2018 has been off to a pretty fantastic start!
January really did feel like an aeon – not entirely in a bad way, but I was getting pretty sick of my winter boots after wearing them 5 weeks in a row.
I’ve been sticking to my resolutions, which means really trying to prioritize my own health and happiness. Here are a few highlights of the New Year so far:
Best Things I Did
I was lucky enough to attend the Lana del Ray concert at the ACC – my lovely friend Aashima brought me along as her guest, and we enjoyed the event from one of the box suites! We both decided that this is the best way to enjoy a concert – seated comfortably, with endless food and drinks being served all night long 🙂
I’ve loved Lana since her Born to Die days, and was obsessed with Ultraviolence. I hadn’t listened to much of her newest album, Lust for Life, so I went to the concert without any expectations. And I was absolutely blown away. She is so incredible live!! I think her voice is even more haunting and beautiful in person than it is on her records. She covered Scarborough Fair, and I nearly had a conniption. She was dressed in a super-cool seventies inspired outfit, and looked like an ethereal angel.
It was such a wonderful experience, and I was genuinely sad when the concert was over! One highlight of the evening: someone proposed to their partner during Lana’s performance of Video Games. What an awesome proposal! I’m sure it was a great surprise, and the memory will be so special. Not to mention they’ll be reminded of it every time they hear the song 🙂
Another one of my best cool girlfriends invited Azim and me to attend a Grammy’s Pre-Show Party being taped at City TV! Marilee wasn’t able to attend…because she was actually working on the red carpet in New York – super glam. So Azim and I treated it like a fancy date – we got dressed up, drank the fancy cocktails, stuffed our faces with canapés, and hung out with each other all night. I couldn’t tell you who won what, but I had the best time with my babe.
I’ve also been making the most of my cozy winter nights in. I’ve been reading a lot instead of wasting time on YouTube (see some of my reading recommendations below), and Azim and I have decided to make the most of visiting the cute spots in our neighbourhood. Nirvana will always be a staple, and he recently surprised me and took me out for a date at Nobody Writes to the Colonel. Living downtown is a great privilege, so it’s important to me to get out of the rut of going home after work and settling in. There is so much to see and do!
I have managed to break my bad habit of getting home, whipping my bra off (Best. Feeling.) and chilling out. Instead, I’ve been exercising consistently 3-4 times a week! I’m making more of an effort to write about it on my blog to help keep me accountable. I’m still waiting to reach that point where I start to look forward to my workouts…maybe when the days are longer and I can actually wear running shoes outside without an onslaught of slush?
Best Things I Saw
Azim and I went to watch Molly’s Game in the cinema, and really enjoyed it! We are both fans of Jessica Chastain, and thought she did a fantastic job in this character!
The movie was entertaining, but the story itself is what left me feeling inspired – especially because it’s based on a true story. Molly Bloom has so much tenacity, integrity, and is a true HUSTLER. She has had to rebuild her life from rock bottom more than once, and she has found crazy success. I don’t think I’m as much of a risk-taker as she is, but her story is a great reminder to me that opportunities are there for the taking, and it’s better to live and learn than not live at all.
I also watched Hidden Figures recently (it’s on Netflix), and was so moved. It’s so hard for me to stomach the fact we lived (and still live) in such a segregated society. The “colored” coffee pot scene made me want to weep. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe did an amazing job. If you haven’t seen it, please do!
Like everyone else, I became obsessed with Big Little Lies. I read the book a couple years ago, so I already knew who was killed and who did it, but I was still watching on the edge of my seat. The character development is so good, and I was really impressed with the young actors who played Chloe and Ziggy. Darby Camp, who played Chloe, was probably one of my favourite characters. I love that the writers gave her such wicked taste in music – it actually inspired me to comb through my music library and listen to all my most beloved tracks again. Now that I’m so into podcasts, I feel like I barely listen to music anymore. But nothing conveys a sense of wonder like a really really good song.
Best Things I Read
I have been totally engrossed in Rich People Problems, the latest book in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series. I picked up the first book on a lark – I thought it would be really trashy, but a nice light read to distract me on my commute. I was pleasantly surprised – the books are totally addicting and hilarious and I look forward to reading them whenever I can find a spare moment!
What I’m really looking forward to is the movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians – though the characters may not have depth and breadth, the entire cast will be Asian. That is AMAZING! It will be incredibly refreshing to see a Hollywood film in which the Asian characters are not Kung Fu masters or nerdy sidekicks. My mom and I have been discussing how they’ll replicate the opulent décor, and what a treat it will be for fashion lovers. I’m sure the major couture houses will all contribute to the wardrobe!
