VooDoo Child Cafe

With a holiday on Friday, the weekend is just around the corner, and in Toronto, that means one major thing: BRUNCH.  Brunch is arguably my favourite meal of the day/week and thanks to the opening of Voodoo Child on College, I’ve got some pretty amazing grub just around the corner.

Vodoo is the love child of Scotty Daté and David Rad, who employ the creative talents of chef Aidan Pascoe and barrista and latte artist extraordinaire, Bruce Ly.  Located at 388 College St. just east of Bathurst, Vodoo Child opened it’s unassuming doors quietly late this Fall.  The space is bright and minimalist, with a cozy, friendly vibe, a tiny open kitchen, and local arts and goods covering the walls and shelf space.

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Voodoo’s menu is equally simple: the brunch menu offers only three options, which change regularly, and in our experience, typically seems to include something sweet, something savoury, and something vegetarian(ish). I’ve sampled the the truffled scrambled eggs, the lardon pancakes and the stuffed french toast all of which achieved that perfect balance of decadence (hearty & flavour packed without inducing a fat/sugar coma) needed on a Saturday morning.  Presented on an assortment of vintage and white dishes, brunch, like the space itself, is unpretentious but still carefully plated.  The ingredients are fresh and the dishes uncomplicated, but unique.  French toast is served stuffed with pulled pork, berry pancakes come with a side of minted slaw, and a salad with eggs and fried potatoes make for that perfect combination of breakfast and lunch that brunch is all about.

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New York We Love You…

… but you wore us right out!

Robyn and I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in New York for our darling friend Reesa’s bachelorette party.  Our brief stay reminded both of us how amazing this city is and we’ve committed to putting together a city guide featuring all of our favourite spots and neighbourhoods.  Until then, here are a few snapshots from the weekend (which essentially went like this: eat, shop, eat, drink, sleep, repeat)

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Stay tuned for more!

Nick Knight’s “Explosions”

From political launch parties to World Mastercard fashion week, a last minute passport and this evening’s departure for NYC, it’s been a bit of a hectic week.  In honour of the frenzied life I’ve been living and the way my brain currently feels, I thought I’d share with you the aptly titled photography series, Explosions. 

Created by renowned fashion photographer Nick Knight, these vibrant photos combine paint, kinetic energy and photography to capture stunning eruptions of colour.  Although I have yet to discover the secret to Knight’s methods, it’s clear this isn’t a simple matter of splashing paint into the air.  These shots result from carefully planned, perfectly timed explosions, structured to erupt outwards in bursts of complementary tones in shapes reminiscent of flowers.

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Sephora Color IQ

Being a VIB (Very Important Beauty) member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider club not only means that I have consistently spent too much money on cosmetics at Sephora, but it also means that I am entitled to a bunch of special offers, invites, and free gifts throughout the year.

This year’s VIB membership came with a new perk: a complimentary 45-minute consultation and makeover with a make-up artist. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out some new products and get some advice on picking out and applying the right foundation, a product I’ve never really needed to wear before. But yes, apparently with old(er) age comes uneven skin tones.

Booking my appointment for the second week of February proved to be perfect timing. Days earlier, the Sephora store in the Eaton Centre had just installed the new Pantone Color IQ system and I got the chance to try it out. Let me just say, the Color IQ system is AMAZING. Amazing and free.

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Sephora partnered up with Pantone to develop a hand-held machine that scans the colour of your skin to match it to a specific Pantone skin-tone colour. Once the system knows your specific skin tone, it scientifically matches you to all of the foundations, brands and formulas available at Sephora and recommends exactly which shades will match your skin.

Sasha, my makeup artist, scanned my cheek, jawline and neck for colours, and then the machine (seen above) averages the three tones to find my personal Pantone skin tone colour (2Y04).  The interface then showed me 25 of my best foundation matches in the store and the products ranged in brands, amount of coverage (from very light to heavy) and formula (powder, stick, liquid, etc.).

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Classical Music 101

By now, my love for music (often nearing obsession) must be apparent.  I spend a bulk of my time and hard-earned money seeing concerts and travelling to music festivals, trying hard to fulfill my inner rock star. You see, if I can’t play the music, then I sure as hell will always be surrounded by it!  Lately I’ve been trying to branch out of my standard rock n roll: I go dancing to DJs, I attend the opera, and most recently, I’ve been revisiting classical music (little known fact: I used to play the viola!).  

Problem: where does one begin in a quest to find and hear the classics and the gems amongst the millions of pieces that have been composed in the past, oh, few hundred years???  Lucky for me (and for you!), I have Jordan Kirkness in my life! Jordan is a classically-trained bass player and has played professionally in symphonies; aside from his day-to-day career as a lawyer, this stuff is his true passion. Serious musicianship and brilliance aside, I’m ever-grateful and excited when Jord has an instrument on-hand to spark group sing-alongs at every opportune time! 

I have looked to Jordan for guidance and an education in classical music and he, in turn, compiled a list of his top 10 pieces with some commentary. I know this was a difficult task for him, so I hope you enjoy this classical music journey as much as I have! Thanks, Jordan!!!

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1. Bach Cello Suite # 5 – Mstislav Rostropovich

Bach’s cello suites are standard baroque repertoire because they are beautiful and iconic. The fifth suite is particularly beautiful because of its darkness. It’s very thought provoking.

2. Il Giardano Armonico – Viaggio Musicale (full CD)

To my ears, Il Giardano Armonico is the Metallica of 17th century Italy.  If you’re one of those people who thinks baroque music is boring, you will need to listen to this CD before you can pass judgment.  Sometimes when I listen to this CD, I get totally lost in the excitement.

3. Mozart Symphony # 36

This is a masterpiece that Mozart apparently wrote in four days.  I recommend pairing it with red wine.

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