Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tips from Colin Cowie | Plan the perfect holiday soiree

As the holidays are inching closer, the anticipation of those final days of the semester is kicking in and you can’t help but look forward to the freedom of enjoying a stress-free break from school – not to mention sugar cookies and eggnog. It’s almost time for the season of festive celebrations, but with all the parties, people and delicious food comes a lot of planning. Although it may seem a bit overwhelming sometimes, don’t worry; all you need are some simple ideas and the energy to make it happen.

Colin Cowie, celebrity party planner extraordinaire, was in town a couple weeks ago and I was able to attend a special event at The Thompson Hotel, where he gave a suite a festive makeover and welcomed us with food, drinks, and tips for our own holiday soirees.  

Here is some of his awesome advice:
Music – Make a playlist of 80-85% of your favourite, non-Christmas songs, and then take 15-20% of your best Christmas songs and fit them in between.I think when you listen to holiday music all the time, you want to treat yourself.”

Food – “When it comes to what we eat, what we taste, no one has the time today to start cooking things by yourself.” Use store-bought gourmet food that you can put out for your guests. If you don’t have a lot of room, a great way to save space is by making a big dish, such as a turkey stew, and place coffee cups around it so the guests can help themselves. “That way, you don’t have to have a plate and a fork and a spoon for everyone, because sometimes when you’re young, you don’t exactly have a big two-bedroom apartment, you might be in studio.”

Décor – Start from the front door and work your way throughout the rest of the house. Choose a theme and stick with it. Mixed metals are popular this season, bringing together silvers, sparkles and even mirror panels. Red and gold are also perfect colours to incorporate into everything, from the invitations to decorations. “Dream with one big idea.”

Smell – “There is no such thing as too many candles.” Avoid placing fragrances near the food by spreading them throughout other areas of the house. Small candles also make great stocking stuffers that are easy to personalize. Colin suggests the limited edition Febreze Cranberries & Frost scented candles, that you can write someone’s name on and wrap as thoughtful party favours.

Colin’s Golden Rule – “Do as much as you can in advance. There’s nothing fun about running around when your guests arrive, thinking you’re left behind. Do it all the night before so it allows you to be a gracious host. Twenty minutes before your guests come, go put on a fresh outfit, lipstick, throw on a pair of heels, take 10 deep breaths and go enjoy yourself.”

Colin is such a charming man; he's classy, friendly and has a great eye for creating the perfect atmosphere for a fantastic party.

We even got to go home with gifts! Hooray for cleaning supplies (these are actually so handy).

I was definitely inspired after meeting Colin and seeing his beautiful holiday decorations!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Monday, November 26, 2012


This musical trio that goes by the name of Beats Antique has been taking their experimental fusion of electronica and worldly beats on the road, touring and promoting their newest EP, CONTRAPTION VOL. 2 (in total, they've now released four albums and two EPs). The group is made up of David Satori, Zoe Jakes and Tommy Cappel and was started out of Oakland, California. Their sound is a unique convergence of instrumentals and modern technology, creating an enchanting genre of music that they can call their own. As from their Twitter profile, they describe themselves as "electro-acoustic gypsy hip hop straight from a time machine."

They are bringing 2012 to a close with a world tour that spans across North America, plus a once-in-a-lifetime show at The Pyramids in Egypt on the Winter Solstice. I can only imagine how amazing that would be! Check out the Animale Mechanique tour poster below to see when they'll be at a city near you!

They have also played huge music festivals including Coachella and Lolapalooza (one of my goals in life is to attend both at some point). Their wide range of experience in the industry, from multicultural music production to belly dancing, gives them an edge and the ability to bring an audience to a whole different level.

Beats Antique :: Contraption Vol. 2 Track Listings:
1. The Allure
2. Skeleton Key
3. Crush (feat. Brass Menažeri)
4. Crooked Muse (feat. Lynx)
5. Hero
6. Colony Collapse - Filastine feat. Nova (Beats Antique Remix)
7. Bus to Balkans
8. Bloody Bones

Here's "The Allure" - the EP's first track:

Want to hear more from Beats Antique? Check them out at and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Sunday, November 25, 2012

OUCH 2012

One of the reasons why I have been super busy over the past two months has been because of dance practices with my Urban Hip Hop Union (UHHU) dance team, preparing for the Ontario University Competition of Hip-Hop (OUCH). The big competition took place on Nov. 17 at the John Bassett Theatre inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre - This was the first time it was held downtown, so we were incredibly lucky to be on our home turf!

All semester, we'd been practicing like crazy and we went into the competition full of energy and excitement. The event was hosted by Lenny Len and judged by Jon 'Drops' Reid (Supernaturalz Crew), Kojo 'Tuch' Mayne (Do Dat Entertainment) and Jungle (Do Dat Entertainment). Ryerson was among a total of 15 schools competing.

