Fave 5: Style icons for our spring shopping list

There’s a little spring in our step and we’re ready to shed our winter coats and rejuvenate our wardrobes with a little somethin’ new from the shops. Today, we’ve pulled together a few snaps from our favourite style icons to build our spring shopping list.

Jane Birkin
Jane Birkin
Short dresses. 
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Tall boots.
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Jane Birkin.
White swimwear.
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Jane Birkin
Pretty flats & elaborate dresses.
Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway in Bonnie & Clyde
Carefully draped scarves.Image source

Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair
Slouchy turtlenecks.
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Faye Dunaway
Big hats paired with oversized shades.
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Faye Dunaway's post-Oscar Breakfast, March 29 1977 Photography by Terry O'Neill
Post-party dressing gowns.
Faye Dunaway’s post-Oscar breakfast 

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Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve
False lashes.

Catherine Deneuve
Push-up bra, t-shirt & jeans.
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Catherine Deneuve
Black & white tunics.
Catherine Deneuve in St. Tropez, 1965. Photo by Milton H. Greene
Cute rompers with bare feet.
Jean Shrimpton
Jean Shrimpton, 1960s.
More bare feet.
Jean Shrimpton, 1964.
Jaunty hats.
Jean Shrimpton
White jeans.
Jean Shrimpton.
Snug sweaters.
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Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks
Graphic tees.
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Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks
Black. Always black.

Fave Five: Cheap Eats

While we do enjoy luxury and decadence up here on the fourth floor, we also know it’s important to stick to your budget. So when it comes time to pinch our
pennies, we try and make the best of Toronto’s sky high cost of living with
it’s delicious bargains abound. From ramen noodles on Dundas east to tacos
on St. Clair west, this city is overflowing with multicultural
delicacies that won’t break the bank. Although it’s a pretty tough task,
we set out to find our favorite five cheap eats.

North of Brooklyn Pizzeria

new to our great city, North of Brooklyn Pizzeria has all the right ingredients
to make a great slice. Located at 650 1/2 Queen Street West,
owners Josh Spatz, Alex Potter and Frank Pinello set
out to make high end pizza at a low end cost. With fresh, never frozen
ingredients, patrons have the choice of five different slices all under $5.00.
Just one bite of this Neapolitan delight and you’ll be hooked.
Mi Boys

boys have returned with a vengeance and in our humble opinions, they’ve never
tasted better. With line-ups out the door, these sammies are not to be missed.
For just $5.99 you can delve into Braised Beef Cheek, slow cooked and topped
with onion chutney and if your feeling extra hungry top it off with a side of
kimchi fries.
Santouka Ramen 

you heard? Ramen is all the rave. Toronto is packed with great noodle joints,
but here at rock-it we’re particularly fond of Santouka Ramen, located at 91 Dundas St. East.  For just $11, 
Santouka’ s mix simmering pork broth with
delectable chewy noodles, making the perfect winter food to warm your belly.

Albert’s Real Jamaican Foods

Especially in the winter, nothing hits the spot like a warm, spicy Jamaican dish. A small jerk chicken is just $7.50 and comes with rice, peas and coleslaw. Or if you want to be more authentic, a traditional Jamaican oxtail dinner, also with rice, peas and coleslaw is a mere $10. If you’re really scrimping, a beef or vegetable patty is just $1.35. Dem’s cheap, delicious eats. 

Tacos El Asador

in the heart of Koreatown, you can find some of the best tacos north of the
border, and they were cranking out delicious, authentic tacos long before the current taco craze hit the city. With a smorgasbord 
of options all under $10, Tacos El Asador is a great place to grab a quick bite
or take out for more intimate dining experience. We went on many a student date here, but it still lives up to standards now that we’re all grown up.

Fave Five: Brunch

brunch. If there is one thing the 416 and the 905 can agree on, it’s that brunch is bliss.
Persistent scorn for frigid February – and the accompanying lament: why am I
still living here? – melts away to reveal a fondness for the winter wonderland
we call home when we’re cozied up at one of our favourite joints crunching on
bacon and buttering scones. It’s more difficult to choose a top brunch spot in
Toronto than whether we want a coffee or a Caesar with our eggs benny so, heck
lazy-Sunday-lovers, we’re not gonna do it! 

Here are five faves. We’re open to
suggestions for our next post (tweet us @rockitpromo) and maybe a mimosa too…

Celebrating its ninth birthday next week (with a kick-ass To The Nines bash), The Drake Hotel is a neighbourhood staple. Offering comfort food with it’s signature casually opulent flare, we love everything on the menu. Bonus points for the larger-than-average seating area (with a choice between casual café, lounge and dining room) and extended serving time (brunch goes until 4 p.m.). Must try: warm scone share plate.
1150 Queen St. W.

Only a couple years ago this bright, cheerful locale – where coffee is served in romantic china tea cups – was a dingy, dark illegal after-hours club. We’re glad a passion for food and elbow grease (thanks Orwell?) led to the operation of L’Ouvrier by Angus Bennett. The menu is modestly sized, but contains something for everyone, from the health nut to the heart-attack-challenger. Must try: potato rosti, smoked salmon, crème fraîche, arugula, fried shallots, and capers.
791 Dundas St. W.

