Pure & Extravaganza Wine Night

By September 30, 2014 M. Fab, VIP

Last week I was welcomed into a secret society here in Toronto. It involves wine, exotic food and a secret cave.

To prepare, I practiced all the secret handshakes I could remember whilst doing some deep lunges; who knew what to expect when an invite arrives posing you the question – “Are you Pure or more Extravaganza?”

I dressed in all-black in case the night involved secretive activities like; sneaking, whispering and dark alley lingering. Making sure to re-read the invite to check if I missed any special passwords for entry, I was ready.

Held at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton, I had a slight suspicion I had over planned as there is nothing secretive about this stunning venue. Welcomed graciously by the iYellow Wine Club dynamos, I quickly realized that this society and I would get along spectacularly.

With a cheese cave at our disposal, unlimited wine, and pure dark chocolate for accompaniment… I felt at home.

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Now – the iYellow Wine Club were the event hosts. This unique community engages you to learn, taste and meet others in the Toronto wine community through tastings, classes and events… Like this one!

That night we tasted Argentina’s own Trapiche Winery’s Pure Malbec and Extravaganza Red Blend. The winery’s own wine makers were in attendance as well, all the way from Mendoza, Argentina.

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Our first tasting was of Pure – an Argentinian Malbec. Not being a major red wine fan, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a 100% ‘pure’ Malbec. But I LOVED it. It is subtly spicy but smooth and not at all oaky. This wine was paired with all ‘pure’ foods – a delicious sharp cheese, smooth dark chocolate and steak.

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I started to hear rumblings about ‘the wine cave’. Those in the know were very excited. This made me more excited as I love being in the know… And caves… With wine.

A short walk later we were escorted through a back alley and came across a red-curtained entry way to the secret cave, right here in Toronto.

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The wine cave is iYellow’s main event space – cozy and intimate, we were in for something special.

Greeted by masked servers, I couldn’t wait for the ‘Extravaganza’ part to our evening.

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Extravaganza wine is a red blend of Malbec, Bonarda and Syrah. This was much less spicy and had a more refreshing after taste.

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Instead of simple, pure foods to accompany – we were taken on a wild culinary ride.

To start were deep fried frogs legs with a kimchi aioli, followed by duck tongue tacos and dessert was chocolate covered cricket doughnuts.

All things that I would never try… Never try before I had three glasses of delicious red wine, then suddenly they seemed like a great idea.

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Or were they?

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The evening was great fun – filled with the right mix of education and fun. And that is what iYellow is all about – their classes and events are meant to enrich your wine knowledge in a non-intimidating environment.

Full on wine and crickets, I left looking forward to the next event, where I hope to put my knowledge of secret handshakes to use.

M Fab Cricket Lover

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The Perfect Fit: ShoeMe

By September 29, 2014 Fashion, Mlle Fab, Shop

As a tot, when my parents took moi to a house party and could not find me, they always knew to check by the footwear at the front door.

It was my own personal tickle-trunk and I was always up for a game of dress-up.

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Now, as an adult, nothing much has changed except that most of my girlfriends adorn ‘outfits’ and refrain from removing their precious heels. Who will ever forget the Sex in the City shoe stealing debacle of 2006.

But now, thanks to Canadian site ShoeMe, I can continue my footwear playtime.

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When the cyber fairy shoe-mother, aka ShoeMe, sent me an email to try out the online site, I was thrilled… But dubious. As any lady knows, a foot size can change depending on the brand, the style, the time of day and, of course, après an evening of licking a salt block. I do love my poutine.

However, rest assured, ShoeMe wants no-one to re-enact the ugly step sister with the glass slipper. The canuck company proved how magical they are by offering a no hassle exchange policy on sizing. Bravo!

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With a whopping 348 (and GROWING) brands to choose from, I was in happy heeled heaven. From Harley-Davidson to Kenneth Cole; Converse to Seychelles; Lacoste to Fly London; Nine West to Oakley, ShoeMe has the entire family covered.

Oui, Women, Men & Children can all be dressed to kill!

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And the bonus: you get a $50 gift card to use on your next purchase!

100% Canadian, indeed. Sign me up in a size 7.5, svp!

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All in all, my experience with ShoeMe was easy peasy and I ordered me some more heelies.

I have a feeling that my experience with these Sam Edelman’s from this charming Canadian site are just the beginning.

So feel like Cinderella and check out ShoeMe. She certainly is your fairy shoe-mother ;)

Bisous,

Mlle Fab eel lover
xo

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Home & Design DIY

By September 26, 2014 DIY

We all have unwanted furniture in our homes that have out stayed their welcome.

Some of it will end up in land fills and other pieces will be donated.

But why not choose the 3rd option?… Give your unwanted house guest a face lift!

Last week I participated in a redesign project at the Calgary Home & Design Show.

In conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and its affiliated ReStore (where I found the chair), and Rust-Oleum paints, I was able to show that you can easily take unloved furniture and breathe new life into it.

ReStore Chair

Here’s how I did it.

The Chair:

This chair, which looks like a late 90’s office waiting room chair, was hand selected for me.

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For the next 2 months it sat in my house where I wondered every day how the heck I’d make it… Well… Fabulous!

Then it hit me!

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“Growing up an 80’s child I had a love for Transformers and Legos. The toys back then, although simple, were not always as they appeared. I’ve taken this drab chair, freshened it with colour and transformed it to reveal its secret identity!”

But what about the heavy blue fabric?

