Designer Showcase: GlassCeiling
Vancouver, Canada based GlassCeiling jewellery is designed and created by Rachel McRory. Drawing inspiration from beach glass and antique china, her goal is to “breathe new life into these items by creating beautiful, quality jewellery” from otherwise discarded pieces. Her line of necklaces, bracelets and other types of jewellery are a reflection of her home and travels. Collecting materials from the West Coast, as well as Mexico, Atlantic Canada, Spain and England, each piece has it’s own unique story. Much like the antique china that Rachel uses, each individual piece of jewellery has a history that is being repurposed into feminine and standout pieces. GlassCeiling jewellery is a great way to dress up any outfit and is sure to start a conversation.
Soy Ahi Tuna and Bok Choy
At a recent dinner party with some of my close friends in Paris, I had a dish that reminded me of my trip to Laguna Beach last May. We were served a beautiful seared Ahi tuna along side a quinoa salad. The dish that I had in this little Laguna Beach restaurant was served with a soy glaze along some greens. The meaty rare fish made me reminisce about the warm Californian evenings and walking along the West Coast beach late into the evening. Now every time I have seared tuna, I cannot help but crave the California sea breeze. Ahi tuna is unlike any other fish; the stunning and flavourful fish is both satisfying and healthy. Best of all it does not require much cooking time, is sure to leave yourself and your dinner guests happy and well fed. Here is my version of the Laguna Beach inspired Ahi tuna with bok choy and a gluten-free soy glaze.
Amsterdam Diary : Part 2
Travelling exposes truths about yourself that you didn’t know where already there. It shows you that you are capable of finding your way when you are lost, it teaches us to be reliant on ourselves and it shows you that there is so much of the world that you have yet to explore. This is all especially true when travelling alone. While there is a sense of nakedness, being exposed to a new environment, travelling solo comes with a feeling of empowerment. Planning this trip to Amsterdam, I had little expectations of what I was to see. I have flown through Amsterdam many times, never actually having the opportunity to visit the city. The spontaneity of this trip allowed me to not set any ideals or promises. Least to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I had taken a liking to this city. I started my days at the Starbucks, what can I say; I need my soy latté fix if I was going to spend the whole day on my feet. I spent my mornings writing, working on my blog and just take in the sights of fellow morning coffee drinkers. I had even brought the novel “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler. It felt like the perfect fit, her life was just as much of a journey of self-discovery and finding a sense of self in an unknown world. For the first time in a couple of months I had actually started reading a book for pleasure, I had forgotten the joys of reading thanks to the fact that normally I am swamped with academic literature, which is not always as riveting as reading about stories of the roaring twenties in New York City and Paris.
Amsterdam Travel Diary
Once again, in a frenzy of disorientation I leave the train station with no sense of direction. Who did I inherit this from? Luckily enough the hotel was easy enough to find from the main train station. The next day I took to the streets of Amsterdam with no real goal other than to wander around and to enjoy the new discoveries along the way. The narrow, bicycle-filled streets are adorned by beautiful houses with massive windows, which allow you to peer inside the homes of locales. It is easy enough to say that I have fallen in love with the narrow homes and the simple architecture that is unique to this city. While each home is slightly unique to the next, there is uniformity in style that creates a beautiful scenery. Built along the canals, the cobblestoned streets are kept clean with the exception of masses of bicycles parked long the bridges and sides of homes. It is a wonder how anybody can find their bike!
There is something to be said about travelling by train. Compared to travelling by air, the railroads capture a sense of joy and relaxation that embodies a true feeling of holidaying. There are no security line ups or other similar airport hassles. No, it is simply you and your journey to a new city and adventure. Today, I left Paris from Gare du Nord en route to Amsterdam. Arriving a comfortable 10 minutes prior to my train’s departure, I felt a sense of ease which is rarely the case with air travel. The seats are comfortable and enough personal space to feel like you are flying in business class. Best of all, you can see that other travellers have the same sense of comfort. In the aisle next to me, a family of four enjoys a packed lunch of sandwiches, picnic-style, table cloth included. The mother is even mending a pair of pants. You just don’t get these sights on a plane.
Running in Paris
Coming from a city where yoga pants and gym bags are both a fashion and lifestyle statement, being active in Vancouver is part of the West Coast lifestyle. Where wearing the latest from Lululemon and Nike is the norm, Vancouver is a city that embodies an active and healthy lifestyle. Moving to Paris, one of the first things I noticed was the lack of brightly coloured runners along the Seine. Perhaps it is in my inherit nature to have a need to run along the water, but I was sure to take advantage of living so close to such an ideal running spot. While I occasionally see other fellow runners along my path, it isn’t such a commonality as it is on the West Coast.
Lemon Chicken & WIld Rice
Chicken and rice is a staple dish in anybody’s cuisine. However, while it seems like a simple go-to dinner staple, you can make something just as simple as chicken and rice into something flavourful and nutritious. Whether it’s using a variety of spices or sauces, the possibilities are endless. One of my favourite renditions of this classic is a grilled or pan-seared chicken breast seasoned with basil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The brightness of the lemon and basil pairs beautifully with roasted asparagus and wild rice. This simple recipe is flavourful and fit for any season. Whether cooking for yourself or for friends there is a joy making cooking something delicious and healthy.
En déménageant à l’étranger il est certain que cette nouvelle ville apporterait non seulement un réveil d’esprit, mais des spécifiques habitudes locales inconnues. De la façon dont les personnes interagissent avec les autres, aux coutumes traditionnelles, ce sont ces éléments culturels qui créent le tissu d’un endroit. A Paris, on tient sacrement aux cœurs les dimanches. C’est une des seules journées qui fait embrasse faire la grasse matinée. Regardant hors de ma fenêtre les dimanches matin dans le premier arrondissement, les rues sont tranquilles et les boutiques fermés. Dans une ville toujours chargée, ce jour de reste est une image d’une ville complètement transformé. Bien qu’il est facile de voir les inconvenances d’une ville endormie, ça mieux de s’adopter aux habitudes vernaculaires.
A beautiful thing about Paris is that within the city parameters, there are individual neighbourhoods and arrondissements, which have their own unique personalities. From the artistic Montmartre to the classic 7th arrondissement, each area is unique to itself. One area that embodies a life of its own is the Marais. Truly a village in the city, the narrow, shop-filled streets enclose you in a little Parisian bubble. One of the only areas in that city that is alive on a usually sleep Sunday; the streets of the Marais hold treasures in the pockets of its streets. Between meticulously designed boutique window displays and passionate folk street performers, there is always an abundance of scenery to get lost in.
Crêpes, oh my!
It seems as if though Paris and food are synonymous. Every street is laced with classic cafés and bakery shop windows. To be fair, the French do have a flare for good taste, whether it is in fashion or in patisserie. From the simple, traditional baguette (appropriately referred to as “une tradition” in bakeries), to eloquently designed cakes, Parisians have mastered the use of flour. A staple sweet (or savoury if you will) dish, the crêpe, is both sold in cafés and on street corners to fulfil any French-food craving. Unfortunately these delicious temptations seem like more of a tease when certain dietary restrictions are adamant about keeping us from the fruits of nutella-graced, delicious food heaven. However, there is a solution to all of this, make your own and satisfy your appétit. This gluten-free, dairy-free version is just as simple, which holds true to the purity of the original. Fill it with any fruit compotes such as blueberry, raspberry and blackberry or other crêpe favourites.