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A Blogger's Guide To: Instagrammable Restaurants in Toronto

Saturday, April 30, 2016

I'm a sucker for aesthetically pleasing places. Any place with a great interior, I'll probably visit at least once. That's pretty much how I decide on places to visit in Toronto. I mean, I won't go back there if they don't have good food or anything but pretty decor is definitely an incentive for me to visit. I wanted to start a new series on my blog, "A Guide To:"

For this first guide, I decided to start with "Instagrammable Restaurants in Toronto." Not only will it have Instagram-worthy food but awesome interior as well! There are so many places in Toronto to visit so these are just my top 8 favourites of the ones I've visited so far. Exploring more of Toronto is definitely on my list of things to do so there most likely will be a part 2 to this post :) Also, these are not listed in any particular order!

I decided to show my favourite places to take photos but instead of using my DSLR to take these photos, I wanted to use my iPhone and editing apps (aka VSCO) because I know a lot of people use their mobiles for photos instead of a DSLR. Any other Instagrammable kind of guides will also be taken with my phone!

1) Sorry Coffee Co.

  • I think every Canadian has made a Justin Bieber reference whenever they visit this place so I'll avoid doing that but this is a cute cafe hidden in Yorkville. I say "hidden" because it can go unnoticed since it's in the middle of a small alleyway. The place is quite small but has a cozy interior with marble counters. It's also connected to a clothing store which I thought was pretty cool!
  • 2) Portland Variety

  • My boyfriend knows that every time I want to try a new place there's some random reason behind it. For this place, it was because of the wall outside with Kate Moss. It's such an awesome mural to check out. As for the interior, it's a similar vibe as Sorry Coffee Co.
  • 3) Balzac's Coffee at the Distillery District

  • There is another location for Balzac's Coffee but without a doubt, the one at the Distillery District is the BEST. I always passed by it when I'm there but never went inside until my most recent trip to their yearly Christmas Market. Once I walked in, I was like "I NEED TO TAKE PHOTOS OF THIS PLACE". It was pretty packed so I didn't get to try it until recently but I can say that the Salted Caramel Latte is so good. Best latte I've had for sure!
  • 4) Colette Grand Cafe

  • If you love French architecture, you'll know the look of Colette Grand Cafe. From the moment you walk in, you feel like you walked into an actual French restaurant in France and not just one in Toronto. I haven't tried the entire menu yet but I can tell you that the caramel macarons are definitely my favourite dessert they have!
  • 5) Maman Toronto

  • I'm not going to lie, the reason I wanted to go here was because of their coffee cups (and the first time I went I didn't even get the pretty one sadly). The whole place just had this rustic vibe going on that I couldn't resist. You know those weddings you see on Pinterest? With the perfect wooden tables and tree stumps as decor? It was that kind of vibe. I haven't found a hot beverage I liked there yet but I do love their sandwiches!
  • 6) Cluny Bistro

  • I went to this gorgeous restaurant for my 3rd year anniversary with my boyfriend. They had a wonderful selection for both brunch and lunch that I ended up ordering brunch instead. They also have a little bakery at the front of the restaurant if you're not planning on getting a full meal. The decor in this place is absolutely stunning and the food was great! Although I didn't get to sit in this area, my favourite part of it is the brick wall filled with different framed mirrors!
  • 7) Roselle Desserts

  • This is one of the cutest little places I've come across! I found it when I was taking a walk back to the streetcar and saw the adorable "desserts make me happy" sign. I also saw one of the workers bring out a dessert to person and it looked so good (Yes, I was watching through the window, non-nonchalantly of course). So of course, I had to see if anyone tagged it to see other photos and I knew I had to visit. *Also every time I was free to visit this place, it was closed so I'm EXTREMELY happy I finally got to go*
  • 8) Sweet Jesus

  • This is definitely a place for someone with a sweet tooth. It's also the perfect summer date idea because the soft serve is quite large that you can share it.
  • Tell me what your favourite location by commenting below! :)

    Irresistible Me Auto-Rotating Curling Iron Review

    Thursday, April 28, 2016
    I recently received the Ruby 2 Way Auto Rotating Curler from Irresistible Me. I've seen auto rotating curling irons around on Instagram and was very intrigued to try it so when Irresistible Me offered the chance to review the product, I jumped at the chance.
    FIRST IMPRESSION
    I was really excited to try this product but when I opened it, it was much larger than I expected which was a bit of a turn off. I compared it to the size of my Hot Tools curling iron and realized that the reason it felt larger was because of the weight.
    FIRST USE
    The first time I used it was when I attended the Young Women in Business Conference held on March 26. Normally, I curl my hair for most events I attend so I decided to try out the auto rotating curler. The ease of having left and right auto rotation was extremely helpful because it's much easier to remember which button you pressed so you can alternate curls rather than thinking "Did I curl towards or away from my head?". Although, it was difficult to use with shorter hair. Usually I don't have any problems with curling short hair but because the clasp is only on a small portion of the curler (unlike my Hot Tools one), my hair was easily able to fall out whenever I tried to curl it. I didn't want to base this review purely on one use, so I used it a few more times before gathering all my thoughts on this product.