Aren't we cute?
Photo courtesy of Rodney Pineda
Photo courtesy of Thea Lape
Although we didn't place in the top 3, it was honestly such an amazing experience. We gave it our best shot and I couldn't have asked for a better day - we are so proud of our performance.
Here's a video of it I found on YouTube:

Here were the official results:

Tied for 3rd place: 
Wilfred Laurier University (A.L.I.A.S Dance Crew) & McMaster University

2nd place (I honestly thought they should've got 1st):
U of T St. George (Fo Real Dance Crew)

1st place:

Until next year!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Breakfast Television Experience - RiRi for FreeFree

To promote her newest album, Unapologetic, Rihanna set out on an ambitious 777 world tour - seven cities in seven days. And Toronto was lucky enough to be one of the locations chosen, with a show on Thursday Nov. 15. Leading up to the exclusive concert, the venue was kept on the down-low and tickets were scarce to come by, as you could only win your way in if you weren't a part of the media.

On the big day, I was invited to appear on Breakfast Television to compete to try to win a pair of tickets to the show (at the Danforth Music Hall, as it was later revealed). It was an early morning for me, but I was super excited to get to be on the set with BT hosts Dina and Kevin.

My competitor was a girl named Candice, another huge Rihanna fan. We got to take part in the 'RiRi for FreeFree' segment, where we had to answer a few trivia questions.

In the end though, I came up short and sadly didn't win those coveted tickets. It wasn't so bad was actually still a pretty fun experience! Who would have thought that I'd sing the chorus of "We Found Love" on morning television?

And at least I didn't go home empty handed - we both got a collection of Rihanna CDs!

Here's her video for "Diamonds" from her latest album - I love this song!

So despite my failed attempt at winning tickets, I still had a great time. I would love to have a job like hosting on Breakfast Television - it's such a fun atmosphere!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Muttonhead A/W 2012

I recently came across a really cool unisex clothing company that goes by the name of Muttonhead. Based out of Toronto, Muttonhead has been keepin' it local since 2009, focusing on 'slow design,' as a counter-movement to 'fast fashion.' They've been designing high quality and sustainable clothing that aims to outlast trends.

As soon as I saw the different pieces and the brand's unique aesthetic, I instantly became a fan. I love how the styles are fitting for both men and women and the clothing just has such a cool factor. I really want one of their crew necks....

Anyways, check out some of these awesome photos from their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection:

I want this.

Check out to see the full collection and find out more about this awesome Canadian clothing line. Also stay updated on Facebook and Twitter.

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Friday, November 16, 2012

In the spirit of Breaking Dawn Part 2

The final Twilight film was released today, and as you may know, Vancouver was used as one of the filming locations for the series of movies. I have yet to see Breaking Dawn Part 2, but I'm pretty excited for it...

Can't wait.

Anyways, I've had my share of encounters with some of the cast, so I thought I'd bring some of those photos back!

 With Kellan Lutz

With Taylor Lautner - I'm clearly team Jacob.

So what did you guys think of Breaking Dawn Part 2?

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28


Sometimes the best music that helps me get through the day is just pure beats. Beats and electronic sounds that fill the headphones and make walking around just that much better. And for my treks around the city, one guy that recently landed a spot on my iPod is Photek.

After taking a break and releasing his Avalanche EP, Photek is back with a full length album. KU:PALM is full of energetic tracks that can keep you moving on the dance floor. This year, his Daft Punk remix from the TRON soundtrack earned him a Grammy nomination, making 2012 a great year for his career. He will be starting his tour for this album in January 2013, so keep an eye out for when he'll be in a city near you!

Here's a cool interview I stumbled across:

Track list:
1.     Signals
2.     Quadrant
3.     Aviator
4.     Pyramid
5.     Shape Charge
6.     Munich
7.     Quevedo
8.     Mistral
9.     Oshun
10. Sleepwalking feat. Linche
11. One Of A Kind Feat. Breakage & Veronika Coassolo
12. This Love (feat. Ray La Montagne)

For more Photek, check out

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

Sunday, November 11, 2012

EVENT | Vitaly Design Launch

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Vitaly Design held its official 'Clocks & Colours' 2013 collection launch in Toronto. I went to the event as an official member of the AEON Attire team (more details about that later in another post). Anyways, we checked out the launch and had a great time meeting people in the Toronto fashion scene - plus there was awesome music, sweet treats and drinks.

All of the jewelry on display looked amazing and I really liked their unique designs. We even got to go home with a piece of our own! I was a happy camper with my new two-finger ring (I've already worn it out and gotten lots of compliments!).

Check out my photos from the event:

Cupcakes in jars, courtesy of The Yummy Tummy

I ran into my friend Trish! You should all check out her music -

Weiming & Weidong Yuan of AEON Attire with Julian, a model for Vitaly.

Drinks galore - thanks Sapporo & Red Bull!

Vitaly Design founders Shane and Jason - great to meet them!
The guys of Vitaly happen to be mentors of the AEON Attire founders: Weidong, Patrick and Weiming:

Anyways, it was a fun event and I can't wait to see what's up next for Vitaly - congrats on a successful launch!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28
All photos taken by me | Please contact for use