Pretty Pink Places

In case it wasn't blatantly obvious, pink is without a doubt my favourite colour. All my life I've been a total girly girl, and anything pink is welcome into that that theme. On my blog and social media accounts, I've tried to keep that same pink theme going, but some days it requires a lot more effort than you would think to maintain. Having said that, I love the added challenge of having to hunt down pink places and things around the city. Even my boyfriend, Sean, can agree that I've come up with some pretty neat date spots based on my desire to maintain my social media aesthetic.

This weekend, we only had half a day to ourselves, so we narrowed down our adventuring to two spots. Given our love of food, we chose one spot for lunch, and another for dessert. I don't think I could ever be with someone who didn't love eating as much as I do. In a city like Toronto there is always something new to try, which is essential for any foodie.

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.

The Easiest PB Banana Smoothie

My favourite smoothie chain is definitely Jugo Juice. I've tried a huge chunk of their menu, and every drink I have from them leaves a sweet taste in my mouth. One of my favourite Jugo Juice drinks is the PB Protein smoothie. It's 440 calories for a delicious combination of chocolate whey protein powder, banana, peanut butter and unsweetened chocolate almond milk. If only you could make it at home...

Back to Basics

As much as I love fun prints and bright colours, I would say that my personal style is very simple. I'm not someone who wears overwhelming amounts of jewellery or accessories - coordinating that many things is just too much for my brain to handle! With my transition to a casual office setting over the winter, I've been trying to keep my looks crisp and clean. Though plain black and white doesn't necessarily scream excitement, I think it's important to be able to put together a nice outfit using only those shades. 

100 Faces

When I was approached by Alicia Chen to participate in her 100 Faces project, I was so flattered by her request and immediately impressed with her work. Alicia is an extremely talented local artist who specializes in illustrations. The purpose of her project is to discover the diversity in Toronto, especially groups staying within their bubbles. She is building a portfolio for this project that will be comprised of illustrations of 100 faces, with stories of the subject to go along with each one.

Light Café

As soon as I stumbled across Light Cafe's Cotton Candy Coffee on Instagram, I knew what I would be doing with my next free afternoon. For the longest time I had wanted to try cotton candy coffee, but didn't know of anywhere that served it in Downtown Toronto. I looked them up, and discovered that the restaurant is one of the hidden gems over on Baldwin Street, along with places like Kekou Gelato and Arctic Bites. That strip is full of little restaurants where you'll find students from the surrounding schools eating and taking food pics every day.

Going to Church

Two weekends ago, I was introduced to the term 'going to church,' which I discovered was another way to say 'Sunday Fun Day'. For anyone hearing this term for the first time, as I was that night, it simply means that you are going to party or drink on a Sunday.

Am I the only one who had never heard of that saying before? I thought it was so funny and clever.

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