Somehow Saving Grace comes off as cozy rather than tiny. There is no arguing the fact that elbow room is at a premium but the large windows and potted plants make the space bright and welcoming. The food is spot on and specials vary daily, just be prepared for a wait to get in. Must try: French toast with caramelized bananas.
907 Dundas St. W.
Welcome to a less complicated time. Aunties and Uncles is unpretentious (we love the retro décor!) and operates on the fresh-is-best mentality. Inexpensive and a reliable hangover cure we can’t imagine the brunch scene without this old standby. Must try: omelette of the day.
74 Lippincott St.

Not all our Sundays are lazy. And when we’re looking for a little excitement we turn to the cultural hub of downtown: Toronto’s Soho House. They pair extravagant, healthy brunch spreads with event programming. It’s a members-only club, so if you haven’t got a membership, cozy up to someone that does. It’s well worth it. Must try: to die for croissants.
192 Adelaide St. W.

Fave Five: Lip Sync Fails

Happy post-Super Bowl Sunday everyone! We hope everyone had
their fill of of football-shaped cupcakes and
47-Layer Dip. This year was more than just football and funny commercials though, it was also the
second coming. Of Destiny’s Child, that
is. The reunion (which did include Kelly Rowland and 
Michelle Williams) came hot on the heels of
the heartbreaking news that Beyonce lipsynced the national anthem at Obama’s
second inauguration last month. While we’d rather just forget the whole
thing, it got us reminiscing. Beowolf is
not the first lady to air band her
way through a performance – it’s more common than we’d like to think. It isn’t always quite as earth shattering as our
boo B phoning it in, though. In fact, sometimes it’s almost
more entertaining than if they performed for realsies. Here are
our fave 5 lip syncing fails:

5. Justin Bieber’s Spaghetti and Milk mistake
Little Biebs was jamming along to “Out of Town Girl” at a concert in Phoenix when his pre-show carb and dairy loading totally backfired on him. Curiously, his backing track continued. Who knew you could sing and barf at the same time? Fast forward to 2:06 to see Biebs in all his barfy glory (if you’re into that kinda thing).

4. Milli Vanilli Pioneers the Lip Sync Face Palm
You can’t have a list of lip sync fails without including Milli
Vanilli. These guys were the first
people to face harsh media ridicule and have their Grammy Award withdrawn once
it came to light that they were just models/dancers with a more marketable
image than the singers on the album. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if one of them hadn’t dubbed himself the “New Elvis
and claimed that, based on their success,
they were more talented than Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger.

3. Phoebe Buffay gets discovered and discovers the Smelly
Now, in Phoebe’s defence, she didn’t actually know that she
was the Milli Vanilli in this situation.  When t
he quirky Friend learned that another woman was singing in the video (and that wasn’t just how she sounded to other people), she felt terrible. She realized that the woman with the voice,
and less video-friendly image
was the
smelly cat and we’re sure she made amends. 
You also might be saying “but this is fictional…” but we can’t hear

2. Britney Spears’
2007 “comeback”
Feast your eyes on one of the most uncomfortable things we’ve ever seen. This was a very tough year
for Brit-Brit (see: Bald Britney, Divorced Britney, and General Train Wreck Britney) so we’ll try to go easy. Champions of the “Lucky
singer eagerly awaited her comeback performance at the 2007 MTV VMAs to shut up the haters once and for all. Unfortunately they were disappointed to instead see a nervous, stumbling shadow of the pop superstar they once knew with very little stage presence and a manky weave. (We’d also like to note that
while Brit was obviously out of it and in a bad place, a lot of flack came
her way about her body. Harsh critics
ridiculed the singer, calling her “fat” and “disgusting” and we think it was
also an important moment in the body image debate.)
1. Ashlee Simpson’s SNL Hoedown
You know what they say, anything
can happen on live TV.
 Shortly after the
debut of The Ashlee Simpson Show, and her very serious adult relationship with
this guy (but before her marriage to this guy) she appeared on SNL as a musical guest. During her second performance, “Pieces of You” started to play, but whaaa? SHE ALREADY SANG THAT SONG!!!! Also the microphone was nowhere
near her mouth.
 It’s cool though, she covered it up with a
really cool dance.
 Now, she wouldn’t have lip
synced in the first place but she had heart burn, you guys. 
   We think we can all agree that it’s best just to keep it real. Beyonce could learn a thing or two from her fans. This girl knows what’s up:

Fave 5: Handy online tools that will make you better

It’s the third week of January – how many of your New Year’s resolutions are still active? Yep… us too. But it’s not too late! Today we’re sharing a few of our favourite handy and fun websites to help you stay on track for 2013.

Resolution #1: Read more

For everyone who pledged to read more, meet Goodreads. The largest site for readers in the world, you can track and rate each book you read this year, connect with friends to see what they’re reading and receive personalized recommendations based on your virtual ‘bookshelf’. Their 2013 Reading Challenge will even help you develop your resolution into a trackable goal. Very handy when a friend asks for a recommendation, or when you’re $5 below free shipping at Amazon or Chapters.

