Monthly Archives: February 2016

Oscar Night Tea Of Choice:  ‘Festive Night Tea’ from TWG Tea and The Urban Tea Merchant

I have to work tomorrow but I still want some festive cheer as I watch the Oscar’s with friends and family.  What’s a girl to do?

My fave go to for a fun and festive night of food – is adding some ‘Festive Night Tea’ from TWG Tea and The Urban Tea Merchant to the menu.  It’s a treat of a wine and will add some lovely warmth to your Oscar night party from the chill outside.

Festive Night Tea is a green tea blended with cherry blossoms infuses into a dazzling cup with a sweet aroma of red fruits and the intense warmth of rose petals.

Pick some up and have a Happy Oscar Night with your loved ones!

Festive Night Tea

Oscar Night Must Have’s:  Rimmel London’s ‘Match Perfect Foundation’ & ‘Match Perfection Concealer’

We will all be spending tomorrow night swooning over the lush dresses that Rachel McAdams, Brie Larson and Cate Blanchett are wearing.  Let’s not forget about their A make-up game.  It’s neat to see which shades of lipsticks they choose and how they wear their eye makeup.  But we need to look at the foundation too.  The foundation stabilizes our whole look and is the most important piece in pulling off a flawless look.

Pick up Rimmel London’s ‘Match Perfect Foundation’ & ‘Match Perfection Concealer’ to get you started!

For Invisible Coverage & Visibly Perfected Skin, Rimmel London’s ‘Match Perfect Foundation’ will start you off.  It is:

  • Invisible, mistake-proof foundation for visibly perfected & healthier looking skin.
  • Weightless, smooth texture blends with skins real tone instead of masking it.
  • 24HR moisture complex leaves skin feeling hydrated.
  • Soft-focus powers help reduce imperfections, pores & dark circles.


Step 1. Start by applying a pea-sized amount of Fix & Protect Primer. Its ultra-lightweight formula helps to minimises the appearance of pores and evens skin tone whilst providing endless comfort

Step 2. To banish the signs imperfections and pores, apply Match Perfection foundation to your face.

Step 3. Lastly, finish with Match Perfection Concealer under your eyes to cover your dark circles.  Skin Tone adapting concealer Conceal signs of fatigue Highlight & Illuminate eye area.

2 in 1 skin Tone adapting concealer and highlighter.

  • Soft precision brush for the delicate under-eye area.
  • Banish signs of fatigue and illuminate the eye area.
  • Contains an oxygen complex.

Let skin breathe.  We don’t need a red carpet to look good!  Let’s change our makeup regimen’s starting tomorrow.

Robyn and The National to headline Field Trip Music & Arts Festival 2016 (Fort York & Garrison Common on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2016)

Arts & Crafts today announced the lineup for Field Trip Music & Arts Festival 2016, headlined by indie rock band The National and dance pop icon Robyn. The city’s favourite community festival returns to historic Fort York & Garrison Common for its fourth year on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5. With early Explorer Pass now sold out, Field Trip tickets officially go on sale Monday, February 22 at 10 a.m. EST.

Recognized as the essential boutique music event in Toronto’s very own backyard, the two day showcase of top Canadian and international artists also prides itself in a parade of the city’s top food trucks and culinary pop-ups, as well as a range of collaborative and family friendly programming highlighting art, fashion, technology and more. This year’s diverse lineup features a mix of talent from across genres, including local pop-rockers July Talk, rapper Jazz Cartier, ethereal singer-songwriter Basia Bulat; as well as funk and soul singer Charles Bradley from Brooklyn, New York, dreamy folk band Boy & Bear from Sydney, Australia, and many more.

There are many amazing festival experiences these days, but we take pride in the intimacy and diversity of Field Trip, and the deep connection we have with the city of Toronto,” Aaron Miller, programming director, Arts & Crafts. “Field Trip has something for all of us, and something new every year.”

2016 will expand on popular Field Trip traditions like the Mess Hall, the Comedy Stage in the Barracks building, and a custom, on site virtual reality experience for the technologically curious of all ages. With free festival admission for children 12 years old and under, 2016 also marks the expansion of Field Trip’s ‘Day Camp’ programming for youth.

Arts & Crafts entrants to 2016 programming include indie rockers Ra Ra Riot, singer-songwriter Tei Shi and Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett.


And more!

Stay tuned for full lineup and programming announcements in the months to come. Ticket prices start at $75 for single day general admission and can be purchased online via, TicketMaster or Field Trip is a joint production by Arts & Crafts Productions and Live Nation Canada.

