By: Marie Lynn Birks

Let’s face it this city loves food! Any one who has ever had a “gourmet mac n’ cheese” or a jacked up version of a meatloaf now considers them self a “foodie” and refuses to eat the food we grew up on unless it has been fried in duck confit fat or has been marinated in this week’s most popular craft beer. Torontonians are spoiled with the huge number of original and daring restaurants we get to chose from for our Saturday night out. Most of us will sit around with our limited knowledge of cooking and food and debate about which new hot spot has the better menu, or better selection or who’s more original.

Well our uneducated debate can come to a close! Last month local chef’s Joe Friday and Devan Rajkumar started the new food event “Toronto’s Underground Chef Cartel”. Capitalizing off the hugely popular food network the event consists of two local chef’s who will square off against each other to compete for the most original and well prepared dishes show casing a specific ingredient they are given just seconds before the battle. The food is judged by a cut throat panel of chefs, food bloggers, restaurant owners and the general audience.

Admission is very reasonable at $25 a ticket, which allows you into the show a drink ticket and some appetizers. The entire night is filmed and features a local DJ for additional entertainment. Check out the latest battle!

So what do you think foodies? Are we ready to take our passion for food to a place that no longer includes actually eating the food? Do you want to watch your favourite local chef’s battle it out in an gritty no holds bar competition for bragging rights?

I know I do!


We can finally sense the end of winter. It’s time to put away your winter hats and get ready for spring hair! We absolutely love this braided look from the “Freckled Fox.” This relaxed bohemian look is a perfect match for this seasons 70s trend.


  • two hair-ties or elastics
  • hairspray – optional
  • dry shampoo – optional


Steps 1-3: (1) Start by separating your hair in half with a straight part down the middle, and if you need extra grip and texture work in some dry shampoo with your fingers. (2) Pick a side to start, separate your hair into three sections, and begin your braid (3) by first pulling your front-most section to the back. This will keep it from pulling towards the front more than you want it too.

Steps 4-6: Make sure as you begin your braiding that you don’t start around your ear level, but rather closer to your shoulder. this difference makes the difference between adult lady braids and 12 year old braids.haha Once you’ve braided your desired length, tie it off, (4) and tug the edges of the braid to loosen, as well as around your scalp. Repeat on the other side, only this time (5) I like to work in a few random braids here and there for some asymmetry. Tie the second one off, (6) loosen the hair around your scalp a bit, and you’re all finished!

Steps 7-9: (7) After tugging out from my scalp (8) I added a few feathers to each braid (for that extra bohemian touch) by tucking the pointy end upwards into the end of the braid, and (9) wrapped the ends with some leather cording to finish it all off. and you’re all done!

If you are like me you find eye shadow palettes intimidating. Im usually overwhelmed by them. Too many colors. Too many choices. Meet the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette, and cue the deluge of “It’s like art!” reviews. Think of it like a handheld gateway to the modern smoky eye—you can create subtle gradations and bright accents or keep it simple with a monochrome swipe. An artist-inspired eyeshadow palette with seamless color transitions offering effortless blending in a single pan. The innovative multi-press, three-dimensional design, combined with a fine, creamy consistency, introduces a new level of control for blending and picking up pigment. Available in 7 curated color palettes. Retails for $58.

Screenshot 2015-03-13 11.34.45

It’s finally happened! The mercury has broken the freezing line and a faint hope of spring is in the air. Im already dreaming of flip flops and summer sandals. A quick glance down demonstrates how much I have neglected my poor feet this winter. They are dry, cracked and in need of some serious TLC.

I’ve just stumbled across BabyFoot and cant wait to try it out as soon as amazon can get it to me.  What is it?  Baby Foot is an innovative foot care product that will make your feet as smooth and soft as a baby’s foot. The unique formula of 17 types of natural extracts allow your feet to exfoliate naturally leaving them highly moisturized. This effective and gentle process removes the unwanted dead skin cells that have built up layer after layer. In addition, Baby Foot can improve other foot issues like: Foot Odor, Athletes Foot and Blood Circulation. So say goodbye to rough, dry, cracked soles, by using a product that really works!

