SLIDER

Things to Do In Toronto: 24 hours Edition + Hotel Giveaway!

9.24.2016






We had a wonderful and a fun farewell summer trip to Toronto, one of my favorite Canadian destinations any season for a great  Canadian staycation.
Whenever I'm visiting a city, I love to create itineraries and plan ahead what to do in a full day of activities especially when you are a mom of a toddler and a little baby.

Want to enjoy these tips and a get a chance to win a lovely night at any Radisson hotel?  You betcha!

Here are 5 things you must do as soon as you're in Toronto:
1. Brunch at OK OK Diner
This small and casual old diner in Leslieville was a hit in a busy morning with my two little ones. Fluffy pancakes and perfectly cooked bacon were the perfect combo to start our morning like champions. As a McDo hash brown lover, I tried their Eggs Bernadette, a classic benedict eggs with bacon and spinach on two crispy hash browns. Their staff was absolutely great with kids and super friendly with recommendations. 

2. Colorful Wall Crawl
Right after our lovely brunch, we spent the day walking and finding colorful alleys in the city. I finally found the prettiest mural of Maya Hayuk in downtown, where I took some cute photos with my Instagram husband. There are a few great spots you need to visit if you're browsing more cool murals:
- Grafitti alley on Queen St.
- Kensington Market
- Queen St.
- The Keele-Dundas wall

3. Afternoon at Evergreen Brick Works
This former industrial site factory in the middle of the city with restored buildings and a focus on cultural events was a day dream to Nico. Spend a relaxing day running, biking or just walking in their beautiful gardens. I can't wait to visit Wednesday pizza night with Pizzeria Libretto, where you can find the best pizza cooked straight out of the stone oven and always delish by Chef Rocco. You can enjoy craft Ontario beers, ciders and wine along with the weekend's farmers market. 


4. Shop & Coffee at Frank and Oak
I can't get enough of Queen St. I simply love enjoying this vibrant shop area with fabulous Canadian spots like Frank and Oak. If you need a caffeine pit stop  in the middle of the afternoon and get your batteries recharged, check Jimmy's Coffee inside the store. Outstanding coffee with some delish snacks will compliment your shopping stroll in the heart of downtown Toronto. 

5. Relax at Radisson downtown
The best way to enjoy your 24 hours in the city was to sit, relax and enjoy this great spot of the CN tower in the Radisson Admiral Hotel Harbourfront. Stunning views of downtown and Lake Ontario in the golden hour will be the perfect ending to this gorgeous day. We enjoyed the last days of summer, soaking up the sun at the Splash Pool patio, where both Nico and Olivia had a blast. 

Thanks to Radisson, I'm giving away an e-certificate for a complimentary night at a Radisson Hotel of your choice in Canada or US.
Just go ahead and plan your #staycanada vacations, can't wait to hear all about it!

To participate in the giveaway:
1. Click here to find your nearest Radisson Hotel
2. Leave a comment and tell me what's your favorite Canadian city.
3. Best of luck!
xox

Note: Contest ends October 3rd at 9pm ET. Winner will be selected randomly


Local Love: Poppy Barley

9.14.2016


Guys, Fall is around the corner already and I was beyond happy I could start layering my summer clothes, isn't it the best? We went brunch this past weekend (yes, again and again) and we visited my favorite colorful corner in the city on a gloomy day.

Transitioning my closet from summer to fall was quite easy with one exception, I needed a great pair of booties.

When I found out about Poppy Barley, I immediately died over all their collection, literally. Shoes play the most important role in my closet, like, really important especially when we are talking about TOP quality as Poppy Barley.


Their collection is full of modern cuts and they're made-to-measure with the most beautiful luxurious fabrics you'll absolutely adore. I had the pleasure to interview Poppy Barley and I couldn't be prouder of what they have achieved so far and how these two brilliant sisters, Justine and Kendall have created not only an amazing brand but a trendy and comfortable line of footwear I won't resist buying over and over again.


Hope you enjoy their interview and as always you can shop my look at the bottom of this post (:



- Tell us a bit about this lovely idea, Poppy Barley
Like many great ideas, this one began with a plane ticket. Destination: Bali. Justine Barber, Poppy Barley’s co-founder, experienced the luxury and comfort of handcrafted boots made just for her at a shop in Seminyak. Inspired, she returned to Canada with a vision to bring custom footwear to the masses.
Gaining her first follower, Justine convinced her older sister Kendall to help build a movement. The pitch: luxury products, attainable price points, and an elevated customer experience through transparent manufacturing and a better fitting shoe. One size doesn’t fit all.
Diving into the history of shoemaking, the sisters settled on the company name, Poppy Barley, for its roots in England during the middle ages. Cobblers used poppy seeds and barleycorns as a unit of measurement; one barleycorn was equal to 1/3 inch, and four poppy seeds equaled one barleycorn.
Weeks of research and another plane ticket later, Justine and Kendall travelled to León, Mexico, known as The Shoe Capital of the World.
Their first touch point at the airport was with Laura, an English professor, translator and shoe broker, who helped Poppy Barley find a home at a rare custom shoe factory and currently acts as Poppy Barley’s operations manager.
Following an exciting meeting with the factory owner, Lupita Lyons, the four women formed a partnership with the mission to rethink every step of the footwear industry.