Book Report: ‘The Productivity Project’ by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey turned down lucrative job offers to pursue a lifelong dream—to spend a year performing a deep dive experiment into the pursuit of productivity, a subject he had been enamored with since he was a teenager. After obtaining his business degree, he created a blog to chronicle a year-long series of productivity experiments he conducted on himself, where he also continued his research and interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts, from Charles Duhigg to David Allen. Among the experiments that he tackled: Bailey went several weeks with getting by on little to no sleep; he cut out caffeine and sugar; he lived in total isolation for 10 days; he used his smartphone for just an hour a day for three months; he gained ten pounds of muscle mass; he stretched his work week to 90 hours; a late riser, he got up at 5:30 every morning for three months—all the while monitoring the impact of his experiments on the quality and quantity of his work.

The Productivity Project—and the lessons Chris learned—are the result of that year-long journey. Among the counterintuitive insights Chris Bailey will teach you:

  • slowing down to work more deliberately;
  • shrinking or eliminating the unimportant;
  • the rule of three;
  • striving for imperfection;
  • scheduling less time for important tasks;
  • the 20 second rule to distract yourself from the inevitable distractions;
  • and the concept of productive procrastination.

In an eye-opening and thoroughly engaging read, Bailey offers a treasure trove of insights and over 25 best practices that will help you accomplish more.


Reading a book that challenges some, ahem, bad habits can hit a little too close to home. No one wants to face those hard truths.  Not with ‘The Productivity Project’ By Chris Bailey!  It is a gentle read but will encourage you in the moment to make some changes that are long overdue.

Right from the beginning, Bailey, set’s out a time table for an estimated reading time at the beginning of each chapter. What book have you ever read that practices what it preaches right in the outset?  As the reader you have a regimented amount of time to read and even try out some of Bailey’s gentle ‘Challenges’ towards change.  No pressure, bien sur.

‘The Productivity Project’ is not only a wonderful work book to bring subtle nuances into your daily routine but will also create a foundation that you can build further upon as you move through the stages of change.

‘Structuring downtime and weekends. It might sound counterintuitive (and not very fun) to structure your time away from work, but research says that doing so makes you more focused, creative, active, motivated, happy, involved in what you’re doing, and a lot more likely to achieve ‘flow’, that magical state where time seems to pass so quickly it’s as if it doesn’t exist at  all.  I don’t believe in strictly structuring work or free time (where’s the fun in that?), but some structure is helpful.  For example, during my project I discovered that I always had more energy when I sat down and created a rough schedule of how I was going to spend my time over the weekend, even if that included scheduling time for putting my feet up and doing nothing at all.’

For years, I have been building a schedule around my vacation and weekends. To some people in my life – I’ve been told that I am ‘nuts’.  But for me, I feel more accountable to myself to use the time I have worked so hard for is filled with a mix of relaxation, long overdue projects and time with family and friends.  [As I write this, I’m making a list for next week when I have vacation time coming my way. ]

‘My Maintenance Day ritual is incredibly simple, and incredibly powerful: throughout the week, I simply collect all of my low-return maintenance tasks on a list – everything from going grocery shopping to cutting my nails – and instead of doing them throughout the week, I do them all at once.’

I have been melding a ‘Maintenance Day ritual’ into my weekly schedule in the last few months. I usually attack emails, laundry, food prep for my work week, a workout plan, review goals for my week ahead, clean my house and do a grocery shop on my ‘Maintenance Day’s’.  it sounds like a lot but I feel fantastic when I get to all of my goals.  During my work week, my arms are free, I can have fun, I can get my work done and have a life without loose strings dangling that deplete my energy and make me feel bad about myself.

‘The Productivity Project’ By Chris Bailey is a must read book for 2016. It provides a wonderful framework to slowly build into your lifestyle while also bringing some much needed optimism into your daily rituals.

Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ Lips from Rimmel London: The Only 1 Lipstick ‘Oh-So Wicked’ and Lasting Finish Nude Collection By Kate ‘45’

Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ is my favourite tune of late for a variety of different reasons.  One of those reasons is her make-up aesthetic in ‘Formation’.  I really loved her melding of nude versus a Goth lips.  It was certainly provided for some powerful imagery .

If you are looking to emulate some similar lip shades, grab Rimmel London’s The Only 1 Lipstick ‘Oh-So Wicked’ and Lasting Finish Nude Collection By Kate ‘45’.

Rimmel London: The Only 1 Lipstick ‘Oh-So Wicked’

A no compromise, ALL-IN-ONE LIPSTICK.

  • Pigments allow for fabulous full coverage in one easy stroke. The colours are gloriously vibrant and luminous on application… and hours later.
  • The formula containing a blend of lightweight oils provides a gorgeous glide and a feather-light feel with an amazing cushioning sensation.
  • Throughout wear, the formula with Rosa fruit oil and Vitamin E leaves lips feeling moisturised.
  • A fine blend of advanced polymers sets the formula and enhances skin-adhesion for outstanding staying power.