How does it work?


How to use it:
-Each box contains one time use only gel packs.
-Remove toenail polish, and wash feet thoroughly to remove lotions and oils.
-Place foot in pack, secure with tape and place socks over gel packs.
-After an hour, rinse the gel solution off of your feet.
-After your treatment, your feet will feel highly moisturized.
-Starting around 3 to 5 days after your treatment, your dead skin will begin to peel away from your feet.

Do not use this product:
– If you are a diabetic.
– If you are pregnant or nursing.
– If you are allergic to any ingredients in this product.
– If you have open sores on your feet, or other foot damage.
– If you are using any other foot products.


downloadH&M announced that it will be developing a full beauty line to launch in the fall of 2015. H&M Beauty will include specially designed makeup, body care and hair care products. Even though H&M does currently sell a selection of branded cosmetics, most of which are slung at checkout as impulse buys, the news of a complete product overhaul indicates that H&M is finally taking a serious stab at the beauty market.

We can’t wait to see what they have in store.


Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo will open its first two Canadian stores in Toronto next year. This week the popular international retailer beloved by regular folk and fashion plates alike finally confirmed the company will open two flagship-level stores in Toronto: a 28,000 square-foot location at the Eaton Centre downtown, and a 24,000 square-foot location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

The stores will open in the fall of 2016.

The casual clothing retailer offers moderately priced apparel and accessories for men, women, children and babies including button-down shirts and blouses, sweaters, T-shirts, sweats, jeans, loungewear, hats, bags and belts. The company also offers unique and proprietary collections such as its Ultra Light Down outerwear and functional HEATTECH and AIRism apparel.

We can’t wait!

Tights are a necessity during colder months. Unfortunately, most tights don’t really offer much warmth. And the ones that do are often thick, bulky knit ones–which can be cute, but that’s not always the look I’m going for. Enter Uniqlo’s basic Heat Tech tights, which look like your average pair of opaque black tights, but are somehow incredible warm. They are the perfect pair to get you through winter. bThey are soft and stretchy but not to stretchy that they lose shape. Featured in perfect colors for winter layering. At $12.5 a pair they are very affordable.





Tired of the same old Jack-o-latern that your carve up each year? We have rounded up some great alternatives to your traditional carved pumpkin. Beware – some of these styles are not for the newbie DIY-er.

Pumpkins With Scary Etchings (via Martha Stewart):

To render the glowing silhouettes, two techniques were used: The bright candelabrum and goblet are cut through the pumpkins’ walls, while the textured quill and skull are pared gently from the outer shells. Pumpkins of different hues, including white ‘Lumina,’ a green-gray ‘Jarrahdale,’ and burnt-orange cheese pumpkins, add tonal variety.



Gold Thumbtack Covered Pumpkins (Via Madigan Made)

If you have some spare thumbtacks lying around and enjoy repetitive tasks then this pumpkin DIY is for you!



Glittery Pumpkin (Via BHG):

Glam up a pumpkin with silver sequins, rhinestones, and a metallic silver spider.


Running too late to slather on moisturizer post-shower? Wrangler’s got your gams covered — in aloe vera and olive oil extract.

Wrangler has introduced a trio of Denim Spa Jeans that claim to moisturize and fight cellulite. Ingredients such as rose hip oil, retinol, caffeine and shea butter are sprayed onto the jeans before being dried in an oven.

How does it work? In non-traditional Wrangler style, the jeans are cut tight, so the friction between fabric and skin bursts open the microcapsules containing those soothing substances. The treatment lasts six to eight washes.

The new jeans, currently available for about $150 on Asos, are being launched in an ad campaign featuring Lizzy Jagger, 28, the model daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, who coos: “After a day wearing Denim Spa, my legs feels great; they come out of Denim Spa jeans feeling more silky than usual.”

So, do these sound “ooh!” or “ew!”?


Turkey Day is almost here. We all like to indulge a little bit on Thanksgiving but if you are looking for something on the lighter side this Quinoa recipe from The Foodnetwork is a great take on classic Thanksgiving recipe.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Directions


  • Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water (or use low-sodium chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, raisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.