For a Gone Girl-esque thriller, check out Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry. It was one of those books that kept me reading an hour past bedtime every night, and I finished in in just a couple of days. I couldn’t figure out who the killer was (and I’m usually pretty good at guessing!), and I also loved the description of the setting of the story – in a small English village in the countryside. I think I need to book a plane ticket.
I mentioned Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt in my past blog post – really, it’s still sitting in my mind. It was so touching, and I want to recommend it to everyone. Two other BEAUTIFUL books that I recommend to everyone, as “must reads” are The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
Seven Husbands was another one that I could NOT put down. It was old Hollywood glamour, the sadness of living a closeted life, beauty, pain, and a truly original story.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a classic – it was written in 1943 but truly stands the test of time. It’s a sweet, quietly moving coming of age story that I think I would have obsessed over had I read it as a young girl. But I loved it just as much now.
For fantasy lovers/young adult readers, check out V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. I’m on the second one already! It’s fast-paced and a lot of fun with a strong female and male lead. I don’t love it quite as much as The Magicians by Lev Grossman – or The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, but it has elements of both.
I recently started a new one called A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, which takes place in post-war Chechnya. I’ve never read a book that takes place during this time period and setting, so I feel like I’m learning at least a little.
Best Things I Ate
Winterlicious just passed, and it was a treat. Azim’s birthday always falls during winterlicious, so we try to take advantage. We were able to have a snazzy dinner at Cluny for a great price. Highlights – the French onion soup with extra gruyere cheese was a treat, and the jardin de jasmine cocktail was DIVINE! I am really into floral cocktails, so if you have similar tastes, run don’t walk to try one 🙂
I also went to Auberge du Pommier with my family, and surprisingly my favourite part of the meal was the homemade rose jam which was served with the cheese plate. Like I said, floral tastes!! It was so impeccable, even my mom and brother enjoyed it as much as I did. I asked our server if it was for sale, but unfortunately it was not. They were kind enough to send us home with a little sample to have on toast or eat with cheese! Yum.
I really enjoyed Bannock with my bestie Laura. Her ravioli was probably the best part of the menu – we both urged the manager to add it to their staple menu! I would definitely visit the restaurant again if they served it.
Other fun food moments: Trying haggis at the Caledonian (this is just a lovely pub, authentically Scottish. Donna – I think she is maybe one of the owners? – has recognized us for visiting the restaurant a few times, and she is delightful.) I actually enjoyed it! I just have to not think too hard about what goes into it 🙂 My parents and I also went to Pinky’s Ca Phe for some zesty drinks and cool tiki vibes. The coconut mee kati noodles at Sabai Sabai were also a win. And of course…
Chinese New Year! We had delicious noodles, dumplings, shrimp, sea cucumber, Popeye’s fried chicken, and more. We also celebrated my grandparents’ 59th wedding anniversary 🙂 I feel so blessed to have such a loving family. Happy Year of the Dog to you and yours!!
Best Things I Wore
With the weather warming up just the littlest of bits, I’ve jumped on the chance to wear my pastel candy-coloured coats. I have a gorgeous baby blue peacoat from Kate Spade that I bought last year at the end of the season. It was still a bit of a splurge, and I was worried I’d regret it…but it’s actually one of my favourite coats in my collection! I’ve also been wearing my pepto bismol pink coloured cocoon coat from J.Crew on repeat. I pinned a big flowery brooch on it for extra Dolores Umbridge vibes, and I can’t get enough of it.
I also treated myself to a pair of CRAZY Loeffler Randall mules. I saw them last year and fell in love, but again, felt like I didn’t need them. But then I realized I did. I really did. I needed a pair of silver leather mules with multi-coloured pompoms – what else would I wear to the grocery store or to a doctor’s appointment? Mules are the shoes you slip on when you’re in a hurry. And why not spice up boring errands with pompoms? I’m in love.
I’ve been toying with the idea of uploading iphone pics of my weekly outfits on the blog. Azim is so supportive and helpful in taking my outfit pics for me, but as you may have noticed, we haven’t been doing them as much. They require a LOT of work, and he has a pretty full plate these days. But I do still take (bad) pictures on my iphone! Is that something you guys would be interested in seeing? They wouldn’t be our usual quality, that is why I’m hesitating. Let me know what you think!
Hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to the new year so far. Thank you as always for reading!! Lots of love xox