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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hip + Urban Girl: Solmaz of The Curious Creature

I met Solmaz on several occasions and we instantly clicked. Her lifestyle blog, The Curious Creature is one that I can spend hours reading. It's loaded with beautiful photos and is witty, smart and all around lovely... just like her. Say hello to our Hip + Urban Girl Of The Month, Solmaz!

1) What is a typical day in the life of Solmaz?

I start my day off with a healthy, nutritious breakfast (Nutella and a boatload of carbs), read a few newspapers (I’m old-school like that) and then move on to my treasure chest (aka inbox) which is usually filled with press releases, media invites and other work-related emails. Then I spend some time on social media; this usually takes up way more time than anticipated because I’m curious and incredibly chatty. With the exception of my morning routine, every day is different (which is why I love what I do). I’m either freelancing at special events around town, writing, giving PR advice to a client, blogging about a product or experience, attending media events or hopping around the globe embracing new adventures (I’m an avid traveller). I also spend a lot of time on the phone or on coffee dates with other freelancers, bloggers and entrepreneurs. We bounce ideas off each other, share tips and give each other advice; I guess it’s kind of like a virtual office! My evenings are usually spent frolicking around town devouring everything in sight, attending media events or hanging out with friends and fam.

2) Tell us about The Curious Creature!

The Curious Creature is a lifestyle blog where I share posts about everything that excites me – from food and travel to art and interesting experiences or products. I treat my blog like a personal journal and am grateful that my stories resonate with so many people around the world. There’s truly nothing more gratifying than inspiring others to get out there, try new things and live life to its fullest!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Make This! Tomato + Salami Appetizer

When you're running home from work to entertain guests for a midweek dinner party, you need an appetizer to keep the starving masses at bay. Enter this easy tomato, salami and cheese appetizer! It requires only a handful of ingredients and minimal assembly. Plus it's filling enough that people are not starving before dinner and it taste super good with wine.
Ingredients
  • Roma or heirloom tomato, sliced
  • French baguette, toasted & sliced
  • Fresh Basil leaves, chopped
  • Fresh mozzarella or bocconcini cheese, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • A package of salami or proscuitto
Preparation
  1. Cut up your baguette into 1-1.5" slices
  2. Layer with sliced cheese
  3. Add sliced tomato
  4. Season with salt & pepper
  5. Sprinkle with basil
  6. Drizzle with olive oil
  7. Place salami or proscuitto in the middle of your plate
Enjoy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lollapalooza 2014 - Chicago

If you're lamenting the fact that you missed out on Coachella this year, never fear - there is always Lollapalooza. The three-day festival held in Chicago is much more accessible via a short flight on Porter Airlines or about an eight-hour drive from Toronto. I also love the fact that it takes place in a city full of hotels and does not involve a three-hour drive into the desert.

Tickets are still available via StubHub, Platinum Passes or by booking a package. You might even get a shot closer to the date when peeps who change their mind about attending start unloading their tickets online. Packages are actually half-decent at $1600 and include VIP passes for two people with accommodations.

To learn more visit: www.Lollapalooza.com



Thursday, April 17, 2014

3 Classic Coats For Your Spring Wardrobe

Even when the weather's getting warmer, it's still quite cool at night. Of course you can wear a cardi or a wrap to layer up but you're just not going to feel as warm, dry or put together unless you're wearing coat at this time of year. Having the right array of jackets to top various spring looks is essential to pulling it all together effortlessly so here are 3 classic must-haves for every hip urban girl's spring wardrobe:

Banana Republic New Classic Trench in Navy, $275
1. The Trench:   Perfect for the rainy season, often belted to accentuate curves and conservative enough to wear to the office or at evening soirees, the trench is function and sophistication at it's best. Choose classic tan or try navy for a more formal look. If you're lucky enough to find a breathable version that flares and hits just above the knee, try sporting it as a dress for a different look. Très chic!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EVENT: Happy Birthday Lou Dawg's

Toronto's favourite BBQ joint, Lou Dawg's is celebrating 5 years of southern hospitality and good times at 589 King St West with a lineup of wet-nap-required festivities kicking off Thursday, April 17 at its anniversary bash!