You can shop my heeled Chelsea booties here

- What made you decide to open your business and why a footwear one?
Kendall and Justine are both avid runners, and shared a frustration with finding boots to fit their calves. They saw a gap in the market—in fact, Poppy Barley is the first company in North America to offer custom fashion boots online, at a price point unheard of in the bespoke goods industry.
While Poppy Barley solves a fit problem by offering sizes 5-12, and multiple foot and calf widths, it’s so much more than that: ethical manufacturing, female empowerment, and the fight against fast fashion. Kendall and Justine saw a huge opportunity to impact their communities and change an industry.

When we say #ShoesToLiveBy, we truly mean it; these are shoes you can stand behind and feel proud of wearing. But they’re also the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever walked in! You really can live in them!

We also say #LuxuryForThePeople, because we aim to offer customizable sizing at an attainable price. To us, luxury is not a statement to the world about riches. Luxury is a commitment to craftsmanship, thoughtful design, fair profits and a human connection to the makers.


- Any tips for future entrepreneurs in the city?
Edmonton has become a city of makers and entrepreneurs. Kendall and Justine often receive emails from and go for coffee with people who want to start businesses, but want advice first. After all those emails and all those meetings, one of the biggest things we discuss in the office is about having the guts to JUST DO IT. You can do all the research in the world, but nothing will prepare you for the realities of owning a business, and sometimes there are things that you just have to experience before really knowing how to handle it. One of our tag lines for our Fall 2016 campaign was about designing shoes for women who “want to start a business—and actually do.” Because it takes guts. We’re cheering for you!


Thank you Poppy Barley, I can't wait to see what's next from you! 










Homesense Privé & An Espresso Machine Giveaway For You!

9.12.2016


If you know me well enough, you know one of my favorite sport is passing time shopping. Homesense has been in my VIP list for the longest time, not only because they have a gorgeous home collection but also, they offer the most affordable prices, which is a perfect combo I love and I'm sure you too.

When it comes to home shopping, Kitchen is my number one priority and since I became a mom 3 years ago, I'm completely addicted to coffee in any kind, any presentation, and style. My addiction has gone so far right now, that if I don't have my daily cup, I can literally cry #mamaproblems. 

With the help of the new Homesense Privé event, I found the perfect espresso machine for our morning routine, I couldn't be more stoked about this. Being a mama of two life simplifies in one word: 100% busy.
I don't have time anymore for a coffee lineup and at the same time, I need something really good brewing in my kitchen, like a real Italian barista, yay to Homesense!



Launching September 15, Homesense Privé will be bringing to Canada the most exclusive designer kitchen and small home appliance essentials at unbelievable prices as we are used to, as always. You better mark your calendars now, hooray!

Want to discover the nearest store where you can find these dreamy appliances?
Check all of them here

Besides offering great Espresso & Cappuccino machines, you can find:

- Two-slice toasters

- Hybrid humidifiers with an aromatherapy function

- Centrifugal juicers (my next goal!)

- Autonomous vacuum cleaners like Roombas

- Designer stand mixers including KitchenAid

- Blenders with preprogrammed cycles

Isn't this dreamy? 
To celebrate the launch of Homesense Privé I'm giving away an exclusive Espresso & Cappuccino machine.
Enter here and best of luck
xo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a product from Homesense, all comments expressed here are my own.


How To Have The Ultimate Food Crawl in Saint-Henri

9.09.2016

In recent years, Saint-Henri has become one of the most up-and-coming foodie destinations in Montreal.
Known for its authentic mix of cultural cuisines and vibrant artistic community, this fabulous neighbourhood also happens to be steps away from the beautiful Lachine Canal, which is home to one of the most scenic paths of the city.
To help you sample the best of Saint-Henri, I’ve rounded up a few delicious spots that should definitely be on your radar if you find yourself in this part of town.
So grab a friend and don’t forget your appetite!
      Breakfast at Buck15
Recommended: ‘Avo yo’ toast and a latte
This charming minimalistic coffee spot and toast bar brought the popular meal trend to the city and I would eat here every morning if I could. Their famous “Avo yo” toast (their take on avocado toast) comes with a perfect poached egg and dukkah, a blend of nuts, spices, and herbs.
Tip: Show up early – they only have a few seats and it’s usually busy for breakfast during weekdays. But it’s totally worth the wait, trust me.
3027 Rue Notre Dame O

