Category: Reviews

Wedding Night

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I’m always filled with anticipation when I first find out about a new Sophie Kinsella book. The chick lit queen has written many other books, her most famous being Confessions of a Shoppaholic. I quite enjoy her stand alone novels, and usually devour them in less than a day. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Wedding Night!

Lottie is pretty sure that her long term boyfriend, Richard, is going to propose. In fact, she’s so sure that she’s kind of already bought him a ring. It’s only fair. Presumably he’s bought her one as well. Only….he hasn’t. He doesn’t propose. And she is devastated.

Fliss knows her younger sister quite well. When she finds out that Richard has not proposed, and that they broke up, she knows that there can only be one outcome. Lottie is about to have an Unfortunate Incident. Although she claims to be fine, Fliss just knows that Lottie will show her pain in the form of an ill advised tattoo, or possibly join a cult. (Again.)

To make matters worse, Lottie’s ex boyfriend Ben pops back into the picture, reminding her of their “If we’re both still single at 30, let’s get married,” pact. Soon (like, incredibly soon), Lottie & Ben are making plans to get married and honeymoon in Greece.

 Fliss is horrified to hear of this plan and so is Ben’s best friend, Lorcan. Together, they decide to intervene. What follows is a thoroughly entertaining chase.

That’s all I’m going to say about the plot!

Now, before Sophie Kinsella was writing under her pseudonym, she was using her given name, Madeleine Wickham. I’ve read some of her earlier books and I found that they are a little heavier and deal with darker subject matter, such as a little boy drowning while under the care of his mother, etc. They also had more of a family element. Her more recent books are always hilarious and very light.

I feel like this book bridges the gap between both Sophies. This book deals with slightly heavier subjects. One of the main characters is going through a bitter divorce and has a small child. However, this book is still super funny. Lorcan ended up being my favourite character!

Wedding Night will be out on Tuesday April 23rd. If you love Meg Cabot or Sarra Manning, you should pick up this book!

Eat St. Recipes from tastiest, messiest, and most irresistible Food Trucks

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Okay, I’m going to be straight with you. This book is going to make you want to run out of your house and find the nearest food truck. It’s also going to make you want to travel to a food truck hotspot, such as Vancouver or Portland, stat. You’ve been warned.

When I first got this book, I was incredibly excited but also a bit intimated. Would I, a person that is an incredibly picky eater yet also a foodie, (go figure) be able to fall in love with recipes that involved potato chips and pineapple on a hamburger? No need to worry here. This book has recipes for adventurous palates as well as traditional ones. And everything looks so delicious that you’ll want to make everything.

The Eat St. Cookbook features recipes  from the best food trucks that have been on the popular Food TV show and collected by James Cunningham, the host. The food trucks are in Canada and the USA. Handily organized into categories like Mobile Snacks, Ultimate Street Sandwiches, and Sweet Wheels, this book is easy to navigate.

There are 125 mouthwatering recipes. Each recipe has a bit of background info about the food truck, where it’s located and a full page photo.
Some of my favourites include: Drunken Shrimp Tacos (Shrimp Pimp Truck), Late Summer Harvest Salad (The Purple Carrot) and the Italian Lollipop (Mangia Mangia Mangia).

Along with the appendix, there is a food truck directly so that you can hunt these food trucks down. Sounds like a plan!

I’m especially excited because I’ll be going to the West Coast the summer, and will be able to visit some of these tucks first hand! Not taking a trip anytime soon? Visit the Good Food Festival this weekend! James Cunningham, host of Eat St. will be live on stage, and a selection of local food trucks will be there.

Eat St. is available in bookstores and online.

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The Yellow Burger

April Reads

Here are some books I’m looking forward to this month!
aprilbooks1 Appetizers by Canadian Living Editors (April 9)
When you’re hosting a party, you need to create just the right mood — and just the right food. That”s easy when the experts in The Canadian Living Test Kitchen are there to offer their advice and their scrumptious, Tested-Till-Perfect entertaining recipes.