It doesn’t get much nerdier than this. But it’s fun.

Resolution #2: Budget

Dealing with your finances is never fun, but there are tons of online tools and apps to help you out. However, if you’re like us it all falls apart when you have to remember to track purchases, input data, etc. If this is you, you need Mint.com. It pulls data automatically from your financial accounts, categorizing and tracking all of your purchases. You can input a budget, and Mint will send you an email when you exceed your monthly budget in a particular category (as if we aren’t guilty enough already). Get ready to face the music and find out where your paychecks are going.

So THAT’s where it went. 

Resolution #3: Lose weight/eat healthier

Who doesn’t try to eat a little better after the holidays? This online site and app, Loseit, helps you count calories. Enter your deets, and it’ll calculate a daily caloric intake for you that jives with your weight loss goal. With many foods pre-entered, it’s easy see what you should/shouldn’t be eating. Will the shame of entering three glasses of wine and a bag of M&Ms as your dinner help change your eating habits?

Resolution #4: Improve your attitude

Maybe 2013 has been off to a slow start, or you haven’t found your motivation yet. Do what we do here on the fourth floor: begin your day with a daily affirmation from the universe, delivered straight to your inbox and “designed to remind you that you have been given dominion over all things.” Mind over matter, right? 

Start each day this year with a reminder like this from Notes from the UniverseWhat if everything that’s happened so far, was just practice for when things get really, really good? Really, really soon – The Universe

Get on board here.

Resolution #5: Switch up your style

Are you in a style rut? In addition to trolling Pinterest for inspiration, take it a step further and add to the conversation with Polyvore. Find or add clothing, shoes or accessories that you own, then create and share outfits. Admittedly, this can take a lot of time, so the lazy person’s solution: search for items you own and see how other fashionistas have styled them. 

Fave 5: Podcasts

As much as we love riding our bikes to work, we’re also secretly a bit (a very LITTLE bit) excited that the snow means we have to walk or take transit. Why? Because it means that we can spend our commutes listening to our favourite podcasts. There are so many to choose from – just spend some time browsing the options on iTunes, for starters. They literally cover any topic you can imagine, and are a great way to pick up interesting conversation tidbits for cocktail parties (and, uh, to learn about the world of course). 

If you’re new to the podcast world, here are our favourite five to listen to. What are your favourites?

A recent recommendation from a friend, this podcast hilariously critiques (mostly) terrible movies that are so bad, they’re amazing (in the literal sense of the term). Friends Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas host the show with very funny guests, like comedian Doug Benson. The first episode we listened to was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and we were hooked. It’s created in conjunction with Earwolf, a digital content producer helmed by Scott Aukerman (who created “Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis”), so you know it’s basically a guaranteed laugh.

Listen or download here. Start with: really, any movie they discuss that you’ve seen and thought was horrible. You will relate and laugh. Trust.

This is perhaps our favourite – we love, love, love Ira Glass and his weekly show highlighting a small slice of life in America. The show picks a theme like “Self-Improvement” or “Babysitting” and explores different aspects of the topic through stories from regular people. The results are thought-provoking, compelling and interesting shows that will have you wishing your commute to work was just a little bit longer. You’ll never think about the mundane in the same way again after listening to this show.

Listen and download here. Start with: the Favourites list. Staff have chosen their top picks from their 400+ shows and it’s a great way to become introduced to Ira and his team. One of our personal faves is “What Doesn’t Kill You“, which outlines a true and shocking story of a shark attack on a 13-year old girl, in a series of stories about near-death experiences.

For the occasional science and technology fix, we turn to cult favourite Radiolab. This show is less frequent than most other podcasts, but with good reason – each episode is over an hour long and is extensively researched. Similarly to This American Life, host Jad Abumrad and his team choose one topic to explore in depth. Things like Guts, Loops, Escapes and Colours; topics that seem really straightforward and simple, but they delve into each topic and dig up some astounding facts and revelations. Example: the mantis shrimp can see colours that we cannot even conceive of, because they have more cones in their eyes than we do. In fact, this shrimp can see more colours than any other living species on the planet. Cool, right?

Listen and download here. Start with: the Colours episode we just mentioned. It’s pretty rad.

You Look Nice Today
This show is a bit of brain candy, self-described as “a journal of emotional hygiene” that discusses emotional “adult” issues, and is really just some pretty funny banter between three friends (Adam Lisagor, Scott Simpson and Merlin Mann) who met on Twitter. It’s a good mental break when you’ve had a rough day and need to forget about your life for awhile and focus on someone else’s neuroses. 

Listen and download here. Start with: honestly, anywhere. Just delve right in and get to know these dudes. This one is pretty funny.

Good Job, Brain!
This is a new discovery for us (and a relatively new podcast) and we are thrilled for the nerdy goodness it provides. We love trivia and this radio show that’s part quiz show, part under-the-radar news stories satisfies our thirst for facts. