Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tea in the Sahara

I’ve already gulped down several coffees today. And being an avid coffee enthusiast, I’ve enjoyed them all. Immensely. However, as I sit at Red Rocket Coffee—my local coffee shop—I am compelled to pass on the second Americano and get a pot of piping hot tea.

I’m definitely in luck here, because Red Rocket’s tea of choice (and mine) is from Toronto-based Tea in the Sahara. My favorite is 100 Mysteries, a delicious blend of coconut, ginger and cinnamon, but I am currently drinking Busy Being Blue—blue flowers and berries—and I must say it’s one of those rare occasions in tea drinking where the brewed tea tastes as delicious as it smells. Kudos to Tea in the Sahara.

For a full line up of their offerings, visit
Check out my local Leslieville coffee shop—and Tea in the Sahara seller— at

p.s. a selection of these teas, which come in beautiful tin boxes, and a bag of Tea in the Sahara’s pretty silk tea bags makes a thoughtful and chic hostess gift. Or, at least I think it does. G, did you like it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Everybody looks good in white!

I’d like to devote this post to a wonderful charity that I think my readers should be aware of. It seems that every year a major catastrophe makes us sit up and take notice of how fragile the world is. In 2004 it was the tsunami in Thailand and this year the earthquake in Haiti. As a Canadian sitting back in the comfort of a middle-class existence, sometimes it’s hard to empathize. Sympathy comes much easier.

As you give generously to the relief efforts in Haiti, please consider another charity that will affect people much closer to home — Wear White 4 Windfall. 

Each year this anti-poverty and public awareness campaign collects and delivers NEW clothes and essential items and delivers them to people in the Greater Toronto Area who need them most. I’m sure there’s no need to mention that poverty affects people all over the world, but maybe we need to be reminded that could be affecting your neighbour or friend.

On January 28, Wear White 4 Windfall encourages all Torontonians to wear white and donate $4 dollars to the charity. It’s a small way to make a big difference to people in need. 

There are several other ways to show your support. Daniel Espinosa designed an exquisite sterling silver charm especially for this year’s campaign. 

It can be purchased for $24 and is available at the Daniel Espinosa store at 21 Avenue Road or at

If you’re wondering what piece of white clothing you could wear on January 28, Canadian designer Franco Mirabelli provides a fitting option — a chic white tee-shirt.

Here’s a picture of Jonathan and me at the poster and charm launch party at the Daniel Espinosa boutique in Yorkville. 

I thought it would be fitting to wear white for the occasion. And, of course, nobody else did. I’ve also cropped the photo because even after all these years of having my picture taken at events, I still don’t know how to pose. I stood with my hands hanging like dead weights facing the camera dead on. But this isn’t about me... it’s about WW4W!

For more information please visit

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Every year at this time I — like so many others — think up several new years resolutions. Let’s face it, we hardly ever keep them, but they sure are fun to make. It’s like creating an avatar, this perfect person you wish you could be. Well I’ve never been on to shy away from blurring reality and fantasy, so here are a few of my resolutions for the NEW YEAR:

1. Read more. I’m one of those pseudo well-read people whose knowledge of literature exceeds my actual list of books read. So, to combat this, I vow to read more this year — and every year. This year I’d like to tackle more of the Canadian lit canon, delve into American classics and tackle at least one great Russian novel. Here are a few ideas:

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood — My favorite author of all time. Can’t wait to read this one!

The Stone Angel Margaret Lawrence — I only pretended to read this in high school, but since then Margaret Lawrence has become one of my favorite authors.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — Never have read this... but I feel it’s my duty because I love the fashions of the era so much.

Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster — I’ve started this book almost as many times at Pride and Prejudice. It’s one of my brother’s favorites and based on that I vow to read it this year! (Oh yeah, I want to read lots of British classics, too!)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy — Just to throw some light reading in there...

I’ve often thought of obtaining a reputable list of the top 100 novels of all time and systematically reading through it. I think my mom did that. She’s read every great novel. Man, I’m so behind the fold.

Does anyone want to start a book club? I’ve desperately wanted to start one for years. It seems so civilized to read a book and discuss it over wine. Anyone?

2. Drink more/accept more party invitations. Yes, this may seem like an odd thing to resolve to do, but I think my life could use a bit more alcohol, especially red wine and old-fashioned cocktails. I do admit that I resolved to say yes to more invitations last year and it probably turned out to be my most social year on record. I want more.

On a side note, I would like to have more wine on hand at my home at all times. Like this one:

Lillypilly Cabernet Sauvignon. I tried this at the Holt Renfrew party I attended before Christmas and it was delicious. And it's cheap enough to keep several bottles on hand.

3. Eat less. Or at least eat more good food and less of the bad stuff.

4. Edit my wardrobe. My brother and I invaded my mom’s closet and cleared out hundreds of old items that she was holding onto for no apparent reason. I think I now need a dose of my own medicine. It’s time to go into my closet and get rid of lots of things I’ll never wear — even if it’s hard to do! Actually, my whole house could use an edit. There’s nothing nicer than the feeling of a lighter load in life.

5. Less T.V./more movies. And that means more movies at the movie theatre.

6. Make personalized stationary and calling cards.

7. Travel more.

8. Buy a good camera. I have my eyes on this one:

9. Start studying French and Excel.... and all programs made by Adobe.

10. Continue and grow my blog. I really love writing this blog. I’m going to continue to finesse it and find a clearer voice. Stay tuned for good things to come.