 

 

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The Toronto Star Cookbook, Jennifer Bain (April 2)

This family-friendly cookbook is filled with recipes for classic comfort food like rice pudding two ways (diner-style and upscale) apple crisp (made with three varieties of apple) and grilled cheese (updated with smoked cheese and sriracha ketchup), and classic Ontario dishes (True North Flatbread, My Mom’s Pan-Fried Pickerel and The Hogtown Sandwich). Note: Spoiler alert, this book is awesome! I already cooked one delicious recipe from it, which I’ll share soon!

 

aprilbooks2Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella (April 23)

Lottie is tired of long-term boyfriends who don’t want to commit to marriage. When her old boyfriend Ben reappears and reminds her of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. There will be no dates and no engagement—just a straight wedding march to the altar! Next comes the honeymoon on the Greek island where they first met. But not everyone is thrilled with Lottie and Ben’s rushed marriage, and family and friends are determined to intervene. Will Lottie and Ben have a wedding night to remember or one to forget?

Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman. ( April 23)
The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.
Note: Eeee! I love everything by Neil Gaiman. I’m excited for this book, but sad that it’s so short.

Tokidoki x Sol Republic Tracks on Ear Headphones Review

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I may or may not be a tiny bit obsessed with Tokidoki.  I love them and I was beyond ecstatic when I found out that they were releasing a collection of headphones with Sol Republic. I was very lucky to be able to try out a pair of their headphones! Take a look.

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The Tokidoki Tracks on Ear Headphones ($199) are super unique, and well made. Simply unboxing them was lots of fun! Everything was beautifully branded, from the tissue paper right down to the limited edition keychain figurine that came with the headphones. The headphones came with three stickers and a carrying pouch.

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Fun stickers!
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Branded tissue paper

The headphones are a bit of a DIY project. The ear cups and cable come separately. All you have to do is slide them onto the headband, plug in the cable and voila! Insta-headphones. (This also solves one of my biggest problems with headphones- usually one of the ear phones stop working because of the cable. If that happens, all you have to do is replace the cable!)

The headband is super flexible and very strong. Take a look at those beautiful illustrations!
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Now that they’re all set up, here are some specs!

  • Powerful Sound You Can Feel:  Featuring V10 Sound Engines, Tracks HD are fully loaded with deeper bass, higher vocal clarity and crisp vocals so you can feel the full power of your music.
  • Listen In Comfort: Our SonicSoft™ Speaker Pads and extra wide ear cushions let you enjoy your music in comfort for hours.
  • Virtually Indestructible: Constructed of a seriously advanced polymer compound, our FlexTech™ Sound Track headband is built to withstand heavy abuse. Twist it, bend it, drop it – it’s not going to break on you.
  • Personal Style: The world’s first interchangeable headphones, you can swap out our Cleartalk™ cables and Sound Track headbands with ease.
  • Slim-Fit Neo Case: Neoprene sleeve lets you transport your headphones with ease.
  • 3-Button Mic + Music Control: Lets you adjust the volume, pause/resume/skip music and answer/hang-up calls. The high clarity mic captures every word possible.
  • Compatibility: 3-button mic + music control is designed specifically for full feature compatibility with recent generations of Apple devices. The audio and mic are likely to work with most devices that have a 3.5mm jack, including but not limited to, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices.

Thoughts

These headphones are incredibly comfortable. The ear cushions are soft but not huge, so it’s perfect for my tiny ears. The sound is clear with a nice deep bass. I found that the sound does leak a little bit from the ear cups. The cable that comes with the headphones is not Android compatible, and didn’t work for my Motorola Razr HD. However, I bought a purple Cleartalk cable, and now it works perfectly. I can pause, skip tracks and answer the phone.

I would recommend these headphones if you are looking for a new pair of daily headphones. They are almost indestructible, comfortable and very stylish. Check out the pair I have, and the other design available!

Craigslist Cantata

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I got a missed connection once, and it was awesome. Someone saw me! I’ve always been awed by the missed connection section on Craigslist. Do people really think they’ll connect with that person that was in line behind them at Starbucks? Or the guy that accidentally stepped on your foot at St. George Station? For a very small percent, yes, that does happen. But for the majority…not really. Anyways, long story short, I stumbled across this post, and I WAS the girl who was reading the “Last Camel Died at Noon” in the green scarf. I smugly showed my boyfriend and he was suitably impressed. But I digress.

