Loving…

With a quick two-day jaunt to Ottawa for a certain someone’s graduation (my boyfriend is a master, y’all!), this week has flown by. And, judging by my evening plans over the coming weeks, seems like summer time is in full swing once again.

Listening:

This song makes me think of a cooler, slightly rainy night by the beach. I’ve been hearing it on the radio a lot lately and it’s made its way onto a few playlists already.

Craving:

I have mentioned Town restaurant before (when I said Ottawa is a foodie delight), and the celebratory lunch we had the other day more than lived up to my internal hype of the place. The food is beyond delicious, but there is one particular dish that I could eat over and over again: Mortadella Crostini. I don’t actually have a picture of it (I did find one taken by a Yelp user), but it’s meaty, it has nuts, it’s on toasted bread and it comes with an egg (in sandwich form) – I don’t think I need to sell it any more. One of my favourite dishes of all time, hands down. I sure will miss it!

Anticipating:

Hitting the golf course with my dad on Sunday for a nice round of golf and some cold beers on Father’s Day!

Wanting:

To finally take the plunge and buy a camera. I think my iPhone has taken me as far as it can…right now, I’m looking at something in the Canon family (aka “the known entity”). I like the Rebel series, and their new EOS SL1 seems to be super lightweight and offers the right digital SLR qualities I’m looking for.

Loving:

This view of my fair city (taken last weekend from a boat my friend rented for his moving away party!)

toronto skyline

 

Happy Father’s Day and have a great weekend, everyone!

Loving…

The day spent outside yesterday at the Arts & Crafts Field Trip Festival. 2013 marks the 10 year anniversary of this amazing Canadian label (which launched acts like Broken Social Scene, Feist, Metric and Bloc Party) and they put on an incredible party to celebrate. Held at Fort York in downtown Toronto, the festivities took place on Saturday from noon until 11pm, and included some amazing collaborations: Uber Toronto and Scion Canada got together to offer free rides to the festival (a sweet perk in and of itself, but there was musical trivia as you rode and getting 5 songs right meant you get a ticket upgrade to VIP – which came with its own viewing area and food stations), Toronto Underground Market offered up a ton of awesome food all over the venue (from food trucks like Gourmet Gringos and Caplansky’s to food vendors like La Carnita and The Saucy Pierogi) and the Drake General Store and various Etsy vendors were on hand in case you wanted to commemorate the day with shopping.

After a Friday that had us waking up to a very punctured car tire which had to be replaced, this festival was a welcome distraction. Oh, and beach chairs? Best investment ever for day-long events.

field trip festival

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Loving…

Listening:

I stumbled on this song through the amazing We Are Hunted app in Spotify (the app was recently bought by Twitter and was launched yesterday as “Twitter #Music“, which is so far a super cool offering). The track reminds me a lot of Vampire Weekend and the almost island feel of the chorus makes me smile every morning on my way to work.

Reading:

Behind the Ktchen Door

I saw Saru Jayaraman on an episode of Bill Maher about a week ago and loved how passionate and knowledgeable she came off. Behind the Kitchen Door is a look at what goes on in the restaurant industry (focused on the US, naturally) behind what we all normally see – the powerful lobby groups, the “sustainability” trend that isn’t very sustainable, and the difficulties restaurant workers have living within the economic system. Really interesting read, especially for someone who frequents restaurants quite a bit.

Cooking:

Dinner tonight or lunch tomorrow will be one of my favourite salads: pear + arugula + blue cheese (with mustard-vinegar dressing). It’s such a refreshing salad with so many different flavours (I like to also add candied pecans for a bit of sugary sweetness to further cut the blue cheese). I’ve been craving it all week, ever since I had a meh salad at work on Monday, and I can’t wait to have it again. Bonus: it’s quick and easy to make and requires very few ingredients. Every time I have a salad, I can’t help but think of this.

My fave! via the Food Network.

My fave! via the Food Network.

Anticipating:

We recently purchased tickets to see The Lumineers on May 2nd, and I seriously can’t wait. Their album is pure perfection for me right now!

Lumineers

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!

Loving…

Usually, as soon as Friday hits, all I want to do is look forward to the little things (a book, a song, a trip to Ikea) that I will get to do over the weekend. With that in mind, welcome to the first installment of a new weekly post – Loving…(aka Friday Faves). Here you’ll find a brief list of things that are currently making me smile, or occupying my mind, or are just generally awesome.

Listening:

My “F you, winter!” jam.