The ‘Oh-So Wicked’ is a deep wine and depending on your skin tone can be quite dramatic. I encourage you to bust this shade out with a great black dress or better yet a crisp white oxford shirt and denim jeans.

Steps for bolder, fuller looking lips:

Step 1. Conceal your lips completely using Match Perfection concealer.

Step 2. Using Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses lip liner in a shade a tad darker than your lip colour, overdraw the lip line slightly over the cupids bow and below the center of your bottom lips to create the illusion of fuller lips.

Step 3. Apply The Only 1 lipstick to your lips, as well as over your lips liner.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Nude Collection By Kate ‘45’

Looking for the perfect nude lips?

Dare to go bare! Rimmel London introduces the Lasting Finish Nude Collection By Kate

Embrace the nude trend: chic, stylish & sophisticated… like Kate Moss!

  • Up to 8 hours of long lasting nude colour.
  • A super-chic, on-trend palette of neutral shades for lips.
  • The soft, creamy lip colours are universally flattering; 4 luscious, barely-there hues to suit every skin tone. There is a nude for every girl!

Steps for the perfect nude pout:

Step 1. Line your lips with the Moisture Renew Clear Lip Liner.

Step 2. Sweep across the lips, for a more intense colour add two coats.

The ‘45’ shade would look fab with a comfy wool dress or just kicking around town with yoga pants, a tee and Adidas sneakers.

Get ready to slay!

The TSO Unveils Its 2016/17 Season‏

“With the 2016/17 season, the future of the TSO looks brighter than ever,” says TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. “A brilliant roster of guest artists along with our unique programming offers something for all the senses. In celebration of the Sesquicentennial of our great nation in 2017, we’re thrilled to be working towards partnerships across Canada and exploring our musical past and the future of great Canadian music. We look forward to experiencing this season with you.”


The beloved soprano returns after a six-year absence from the TSO stage. Renée Fleming brings her unique and radiant vocal magic, joining the Orchestra and Peter Oundjian for a memorable evening—inaugurating the TSO’s 95th season—that showcases her wide-ranging repertoire.

THE DECADES PROJECT—In partnership with the AGO

Launched during the 2015/16 season, The Decades Project continues to explore the connections between music and visual art. The concerts are enhanced by performances by The TSO Chamber Soloists, and pre- and post-concert activities (co-curated by Peter Oundjian and Tom Allen) in collaboration with AGO curator, Kenneth Brummel.

1920–1929 (Oct 26–Nov 11, 2016)

  • From jazz to neo-romanticism, the first concert—marking a TSO début for conductor Kristjan Järvi—includes works by Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Kodály that epitomize the ever-changing 1920s.
  • With pianist Jon Kimura Parker and conductor James Gaffigan, the second program brings electrifying music by Prokofiev and a young Shostakovich, and the tinged mythological ballet score by Milhaud, La création du monde.
  • Peter Oundjian conducts the third program, which features two stirring English pieces—Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending (Jonathan Crow, violin) and Walton’s Viola Concerto (Teng Li, viola)—the monumental Symphony No. 7 by Sibelius, and one of the all-time great orchestral showcases, Ravel’s Boléro.

1930–1939 (Jun 2–24, 2017)

  • The first June program features masterworks from the 1930s, such as the rarely heard Belshazzar’s Feast, Sir William Walton’s spectacular biblical oratorio, conducted by TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.
  • Peter Oundjian conducts Kurt Weill’s satirical “sung ballet”, The Seven Deadly Sins**, in a new, semi-staged production directed by Joel Ivany and starring Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta.
  • The Decades Project culminates with Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. With Peter Oundjian at the podium, the choral spectacular stars an all-Canadian cast of soloists.


 Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton (Oct 29 & 30, 2016)

Throughout their 30-year partnership, visionary Hollywood filmmaker Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman have created a uniquely magical world. The TSO performs selections from Tim Burton’s films featuring music from Danny Elfman’s iconic film scores, including Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, as scenes from the movies are projected above the Orchestra.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring In Concert (Dec 1, 2 & 3, 2016)

Torontonian Howard Shore’s sweeping, Academy Award–winning score for the first film in director Sir Peter Jackson’s three-picture adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic comes to life when the TSO, a large chorus, and a cast of soloists perform it live to the epic motion picture. This is the first installment of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Disney-Pixar Ratatouille in Concert (Feb 18, 2017)

One of Disney and Pixar’s most enchanting animated fables tells the touching story of a rodent’s quest to become a top Parisian chef. An ideal outing for the entire family, hearing Michael Giacchino’s score performed live by the TSO boosts the film’s charm to a new level. Presentation licensed by Disney Music Publishing and Buena Vista Concerts, a division of ABC Inc. © All rights reserved.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark with Live Orchestra (Mar 29, 2017)

Indiana Jones’s screen début takes on a new dimension as the TSO plays John Williams’s score live, under the direction of Steven Reineke.

CANADA MOSAIC (Jan 21, 2017)

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, the TSO pays tribute to some of the Canadian composers who made our country proud during the mid-to-late 20th century. Alain Trudel conducts works by Ridout, Mercure, Coulthard, and Weinzweig, as well as Rhapsodie romantique by André Mathieu, with Canadian pianist Alain Lefèvre.

More celebratory events and new commissions will be announced as part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation.

MOZART@261 FESTIVAL AT KOERNER HALL—In partnership with the RCM (Jan 11–20, 2017)

The TSO marks the 261st anniversary of Mozart’s birth with six performances—co-curated by the much-admired Mozart specialist Bernard Labadie and Peter Oundjian—which will be presented this year at the intimate TELUS Centre’s Koerner Hall.

From the Prague Symphony to works for small orchestra and grand piano, the Mozart@261 Festival sheds light on the composer’s multi-faceted genius. Highlights include the TSO débuts of 14-year-old Canadian pianist Leonid Nediak and German violinist Isabelle Faust, and the awaited return of pianist Emanuel Ax.


The TSO’s New Creations Festival, created by Peter Oundjian as he began his Music Directorship in 2004, is emblematic of the TSO’s commitment to creating new works of music, developing tomorrow’s masterworks, and experimenting with the full capacity of the orchestral art form.

In 2017, Canadian composer Owen Pallett joins Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to curate the 13th annual New Creations Festival, which brings astonishing throat singer and 2014 Polaris Music Prize winner Tanya Tagaq, celebrated Canadian violinist James Ehnes, acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman, and new-music rock stars the Kronos Quartet to Toronto.

The festival includes seven World Premières: a work by Tanya Tagaq, written with Christine Duncan (TSO Commission), and new works by festival curator Owen Pallett, Mica Levi, TSO’s RBC Affiliate Composer Jordan Pal, Cassandra Miller, and Nicole Lizée—performed by the Kronos Quartet. The festival also features Yefim Bronfman performing Trauermarsch for Piano and Orchestra by Jörg Widmann (Canadian Première/TSO Co-commission), and a violin concerto by Pulitzer Prize–winner Aaron Jay Kernis (TSO Co-commission) performed by James Ehnes.

Striving for cultural excellence and social innovation, the TSO looks forward to weaving more than music into Toronto’s fabric with new community outreach and education initiatives and innovation platforms, and to providing pre-professional training and talent development through the TSYO. Stay tuned for more announcements and impromptu happenings.

* Event includes World Première/TSO Commission as part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation.

** New staging commissioned by the TSO as part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation.


Online: TSO.CA

Call: 416.598.3375

In person: TSO Patron Services Centre, 212 King Street West, 1st Floor, Toronto

Films To Beat The February Blues at The Bloor Cinema: ‘STAR MEN’ (FEB 12-18) and ‘THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON’ (FEB 26-MAR 4)


Four of the world’s most distinguished astronomers celebrate 50 years of work and friendship with a road trip through the southwestern United States, discussing and exploring the mysteries of the universe. Recapturing youthful adventures and recounting each other’s influences on the most exciting period in astronomy’s history, they share roots from a time following Russia’s launch of Sputnik, when the U.S. accelerated their space program. The four British astronomers spent a formative year together in California in the early 1960s. Star Men looks at how the work of these men has shaped our understanding of the universe and our humble place in it. Tracing the major discoveries in astronomy in the 20th century through these four men, director Alison Rose also explores friendship and mortality-and the fleetingness of our lives played out under the stars.

Director Alison Rose and subject Prof. Donald Lynden-Bell will be in attendance for Q&As at all screenings.

Join folks for a special Family Day screening on Monday, February 15, at 3:30 p.m. Admission is free for those 16 and under.

Co-presented by the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics (U of T) and Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics.


A popular hit in our Doc Soup series, The Last Man on the Moon tells the story of Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan. One of only three men who travelled to the moon twice, Cernan’s second trip in 1972 was NASA’s final lunar mission. Now, more than 40 years later, he is ready to share his epic and deeply personal story. It is a tale of fame and burning ambition set against the spectacular environment of space. Combining rare archival material, compelling visual effects and unprecedented access to Cernan and the other former astronauts, The Last Man on the Moon is a stunning look at one person’s role in humankind’s greatest adventure.