beanie, but for some reason, on him it looked more like: “LA celebrity having lunch with his agent in New York” and on me it was like: “Lost girl with greasy hair having lunch with her therapist.”

+ The ultimate life-saver: I’m not sure how we got by before these New York Times Cooking Techniques videos like this one on how to poach an egg.

+ Staying up late at night with this book and savouring each exquisite sentence.

(Photo from via CBC News by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Happy Tuesday + Links I Love

man repeller 1Happy Tuesday, everyone and helloooo February! I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately — fighting a sore throat with cupfuls of tea and steaming bowls of chicken soup. As I type this, I am staring out Starbucks’ window at mountains of snow and sipping on Pineapple Kona Pop tea (I highly recommend you give it a try!).

If you’re hiding from the chilly temps and piles of snow, here’s a roundup of interesting reads to keep you company…

+ “I remember that day like it was yesterday. My cheeks still hurt from how hard I smiled.” Meghan Markle on the day she landed the role of Rachel Zane on the hit series, Suits.

+ “I thought that growing up means holding it all together, but I’m seeing now that it’s really only a great ability to let go.” Love all the beautiful truth in Amber’s post on what it really means to grow up.

+ Unparalleled bravery: “I don’t talk much about it, because if these people [Boko Haram] come back, I will be one of their first targets for helping girls to come back to school,” says this brave soul who fought to give the girls a second chance at education. Chibok girls who escaped Boko Haram return to school.

+ The coolest office tour with one of my favourites. The copper obsession is real.

+ “I adamantly didn’t want any of my editors or colleagues to know that I was pregnant until I could no longer hide it. I worried about being denied work or treated differently.” What Can a Pregnant Photojournalist Cover? Everything.

+ Bone broth 101: Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley school us on the latest superfood.

+ Today, Cup of Jo editor Caroline shared her beauty uniform on the blog.

+ The National Magazine Awards were handed out last night in New York. Vogue took home the night’s top award, Magazine of the Year.

+ Amanda Hess’ piece in The Pacific Standard, Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet won in the Public Interest category that honours magazine journalism that sheds light on issues of national importance.

(Photo from Style Me Pretty Living)

Happy Weekend + Links I Love

TLC

I hope you had a good week, friends. Are you ready for the weekend? Got any fun plans? Lately, I’ve developed a fondness for the used bookstore. You just never know what you’ll find. Yesterday, I picked up this book and I can’t wait to dive right in.

If you’re more interested in reading of the internet variety, cozy up with these reads I loved this week…

Must read: Anne’s incredibly moving and beautifully-written post, When we were in the fire.

+ After watching Bryan Stevenson’s engaging TED Talk, I knew I had to add the human rights lawyer’s new memoir, Just Mercy to my ever-growing 2015 reading list. A powerful, important and timely read.

+ For her latest installment of “My beauty uniform”, Joanna featured Brooklyn-based stylist and blogger LaTonya Yvette. On what she wants her children to learn: “I really believe that being a good person comes first. No one likes a cute kid with a nasty attitude. Be well mannered, humble and loving—and then you’re a beautiful person.” Love her!

+ More on true beauty: “We are kind, funny, smart, loving, thoughtful, compassionate, extraordinary people. We are loved and treasured for who we are inside.” God’s Masterpiece.

+ On the power of writing and editing: Writing Your Way to Happiness.

+ For the big kid: I loved Wallace and Gromit so I was thrilled to hear about its spin-off. Baa-hind the scenes on the Shaun the Sheep movie.

+ “What namers share is a love of words and a sensitivity to them, and they will tell you that that sensitivity is what separates them from amateurs.” The weird science of naming new products.

+ How to use a tea strainer: Because Elizabeth Bennet Never Used Bags.

+ The original girl group: Man Repeller interviewed TLC’s T-Boz and Chilli on their new album, Kickstarter, and Fans.

+ And this is still my favourite.

(Photo from Man Repeller)