    REVIEW
    Instead of me rambling on, I decided to concise everything into a pros and cons list:
    Overall, I'd rate this a 4/5! With enough practice, I think you can really nail a good technique down to get the perfect curls you want. It's easy to create soft waves and super tight curls with this product. The auto-rotating option is perfect because it doesn't tire out your arm which I know can happy if it takes a while to curl your hair. Also, if you don't grab at least a one inch section to curl, it will fall out very easily when you try to curl it!
    Leave me a comment down below if you like using a curling iron or curling wand. Also, if you have any experiences with Irresistible Me Hair Extensions, leave me your opinion on it or the link to your review if you have one!
    Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Irresistible Me - this product was sent to me but as always, all opinions are my own.

    Fashion for a Cause: #DenimDay

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016
    There is no excuse and never an invitation to rape

    If you were unaware, Denim Day is tomorrow (April 27)! Denim Day is an event by Peace Over Violence where you are encouraged to wear denim in order to raise awareness about sexual assault. The reason behind why they chose denim is because of a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court. A rape conviction was overturned because the victim was wearing tight jeans and thought that she must have helped the rapist take off her jeans which implied consent. The next day, women in the Italian Parliament wore jeans to show support to the victim about the injustice that took place. Peace Over Violence created a campaign called Denim Day based on these events.

    I never heard of this event before until I saw that Bailee Madison was partnering up with Guess and Peace Over Violence for it. I decided that I wanted to take part in it and tell everyone who reads my blog about Denim Day in hopes that you would pledge to wear denim as well this year and to help spread the word about this amazing event. To learn more about the event, click here.

    Outfit Details (first polaroid): Top - Forever21 | Jeans - Topshop | Necklace - BaubleBar

    Fashion for a Cause will be a new series on my blog where I participate in campaigns or social issues that I come across that I support and want to raise awareness to.

    Leave a comment down below of any similar campaigns that are going on and if you're going to be participating in Denim Day :)

    STYLE MUSE: Jamie Chung

    Saturday, April 23, 2016
    I've always liked Jamie Chung, mainly as an actress though. I never thought of her as a fashion inspiration because I would only watch her on TV but then my sister kept saying how much she liked her and that's when I started going on her blog. I also like how she doesn't strictly buy high end clothing and will occasionally showcase items from places like Forever 21.

    Outfit 1

  • This faux leather jacket is a steal. It's only $50 from Zara and totally gives you the same vibe if you like the look she's going for here!
  • Outfit Details
  • Coat - Zara
  • Top - Forever 21
  • Pants - H&M
  • Shoes - Aldo
  • Outfit 2

  • She makes joggers look chic. That's all.
  • Outfit Details
  • Shirt - Forever 21
  • Pants - Forever 21
  • Shoes - Aldo
  • Outfit 3

  • I'm actually very proud I was able to find pretty much identical shoes to hers! It was hard enough that it's no longer fall and winter so knee high boots aren't everywhere anymore but I found this pair from Boohoo that even lace up in the back like hers!
  • Outfit Details
  • Dress - New Look
  • Shoes - Boohoo
  • Outfit 4

  • As much as I love the suede trend, the regular cliché tan coloured suede is getting really old in my opinion. I love seeing other colours like olive and burgundy as suede so much more.
  • Outfit Details
  • Top - Forever 21
  • Skirt - Just Fab
  • Shoes - Aldo
  • Bag - Aldo
  • Outfit 5

  • I've been eyeing this dress at Dynamite since they launched their spring arrivals and now that I've noticed that Jamie has worn something similar, I NEED to get it before it sells out. My size is already sold out of the Nina Dobrev Style Steal I posted :( I love this dress because of the slit.
  • Outfit Details
  • Dress - Dynamite
  • Necklace - Forever 21
  • Shoes - Call it Spring
  • Firmoo Eyeglasses Review