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It was time to recover it with a bold and modern houndstooth.

And the base?

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White at first, but that was playing it too safe and I needed it to pop…

I needed neon!

Thanks to the vibrant colours from Rust-Oleum , the 80’s were back and I was as happy as a Carebear giving a lengthy stare!

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The transformation was complete. I had turned a solo, un-wanted chair into an artful ottoman!

Then it was off to the Home & Design Show where it shared the spotlight with other redesigns.

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Over the weekend, visitors ogled the rehab and were even able to bid on my ottoman with the proceeds going to charity.

It was a fun and relatively easy concept I came up with.

It taught me that with a little bit of paint and a lot of imagination, beauty can be re injected into out-of-date furniture.

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So next time you have a great redesign idea, head to a ReStore near you and show some love for the unwanted and a great cause.

Mr. Fab oman

Taste Local, Love Local – Ontario Wine & Pie

By September 25, 2014 M. Fab, Travel

Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio: some of the wines I’d never heard of (or tasted) before Ontario’s LCBO invited me to attend theirTaste Local Love Local event.

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I’m a white wine spritzer type of gal and, because of that, I don’t venture too far away from a Pinot Grigio. Give me something light, bubbly and fruity and I’m happy.

Highlighting three of Ontario’s lush wine regions, this event not only opened my eyes to all the options out there, but opened my mouth because they paired the wine with locally made pie! PIE!

Having recently moved to Ontario, I had zero idea Ontario even had a wine region, let alone three, separate, prosperous regions so close to Toronto.

The first featured region was Prince Edward County. Just east and a whisper south of Toronto is this really quaint growing region (and popular tourist destination).

My favourite wine featured from here is the Grange Of Prince Edward Trumpour’s Mill Gamay Noir. I normally don’t care for reds, but this had a wonderful light-bodied and fruity taste and was perfectly paired with the Sweet and Savoury Pie Company’s ‘Tandori Chicken Cutie Pies’.

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Moving into the Niagara Escarpment and Niagara-on-The-Lake region was another delicious adventure. The pie to pair with was Toronto’s Kensington Market darling Wanda’s Pie in the Sky  and their pear-cranberry pie.

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With over ten feature wines from this region, it was hard to pick my favourite but I really enjoyed the Featherstone Cabernet Franc as this was a totally new wine for me.

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Explained as a taste that Ontario can really own, this medium-bodied and fruity wine is grown on a vineyard that employs sheep to munch all the extra leaves from the vines. I love it!

The final region highlighted was Lake Erie North Shore. Tucked west and south of Toronto, this region boasts Canada’s most Southern point and the picturesque Pelee Island.

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Featuring 5 wines, this recovering wine region has always been incredibly fertile but used to grow tobacco. The wineries here are young and bold. I really enjoyed pairing Lakeside Bakery’s classic Pumpkin Pie with Bricklayer’s Predicament Chardonnay-Pinot Grigio and its full bodied taste.

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So what does a gal do when she’s had a night full of wine sampling on nothing but a pie-filled stomach? Ride a Segway of course!

This is how it went:

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And on that note, support our local growers and show them some love. As of September 14th  all of these wines and up to 523 other Ontario produced wines were released at an LCBO near you.

AND most of these bottles are under $20!

M Fab Local Wine Lover

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NMC Out Loud Gala

By September 24, 2014 My Life, VIP

Last week was the Week of Galas and one of the most unique ones blended all the key ingredients of food and drink, yet guided the evening’s overall experience through music.

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (12)

Winning the award for ‘Best Keep Secret in Calgary’, the National Music Centre doesn’t plan on ever taking home that title again.

It was their first large scale Gala that sang, “Look at us!”

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (8)

Now, although Calgary has been looking at the construction site for the new home of the NMC in the East Village for a while (their planned completion date is Summer 2016), their current ‘hidden home’ is located on the main floor of a DT building (134 11 Ave SE).

But on Friday their costumes and musicians were out on the town to share their talent with the world.

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (6)

From Chris Maric, who played instruments that made sounds from interrupting sound waves, to a beat boxer paired with an operatic songstress, the crowd was led throughout the venue much like children by a pied piper.

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As the mobile audience followed, food and drinks were laid out in abundance.

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There were creative cocktails mixed with Pisco (produced from fermented grapes), a scotch bar, and endless wine.

And then there was the food… Interesting buns stuffed with meats, a sushi bar, cheese station and a seafood display loaded with shrimp and crab flanked by a giant saxophone ice sculpture.

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (15)

As the guest count increased, the party began to spill outside.

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (16)

Desserts were plentiful and a white tent decked out with crystal chandeliers was eagerly awaiting the star attraction.

5 time Juno award winner for Fan Favourite, Johnny Reid!

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (11)

As he took the stage the crowd began to dance, and for the next 45 minutes a full-on party ensued.

From current hits like ‘Fire It Up’ to his newest release ‘Sugar, Sugar’, Johnny Ried had us all in a state of musical bliss.

And his performance wasn’t void of surprises.

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (3)

Not only did he pluck a fan from the audience to perform a duet with, he also brought evening’s host Tara Slone, also a Juno nominee, back on stage to back him up during a rendition of ‘Mustang Sally’.

NMC Outloud gala Johhny Reid (13)

After the talent took their final bow the crowd began to disperse, with memories of a musical evening and the proof that Canada’s National Music Centre will no longer remain the secret it once was!

Mr. Fab music centre

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