This is the last week to see Do You Want What I Have Got, a Craigslist Cantata at Factory Theatre. And you should see it. The musical stars Dmitry Chepovetsky, Bree Greig, Selina Martin and Daren A. Herbert. This original musical by Veda Hille (she plays the piano during the show) & Bill Richardson sets real Craigslist postings to music. Most of the listings come from Vancouver, where the musical was first performed. It was originally 20 minutes long, and then was extended to the 90 minute show. A Craigslist Cantata pokes fun in a thoughtful, funny way at our need to be seen, compulsively shop for things we really don’t need and our urge to connect.

The actors are fantastic. One of the best characters was Selina Martin, portraying that one person that you can find on every website that corrects grammar. Actually, it’s hard to just pinpoint one actor, as all of them had strong, carrying voices and really got into character. They get into character quite well…and it’s not easy when your character only lasts for the duration of one song.

With songs like, “Bus Boy, I Want to Smell You Again”, and “Chili Eating Buddy”, these songs will captivate you and make you laugh. One memorable song was about a guy that is looking for a guy that will drink coffee with him in his underwear and hug. He’s not gay or anything…it’s just a “male bonding experience”. Or how about the Cell Block Tango-esque song that tells the tale of a woeful girl hunting for a normal roommate?

If you haven’t seen this musical yet, you are missing out. It runs from Jan 30 – Mar 3, 2013Go and buy your tickets now! I guarantee that when you are done you’ll want to troll Craigslist for missed connections, or visit the Best of Craigslist list. PS: In case you were wondering, none of the original post creators have stepped forth.

The Kissing List

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The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents is an intellectual read following a group of women from Oxford. We follow these women in a series of short stories about their first jobs, infidelity, summer vacations, relationship and more. It’s an interesting read and a bit more literary than I thought it would be. If you would like to read about love, but avoid chick lit, this is a good book for you. These 12 stories explore the nuances of relationships and friendship.

The interlocking stories in The Kissing List feature an unforgettable group of young women – Sylvie, Anna, Frances, Maureen – as their lives connect, first during a year abroad at Oxford, then later as they move to New York on the cusp of adulthood. We follow each of them as they navigate the treachery of first dates, temp jobs and roommates, failed relationships and unexpected affairs – all the things that make their lives seem full of possibility, but also rife with potential disappointment.

Shot through with laugh-out-loud lines, yet still wrenchingly emotional and resonant, The Kissing List is a book about women who bravely defy expectations and take outrageous chances in the face of a life that might turn out to be anything less than extraordinary.

The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents. 223 pages.

Food & Books on Film at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

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This month, TIFF Bell Lightbox kicks off it’s popular (and oft sold out) Food on Film subscription series. Loose yourself in 6 mouthwatering films and after each film discuss the intersections of cinema, culture and gastronomy with special guests. The event is hosted by Annabelle Waugh, Canadian Living Magazine’s Food Director.

I recommend the film Sideways on Wednesday, April 24 with special speaker Aldo Sohm.

Aldo Sohm, chef sommelier at La Bernardin, takes us into the world of wine appreciation through a discussion of Alexander Payne’s hit comedy-drama about a pair of middle-aged oenophiles who seek solace from romantic distress in the vineyards of California’s Napa Valley.

Not into food? How about brain food? Books on Film also returns this month. A selection of films adapted from books will be screened and discussed afterwards with a selection of film makers, authors and experts. This series is hosted by Eleanor Wachtel from CBC’s Writers and Company.

I recommend Midnight’s Children on Monday, June 24th with the filmmaker himself, Deepa Mehta!

Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta describes the process of collaborating with Salman Rushdie on the screen adaptation of his Booker Prize–winning classic Midnight’s Children.

Go and subscribe to the series of your choice! It’s a nice way to get out and experience a night of film once a month!

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