Authentic Lebanese Hummus

Growing up, I still remember going over to my grandparent's house every week for home cooked meals. My mom's side of the family is Lebanese, so dishes such as tabouleh, fatayer, and baba ghanoush made regular appearances on our dinner plates. As a child, I don't think I understood just how much time and effort went into preparing these large meals made up of so many dishes. Nowadays, I have a newfound appreciation for my elders, as some days I struggle just to put together a smoothie for breakfast!

For those of you who don't know me personally, let me explain my incredibly huge Lebanese family. We are all spread out between BC and Quebec, but every two years my family holds a reunion where almost 200 of us gather to catch up. Ever since I was little, I always looked forward to these reunions. No matter how busy we all are, there is a huge group of us that almost always shows up, and that's something that I think is so special.


Castle on the Hill

I was blasting Ed Sheehan's song 'Castle on the Hill' last weekend, when I got caught up in a whimsical idea. Wouldn't it be nice to dress up and do a romantic photoshoot around an old castle? I started wishing to myself that I lived in Europe, when it hit me that we actually have our very own little castle here in Toronto: Casa Loma.



While thinking of what outfit I would want to feature for this shoot, I thought back to this jumpsuit I had been wanting to feature. When I was trying it on, somebody had told me that I looked like a kindergarten teacher, but I decided to trust my gut and buy it anyways. When I started thinking of princess looks I could channel, it came to me. Who would wear such an outfit that made them look like a kindergarten teacher? Why, the book-loving, intelligent Belle, of course.

Chez Lavelle

On my first visit to Lavelle, it was a brand new rooftop bar and restaurant that had opened up down the street from my place. My boyfriend and I went for dinner and we were extremely impressed from start to finish. My only complaint had been that one half of the venue was a sophisticated crowd dining in the restaurant, and the other half was getting drunk by the pool. 

This weekend when my mom and I went for brunch, the atmosphere was completely different than when I had visited in the summer, and my previous complaints were no longer an issue. Throughout the winter, only the restaurant half of the venue is kept open, eliminating any guests who are only there to party. I'm a sucker for any rooftop restaurant, and if it has decor as beautiful as Lavelle, chances are you'll continue to find me there on a regular basis.


A Sunny Afternoon

There is something special to be said about spontaneous, unexpected fun. I hate planning a whole day or night and then having my expectations become a total let down. When a great day comes about without any planning, it's one of the best feelings in the world. This is exactly what happened when my boyfriend, Sean, and I ended up having the same afternoon off at the last minute.

I was on my way to the Eaton Centre when I got a call from Sean saying that he didn't have to go in to work. I immediately rushed back home so we could have a little day date. Because we both work two jobs and have such crazy schedules, we don't often get the same days off, so we really have to make the most of the ones we have together.

Perriwinkle and Pastels

When I first bought these Gucci heels, I always paired them with all black or white outfits. Unique pastel colours have always caught my attention, but it can be a challenge to pair them with shades other than black or white. Given the crazy amount of colours in my closet, you would think finding something to go with them would be a piece of cake, but everything I had tried to pair them with ended up clashing. These heels are so comfortable, but because I don't want to wear them with the same dresses over and over, I haven't gotten as much use out of them as I would like. Enter the perfect shade of pink to match.

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