    Friday, April 22, 2016
    Putting on a new pair of glasses or sunglasses is a simple way to completely transform your look - just like a new hairstyle.
  • -Brad Goreski
  • I've been wearing glasses since the second half of 5th grade. I absolutely love getting a new pair every couple of years because I always seem to find a better one. I'm suppose to get a new pair this May but when Firmoo contacted me to do an eyewear review for them, I was really excited to get a pair earlier than expected! Firmoo is an online optical store that offers an affordable selection of frames and lenses. To be honest, I didn't expect much of it because I've been so used to getting my eyewear from Lenscrafters (it's been 10 years already), I didn't think the quality of an online optical store could compare.
    Selection Process
    I've never selected a pair of glasses online before so I was pretty nervous choosing a pair. I chose a pair similar to my current glasses. I highly recommend comparing the dimensions of your own eyeglasses (or sunglasses) when choosing a pair online. I originally had a bunch of glasses I was considering before I realized some of them were much bigger than the ones I currently own. I also recommend choosing a shape you know you like. They have an option where you can upload a photo of yourself to try on but I never think those work for me so I trusted the measurements I did myself instead of relying on that option. I ended up selecting the style #S3417 which is very similar to the ones I already own.
    Review
    When I received the package, I was pleasantly surprised; the quality of the eyeglasses was much better than I expected. I was also glad I read my prescription right. My last optometrist's handwriting was not that great so I was really nervous I wouldn't be able to see in them. If you're only purchasing for fashion purposes, then you don't need to worry about your prescription! I only need my glasses for "general use" so I didn't have any problems when choosing between the different options they had.
    The fit was perfect and even better than how my current ones fit right now. I loved how it wouldn't slide down my nose even a bit. I personally did not like the shape of the glasses on myself. They are similar to my current pair but they're much bigger than I expected. On the website it says a 5mm difference is acceptable but to me it really made a difference as you can see in the comparison below. My current glasses is the first photo and the Firmoo ones are shown below it.
    Another thing that I noticed with these particular glasses was that they gave me headaches and strained my eyes out really quickly. I've had this feeling before but it was usually because of how long I was staring at a computer screen and it wouldn't happen until the end of the day. It could also be because they are new glasses so my eyes weren't used to it but because of how quickly I'd get headaches, it made me not want to wear them for long periods of times.
    AND my overall rating (out of 5) for this product is:
    Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for a review by Firmoo. All opinions are my own.
    © All images are copyrighted material and all rights are reserved

    The Choker Revival

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    I'm really excited to announce that...........I'M THE NEWEST MEMBER OF FASHION CANADA'S STYLE PANEL. I found out a couple of weeks ago but didn't want to announce it until I had my first article posted. I'm really excited for the upcoming (short) articles I get to collaborate on for a fashion magazine that I've known and loved for years and also had some of my fashion inspirations on the cover (like Olivia Palermo). Personally, I wasn't a huge fan of the choker revival because it was just the same old black choker that I kept seeing on everyone but when I found out that styling one would be my first challenge, I took it as a sign to get a different collar I've been eyeing at Zara. If you want to see the little feature I wrote for them to get all the outfit details, it will be here!

    That Time I Went to Fashion Art Toronto: Day 4

    Monday, April 18, 2016
    I've never heard of Fashion Art Toronto (FAT) but when I found out it was happening at a time I could actually go (since it was exam season), I was beyond stoked. Fashion Art Toronto is a 5 day event showcasing Canadian and international designers. It's celebrated by not only runway shows but live performances, fashion films, photography exhibits and art installations. I love how they showcase both emerging and established designers. When I was looking through the different artist biographers, I noticed how unique their designs are compared to ones you'd normally see at fashion week mainly because of where their inspiration comes from. Even though I think you can get inspiration everywhere, I didn't expect certain inspirational sources that some of the designers had. This year's theme was "Dress Codes"; in summary, it's about how fashion is a huge part when it comes to your identity. Each day there was a different theme: Un DRESS, Gender WEAR, DRESS Accordingly, Counter CODE and HAUTE Culture. You can read more about the specific details of each day here.

    I attended Day 4 where the theme was "Counter CODE". I walked around the exhibition they had which I think was one of the best parts. They had photographs and designs on display. My favourite two they had were a red carpet with nails in it but had space for your feet and a red dress.

    As for the shows, I saw Wolf N Crane, Neoteny Apparel, House of Poplyn, Odrea and Nuvango. When I saw that the theme was Counter CODE, with an emphasis on "CODE", I expected more technological aspects to designs like 3D printing, LED dresses sort of thing. The theme actually meant that the designs were a "rejection against the norm" which was still interesting to see.

    Most of the designs weren't anything I would personally wear but I did like where the inspiration came from for their designs. For instance, Nuvango was inspired by colour theory and Odrea got inspiration from trompe l’oeil (which is an art technique that creates an optical illusion using realistic imagery). Odrea was by far my favourite show of the night. It was all white womenswear outfits. The location of the show didn't have a typical cascading seating plan like fashion week or at the movie theatres so it was really hard to take photos because of the limited seating they had. I ended up standing just to get a better view and that still didn't help when it came to photos! Overall it was great seeing more local designers!

    Outfit Details
  • Sweater - Express
  • Skirt - Zara
  • Jacket - Zara
  • Hat - Forever 21
  • Hopefully you enjoyed the photos I got of the exhibition and leave a comment if you enjoyed :)

    Summer Style Guru | ANNOUCEMENT

    Thursday, April 7, 2016
    I'm super excited to announce that I'll be a Style Guru this summer for College Fashionista! If you don't know, College Fashionista is a website that has fashion inspiration from an endless amount of universities and colleges all over the world. If you ever need campus style inspo, College Fashionista is the place to go. It's also a great place to meet other fashionistas from around the world but also in your local area. I'm very fortunate to be part of this team this summer!

    Please fill out the contact form on my blog (before May 2, 2016) if you'd like to be added to the mailing list to keep up to read my future articles with them! Just leave a message saying "Style Guru Sign Up" and your preferred email address!

    Be sure to follow College Fashionista on all their social media: Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat: CFashionista!

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