Reading:

kelly oxford is my new hero

Kelly Oxford is hilarious in 140 characters on Twitter. She’s equally funny in a more free-form, unlimited book format. I got to meet her at a book signing earlier this week and she’s such a nice, funny woman that I’m an even bigger fan now. I’m almost done with Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar and can’t recommend it enough – if for no other reason than she’s a Canadian and references it proudly (you won’t get a Kids in the Hall callout from any other memoir). Totally in the vein of Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – I love books by honestly funny women.

Baking:

I haven’t made these in a while, but I’m looking forward to whipping up a batch of Zucchini Muffins this weekend for next week. A lot of people make a crinkled-nose face when I mention these muffins, but they are amazingly delicious. Perfect breakfast food, unique flavour and the bonus is that they freeze really well (so you can enjoy for a bit longer).

Love this recipe from Martha Stewart - I would modify slightly by removing the banana and replacing the flaxseed with pecans.

Love this recipe from Martha Stewart – I would modify slightly by removing the banana and replacing the flaxseed with pecans.

Planning:

To plant a springtime, apartment herb garden. I’ve promised myself I will have a green thumb once we get a house (even if it kills me), so I’m going to start practicing now. Thanks to my other-other half (Alli) I’m all set up…

Get ready, pasta!

Get ready, pasta!

Wanting:

To be here right about now…

Paris

“Paris is always a good idea” – Audrey Hepburn

Happy Friday everyone!

Mixtape

Remember how I said I was a huge fan of creating playlists? Well, Design Milk recently wrote about  a product that has me pretty excited – a USB mixtape kit. It looks just like a old-school mixtape (complete with plastic case and space to write your tracklist), but for the modern age. It’s really a case with a built-in USB key that allows you to simply add songs (up to 15) directly from your computer. How cool is that?

In honour of that find and a weekend of (hopefully) warmer weather and packing, I’ve made a playlist with some of the songs that are just bringing a smile to my face these days. This particular RAC remix of a Two Door Cinema Club song is right now on constant repeat.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Musical Feelings

Given my love of creating playlists (the new age version of mix CDs) for almost any event from roadtrips to spring cleaning, I thought a music post would be warranted.

For as long as I can remember, music has been a huge part of my life. One of the earliest stories about me involves trying to sing along to a Sting song (“Sooner or Later”). One of the first things I remember seeing on TV is Prince’s “Kiss” music video. Boy bands, classic rock, punk, acid jazz, top 40, old school hip hop, alternative, indie – I’ve gone through a roster of phases and likes. I’m almost confident in saying the only thing I’ve never really been able to listen to is country (though I will admit to humming along to Taylor Swift songs sometimes, if that counts).

With that, here are…

My Top 5 Tunes of Right Now:

Passion Pit – Little Secrets

This song always brings a smile to my face – maybe because of the bouncy, child-voiced chorus. There’s something about this band that screams “summertime” to me, and seeing them live at Osheaga last August solidified that (the day had been largely rainy until they took the stage and the sun came out). Other songs I love by Passion Pit: “Take a Walk” and “Sleepyhead“.

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

I’m loving this indie-folk trend (i.e. Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men…). No question, The Lumineers are one of my favourite new bands, and “Ho Hey” is such a great song. You can’t help but sing along (maybe because it’s on commercials and TV shows galore, already). But “Ho Hey” is just the tip of the iceberg – their self-titled album has been on constant repeat for the past month. Favourite tracks: “Dead Sea”, “Submarine”, and “Slow it Down”.

The Roots – Make My

I absolutely love The Roots (maybe even more so since they became Jimmy Fallon’s house band). “Make My” is the latest single from them, and its classic – great arrangement with lyrics about making something out of yourself. The thing I love about The Roots is how they aren’t just a hip hop act – they take influences from all over and infuse them into their tracks. They also have a fantastic sense of humour (see this Jimmy Fallon sketch with Christina Aguilera).

Regina Spektor – Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

Again, a feel good song. I’ve liked Regina Spektor for years, and “Don’t Leave Me” is definitely one of my favourites of hers. I love the bouncy beat, cute lyrics and French (the Canadian that I am). She’s a great artist with a totally unique sound.

No Doubt – Push and Shove

“Tragic Kindgom” was the first CD I ever owned. The new No Doubt album (their last one in 11 years) is pure, vintage No Doubt – mixing 80s with modern pop with reggae and dancehall. Certainly an awesome comeback that brings me back to my early teens. Other than “Push and Shove”, I love “Undercover” and “Looking Hot“.

If you’re ever in the mood to discover new music, I highly recommend trying Aweditorium (available as a free app for the iPad – I’ve actually spent entire Sunday afternoons just browsing music), Spotify (if you’re in the US or Europe…hopefully it comes to Canada soon!), or Stereomood (my friend Kaili turned me onto this – pick your mood and it generates a free streaming playlist for you!).