Tag Archives: Jessica Blaine Smith

A Good Book Drive

Hannah Georgas

Hannah Georgas for A Good Book Drive, photo by Jessica Blaine Smith

By: Jessica Blaine Smith

Have you heard of A Good Book Drive?

Reading is a huge part of life. I am a big fan of reading and always have been. I remember being read to as a kid and having my imagination grow from hearing all of those fantastic stories. When my pal Lana Gay told me that she would be organizing a kids book drive in Toronto, I immediately asked how I could help. (more…)

Top 10 Bachelorette Party Ideas – Miami

Miami-Bachelorette-Party-Ideas

Ready for our Miami Bachelorette Party!

Updated January 14th, 2016

Planning a bachelorette party to Miami and South Beach?

You’re in luck! I just got back from an amazing girls weekend to celebrate the bride-to-be, Ms. Jessica Blaine Smith before her big day in April. How did we settle on Miami? It’s NOT Vegas. We wanted a more low-key beach vacation and a chance to chill out together after the crazy rush of Christmas.

Here are a few suggestions for planning your own bachelorette party to Miami for your best girlfriend:

 

Cecconis-Miami-South-Beach

Cecconi’s Miami

1) Book A LOT of Dinners 

Going to Miami on a busy weekend? Gurrrl, you better make those reservations now – especially if you’re heading down there with a big group. Before you book your dates for Miami, make sure there’s no crazy festival driving up hotel prices the weekend you decide to go. A few of my choice picks for dinner in South Beach / Miami include:

 

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WIN a Bask-It-Style TIFF Celebrity Swag Bag!

bask-it-style

By: Jessica Blaine Smith

TIFF buzz has taken over Toronto and the celebrity sightings are constant. One of the most fun aspects of TIFF is seeing all of the cool swag that the stars get when they come to town. Bask-It-Style by GLO Communications  does things differently by bringing their swag bags directly to the celebrities in their hotel rooms.

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Last week at a stunning private residence at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, I was lucky enough to check out all of the new products that they would be receiving this year. Here is what I am most excited about.

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Doi Chaang Coffee
Doi Chaang Coffee dubs themselves as being beyond Fair Trade organic coffee. What they mean by this is that the growers of the coffee beans are actually 50% owners of the company. I love the way this company is run. I also love that Doi Chaang makes Keurig cups that are 90% biodegradable. Now why are more companies not making their K-cups this way? You can now find Doi Chaang Coffe at Longo’s, Sobeys and Fresh Co.

studio-1098

Studio1098
Jewellery designer Tamara Kronis was on-hand to show off some TIFF-worthy bling that Studio 1098 had made. Their new Wishbone Collection is a beautiful collection of sterling silver necklaces and cufflinks that has a significant portion of the proceeds going to CANFAR. CANFAR is the only charitable foundation that raises awareness to generate funds for Canadian research into all aspects of HIV and AIDS. Tamara was also showing their new collection featuring pieces with Marsala coloured gemstone. Marsala just happens to be the Pantone colour of the year.

warner's

Warner’s
I am loving what Warner’s is doing with their undergarments. The No Pinching No Problems underwear are fantastic. They are made in the same way that panty hose are so there are no seams. But what I was really excited to try was their bra that stated No More Underarm Bulge. The bra has a front enclosure, convertible straps and the fabric is laser-cut to minimize the number of seams. With all of these elements, it looks smoother under a t-shirt. No more bulges and I love that. Warner’s is available at Sears and the Bay.

lc-moon

Book, Books, Books
At the Bask-It-Style Lounge, I met two authors who have recently been published. The first was LC Moon who wrote a dark erotic triology called The BTS Project. We received the first book called A Bedtime Story. While LC Moon was writing the book, she let her sister, Lana Chacra, who is a musical composer in on the story. Lana instantly felt inspired. As a result, the book became a multimedia project involving a soundtrack.

colin-campbell-toronto

I also had the pleasure of meeting Colin Campbell, the man behind Free Days with George. The book is about Colin’s life as he gets over the breakup of his marriage with the help of his newly adopted dog, George. It’s full of life lessons and I cannot wait to dive into it.

old-tomorrow-beer

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Dinner with 7 of Toronto’s Top Chefs + TABASCO

Photo by: Jessica Blaine Smith | http://jbsmithphotography.com

By: Jessica Blaine Smith

Everyone’s favourite hot sauce plus seven of Toronto’s top chefs? You bet I was in when I saw the invitation in my inbox! And what an awesome night it was. TABASCO and the Group of 7 Chefs teamed up for a spicy evening at Propeller where we were spoiled with some incredible food and drink.

Photo by: Jessica Blaine Smith | http://jbsmithphotography.com

The space was transformed to feel as though we were in the South, specifically Avery Island, Louisiana which is the birthplace of TABASCO® and where it is still made and aged today. Spanish moss was hung from the ceiling and everything was illuminated in red. I loved the moodiness of it all.

Photo by: Jessica Blaine Smith | http://jbsmithphotography.com

The Group of 7 Chefs is a collective of Toronto chefs that include Chris Brown (Citizen Catering), Scott Vivian (Beast), Bertrand Alepee (The Tempered Room), Nick Liu (DaiLo), Dustin Gallagher (Peoples Eatery), Steve Gonzalez (Valdez) and Anthony Walsh (Canoe). The chefs recently visited Avery Island to see what TABASCO® is all about and returned to the city inspired to create some awesome dishes for the night dubbed #feedyouroriginal.

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An All-Natural Caesar Cocktail

Royal-Caesar-Toronto-Walter

By: Jessica Blaine Smith

As a Canadian, I think one of our guilty pleasures is the Caesar – along with poutine and butter tarts…but I digress! The Caesar is a classic cocktail that is best consumed at a cottage on a lake or at any weekend brunch.

So what makes a Caesar different from a Bloody Mary?

These days there seems to be no consensus, except that it must include some sort of tomato-clam juice. Other than that, you are free to do as you please with your choice of spirit or your choice of garnish. Classic Caesars are mixed with vodka, Worcestershire sauce and spices. But I have also seen tequila and gin Caesars and garnishes ranging from celery to bacon, and yes, a lobster tail.

Fairmont-Royal-York-Toronto

The latest evolution is The Royal Caesar that is being served exclusively at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto and it’s worth a visit to try one. The Fairmont has teamed up with Walter Caesar to make this great cocktail, which has created a specific Caesar mix for hotel.

The Royal Caesar that includes hints of cumin and chipotle, mixed with Ketal One Vodka and served with a celery stalk and a spicy bean. It is delicious and is available at any of the bars and restaurants inside The Fairmont Royal York. Bonus: you can also buy Walter’s mix from their gift shop so that you can make your own at home. (more…)

Perfect Cocktails at Rush Lane – Toronto

Rush-Lane-Cocktails-Toront

Photos + Words By: Jessica Blaine Smith

There’s a new cocktail bar in town.

This Queen West gem is stepping up the game for cocktails in Toronto.

Rush-Lane-Cocktails

Rush Lane & Co is owned and operated by local bartenders which means there is NO messing around here. The space is beautifully designed and comfortable. It makes it pretty enticing to never leave. (more…)