Come join the fun:

  • 12:00 pm - 12:00 am: FREE Mighty Loutine (pulled pork poutine) all day with the purchase of a Pistonhead Kustom Lager.
  • 6:00 pm - Slow Smoked Rib Eating Contest. Tweet @LouDawgs to enter (5 spots are available).
  • 12:00 pm - 2:00 am - Live New Orleans jazz, blues and country music.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hip + Urban Spa: The Ritz Carlton - Toronto

The Ritz Carlton Spa Toronto is located on the 5th Floor and features North America’s only Spa My Blend by Clarins. The Spa is a 23,000 square foot light filled retreat with a co-ed relaxation room, green tea infused Vitality Pools, an aromatherapy steam room, sauna, and champagne nail bar. Bring your bathing suit and take a dip in the indoor saltwater pool and hot tub. The spa was recently awarded #1 Spa in the World from Travel + Leisure's 2013 World's Best Awards.

The Clarins My Blend Facial at The Ritz Carlton Toronto was by far the most thorough facial I have ever received. It was also the most priciest, which definitely proves that you get what you pay for.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

EVENT: The Original Wedding Soiree presents The Grand Carnival

Hey Brides-To-Be! Congrats, he finally put a ring on it and now the fun begins... but where to start? Whether you're planning to say "I do" in an intimate wedding with your favourite people or going to glam it up large and in-charge, you don't want to miss The Original Wedding Soiree!

A love affair taking place on Sunday, April 27 at The Warehouse Event Venue (35 Carl Hall Road).

This curated & interactive wedding show will feature:

  • Local Wedding Library
  • Mini Consultations
  • Live Inspiration Installations - the first in Toronto!
  • Live Entertainment
  • Specialty Food Stations
  • Moveable Feast: Outdoor Food Trucks with Bistro Tent
  • And a Carnaval de Paris theme that promises to wow attendees

Tickets are $30 + HST and includes one cocktail, delicious appetizers, a tote bag, valet parking and more.

Special discount for hip + urban brides: Purchase your ticket before April 21 and get 45% off when ordering via Eventbrite. Enter promo code "HUG2014". Enjoy the show!

You can find The Original Wedding Soiree on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Curated Mother's Day Gift Boxes

Taking the stress out of gift giving, BRIKA founders Jen Lee Koss and Kena Paranjape have put the final ribbons on their specially curated Mother's Day gift boxes, coined ‘DONE + DELIVERED’.

Each hand-selected item in each gift box has a story. BRIKA serves as a retail platform for female artisans across North America. This community of 'makers' celebrates modern craft and the idea that our lives are as beautiful as we wish to make them.

Boxes are available for a limited time. Mother's Day gift boxes range in price between from $59 to $89. All boxes include a selection of home and body care items from makers such as: Tokyo Factory, Anna Joyce, Fine Day Press and C'est Jolie.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

5 Spots To Score Stylish Rain Gear

I have never been so happy to see rain. Seriously. April showers bring those May flowers but more importantly, they send the ice and snow right down the sewers where it belongs. Still, the dreary-ness can get to a girl so I've been scoping out chic rain gear to make it through. 

Here my top 5 spots to score stylish rain gear:



Raindrops is a puddle jumper's paradise offering a wide selection of high quality and designer umbrellas, rain boots, and water resistant outerwear for the whole family. Though they do offer an online store, I'd recommend visiting the boutique inside The Holt Renfew Centre, Concourse Level at 50 Bloor Street West for a better shopping experience.



Sold online and at Holts in Canada, Trout Rainwear makes a mean slicker. And by "mean" I mean fabulous. Though they do fall into the investment piece category, the collection is made from breathable fabrics that are also 100% waterproof making them perfect for spring, summer and even early fall weather. Plus, a few of their spring / summer pieces are actually reversible. Two coats, three seasons...you do the math. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Coachella THIS Weekend!

Coachella is happening THIS weekend. 

Can't make it to the desert? Set an alert on your calendar and stream the whole thing live at your office starting Friday afternoon! Doors open at 11 AM PST and the first couple of bands should probably be rolling on at around Noon.

I'm most excited about Lana Del Rey, Arcade Fire, Lorde, Foster the People, MGMT, Beck and the Pet Shop Boys. Who are you looking forward to?

Weekend 1 can be streamed at www.YouTube.com/Coachella