Summer Scents

Everything smells better in the summer. Fruits, flowers, the cool ocean breeze -- it's no wonder these scents are bottled up so we can all smell this heavenly. Summer fragrances are all about being light and fresh, fun and dainty. Here are 5 of my favourite summer scents:

This has been one of my go-to fruity and floral scents this season. It's quintessentially summer and represents the classic Guess girl: exciting, bold, sexy and playful. Notes of raspberry nectar, melon, orchid, lily, and Madagascar bourbon vanilla.

Clean, fresh and invigorating, this reminds me of the ocean and water, and is one of my favourite aquatic scents -- pure bliss. Notes of crushed mint leaves, brown sugar, Italian lemon, jasmine, peony, and cedarwood. 

If apples were elegant, this is what it would smell like. Although fruity and floral, Nina is a bit more complex and elegant than the Guess Girl who just wants to have fun. Notes of lime, lemon, red toffee apple, vanilla infusion with peony and moon flower, and apple tree wood.

Escada has a range of fun, fruity summer fragrances and this is definitely one of my favourites. This fragrance instantly transports me to a tropical island, lounging by the beach and drinking margaritas. Notes of orange, passion flower, mango, magnolia, sunny accord, white peach, hibiscus, blond woods, musky notes, and red fruits.

Elegant and chic are synonymous with Dior, and this update of the classic Miss Dior fragrance is no different. It's light and delicate with a citrusy freshness to it. It makes me feel tres sophisticated and feminine. Notes of Italian Mandarin essence, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, and Indonesian Patchouli Essence.

What is your favourite summer scent?


Coconut Cashew Stir-Fry

Stir-frys are one of my go-to meals when I want something quick, tasty and filling. This version elevates a typical stir-fry to another level by incorporating two of my favourite ingredients together: cashews and coconut milk. The result is an extremely luscious, creamy and flavourful sauce that is happily soaked up by the noodles (and my taste buds). Think of it like an Asian-inspired cashew butter with a thinner consistency yet packs a whole punch of flavour. It may seem like there's a lot of steps involved; however, it is fairly simple and comes together quickly. When one component is cooking, you can work on the other. This is definitely one of my favourite stir-frys to date and is completely worth the effort.

Coconut Cashew Stir-Fry

Serves 2


- 1 package of udon noodles
- 1 large head of broccoli
- 1 package of bok choy
- A good handful of mushrooms (shitake and oyster)
1 lb fresh or frozen large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Roasted red peppers (optional)
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup coconut milk (full fat or light)
- 2 limes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp grated ginger
¼ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- Basil
- Salt + pepper


For the broccoli: 
1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
2. Wash and cut the broccoli into florets.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and drizzle in a good amount of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Mix until coated well.
4. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the boy choy:
1. Separate the stalks and wash the bok choy.
2. Heat a wok or large non-stick pan on medium low heat and drizzle olive oil in. Add 1 minced garlic clove and 1 tsp grated ginger and stir for about 30 secs.
3. Turn the heat up to medium high, add the bok choy and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add a splash of water, cover the wok and let simmer for a few minutes.   
5. Remove the boy choy and set aside.

For the mushrooms:
1. Clean mushrooms using a dampened cloth or paper towel. 
2. Cut off the stems and slice mushrooms thinly.
3. In the same wok or pan on medium high heat, drizzle olive oil in and add the mushrooms.
4. Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
5. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.

For the shrimp:
1. If using frozen shrimp, let it thaw out first. Heat wok or pan on medium low heat. 
2. When the pan is hot, drizzle a good amount of olive oil in and add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp grated ginger and ¼ tsp chili powder.
3. Stir it into the oil for about a minute, then turn up the heat to medium high and add the shrimp. 
4. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, then flip them over and cook for another minute until shrimp is pink. Be sure to not overcook the shrimp! 
5. Squeeze some lime juice over the shrimp, then remove them and set aside. 

For the noodles:
1. Cook the udon noodles according to the directions on the package (about 7 minutes in boiling water).
2. Drain the noodles and set aside.

For the sauce:
1. In a food processor, combine the cashews, coconut milk, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbsp grated ginger, juice from ½ lime and zest from one, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil.
2. Blend until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.

Now put everything together:
In a wok or pan on medium low heat, combine all the cooked veggies, shrimp and noodles. Add the coconut cashew sauce and stir in until everything is nicely coasted and heated through. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with basil, lime wedges, and slices of roasted red pepper for added colour. Enjoy!


Christian Louboutin Exhibit

Christian Louboutin is in Toronto, painting the town (and the soles of every shoe lover) red. The iconic shoe designer has brought his popular London exhibit here to its North American debut at the Design Exchange. The Christian Louboutin Exhibit celebrates Mr. Louboutin's extraordinary career and presents an in-depth look at the inspiration, creativity and process of his creations over the past 20 years. You can view over 250 pairs of shoes, personal artifacts, sketches and designs. And if that wasn’t enough to get you hyperventilating,  there will also be a dazzling virtual installation. The exhibit is divided into themed sections that highlight key inspirations for Mr. Louboutin: Travel, Transparency, The Showgirl, Architecture and Fetish.

In honor of the exhibit, I've put together some of my favorite Loubies (and purses). Lusting over these beauties will have to suffice until I can get my hands on the real thing or see the exhibit, whichever comes first (probably the latter). The Christian Louboutin Exhibit opens today at the Design Exchange and runs until September 15. Get your tickets here.

1. June 100 Leather Slingback Pumps 2. Elisa Bow-Embellished Suede Clutch 3. No Prive Riche 4. Pigalle Spikes 5. Sweet Charity Sotto Pelle 6. 20th Anniversary Unzip 100 Suede Sandals 7. Arnold Python T-Strap Sandal 8. Pigalle Patent Leather 9. Mina Clutch Black Leather 10. Paulina 11. Decollette 554 Strass


Zebra Print

Amidst the sea of brights and neons popping up everywhere this summer, black and white remains a classic combo that is majorly trending this season. These zebra print leggings are bold, super fun and jazzes up a typical black and white outfit. With the temperatures dropping slightly the past few days, these pants were the perfect thing to wear. I've worn variations of this outfit with an added pop of colour in my accessories, but this time I decided to keep things cool and stay in the black and white palette.

Top & leggings: H&M | Shoes: Aldo | Clutch: Bedo | Necklace: Bizou


Gala Premiere: Philippine Fashion's Biggest Night

Canada Philippine Fashion Week ended on a high note on Friday evening with a glam gala held at the Roy Thomson Hall. It was a dazzling spectacle that highlighted the very best of conceptual fashion and haute couture infused with Filipino culture. Top Filipino designers from Canada and the Philippines such as Francis Libiran, John Ablaza, and Noel Crisostomo showcased their fabulous masterpieces. From ethereal gowns, sleek and polished pieces, architectural designs, and even whimsical costumes, the colorful stage set the perfect backdrop for these rich and beautiful creations. 

I was excited to have backstage access where I was able to get an intimate glimpse at the clothing. The detailing and craftsmanship were immaculate and even more stunning up close. I couldn't stop ogling over everything -- the gorgeous beading, jewelled embellishments, whispery layers and woven embroidery were truly works of art. I loved that the back detailing on the clothing was just as incredible and intricate as the front.

I was lucky enough to have attended these events as part of the world's first Canada Philippine Fashion Week. It was a definite success and although I didn't know anything about Filipino fashion before, it has undoubtedly opened my eyes to this thriving cultural world and left me feeling inspired.


Canada Philippine Fashion Week - Vinta Collection

The world’s first Canada Philippine Fashion Week kicked off Monday evening with a lavish cocktail party at Lexus Downtown. Celebrating the best of fashion, style and culture of the Philippines, Canada Philippine Fashion Week provides a unique experience into the innovative and creative designs of Filipino fashion.

The opening party featured the debut of Vinta, a Filipino clothing line founded by Caroline Mangosing. Designed in Toronto and manufactured in the Philippines, the collection offers chic, well-crafted Fillipino cultural clothing with a modern twist.

I was curious and excited to see what Filipino fashion was all about and how Vinta would reinvent traditional Filipino clothing to a more contemporary look. The terno dress (a butterfly sleeved dress) was updated with exaggerated butterfly-winged sleeves and featured two versions: a sheath silhouette and an A-line cut with an empire waist. I couldn't take my eyes off the extravagantly oversized, statement necklaces that made a fun, colorful pop. It was a definite show-stopper.

The males were a little less eccentric but nonetheless stylish in their barong (a sheer, embroidered formal shirt) made modern with a slim cut. The women’s version of the barong, the Tibo, was modeled as a lovely tunic dress with an elongated hi-low hemline.

I love the detailing of the collection -- the textured pattern on the butterfly sleeves and the embroidered embellishment on the barong are intricate and exquisite. Overall, this traditional-meets-contemporary line was fresh, stylish and beautifully designed, with a Filipino flair. I can’t wait to see what else is in stores for Canada Philippine Fashion Week and the world of Philippine couture.