Want to enjoy a full day of food paradise right?
Read the full itinerary on Notable.ca here  

Epicerie HAO

9.07.2016


With an exceptional style and an unique concept, HAO comes to life in the middle of Plateau serving the tastiest steamed buns and the freshest cucumber salad in town.
 I was immediately captivated by the impeccable design of HAO, this minimum white space will make you feel in a little spot in the middle of Japan. A stunning branding and all the pretty little details made us enjoy every minute here.


HAO's concept is a counter-style restaurant with only 4 items in the menu and only 4 seats, amazing right? This will be a great option for a quick eat in the middle of the day.
Pork and veggie steamed buns, a fresh super savory cucumber peanut salad, and a homemade tea were part of the options of their succulent menu.
We tried their pork buns, made of pork shoulder and braised with onions, garlic, soy and sesame oil. Their handmade buns were soft  and full of flavor, and I loved they topped them with crispy onions and green onions.
The cucumber salad is delicately marinated with rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanuts, soy sauce and fresh coriander, could this get any better?

The verdict? William, your menu is out of this world!


On Wednesdays you can enjoy #haoafterhours, a limited and exclusive menu from 6pm to 9pm.
That night Chicken adobo was the protagonist.
I'm so coming back for it.
HAO
255 Rue Rachel Est
Tue - Wed from noon to 4pm
Thu - Fri from 5pm to 9pm
Sat from noon to 9pm
Price range: $ (cash only)
Kids friendly: yes, but take it to go, you won't have space to stay for a while.

Things to do in Toronto: Farmers Market Edition

9.03.2016


Can you believe this place? I felt I was in heaven!
We spent a sunny afternoon in the legendary and fun Kensington Market area of Toronto, one of the most instagrammed areas of the city. This hood has an immense variety of food and a rich cultural mix, every corner you'll visit you'll be delighted. A huge amount of vintage clothing stores, fresh grocers with perfect fruits, the yummiest food places where basically your options are simply endless.

Here are some cute places we visited on this lovely day.
Missing you, Toronto (:


1. Torteria San Cosme 
This torteria serves the yummiest fresh bread and yummy tortas, a delish guacamole and churros you'll need to go back and eat again, no doubt. The menu is simple and full of bold flavors and I simply adored their cafeteria concept. Besides the GREAT food, this colorful place has an eclectic combination of painted tiles, bright murals, and vintage hand lettering ads, making it so unique and funky, totally my kind of place. We tried a molletes a la plancha, a grilled buttered bread with black beans and a perfect white cheese.
Go for any torta, ANY! They have 9 options in the menu and all of them are absolutely delish. Don't forget to have a Fanta, churros con cajeta *drooling* and a agua fresca de tamarindo.






2. Fruta fresca crawl
I have a fascination for any farmers market. I'm not sure what it is but I find it "adorkable" to walk through fruit stands, the smell of fresh food and exploring little streets full of color and flavor. For me and my little ones, this is something very hard to resist. Kensington market had a very unique and eclectic mix of fruit stands, local farmers, latin american grocery stores and endless options for a foodie lover like me. I recommend walking all these lovely streets around the market, get a freshly squeezed juice and enjoy a fruta fresca crawl walk.

3. Seven lives Paleteria
Time for a sweet treat! Seven lives paleteria is a tropical must visit in the market with the cutest colorful decor where you'll feel you are a teenager all over again. Their menu options scream summertime! and you can enjoy sorbets, paletas, fresh juices and dole whips. We don't have anything like this in Montreal so I wanted to have every-single-thing here. Cocktail umbrellas, I'm here for ya!
I'm coming back for a Mangonada, a delish mango soft serve with fresh mango chunks, juice, and a homemade apricot-lime-tajin sauce.
Did I say Tajin? Give me all the chili!


Can't wait to visit you again, Toronto!


West of downtown Toronto, between Spadina ave and College street.
Open daily Mon to Sun / 11am to 7pm

181 Baldwin street
Open daily from 11am to 8pm. Sunday until 6pm.
Price range: $ 
Kids friendly: Totally! It's a cafeteria style place and they even have high chairs for your little ones. 

72 Kensington avenue
Open daily from noon to 8pm
Price range: $
Kids friendly: It's not a big shop and space is very limited, you can fit your stroller but take everything to go. We enjoyed our sorbets in a park nearby, yay to summer! 













© Hey Maca • Theme by Maira G.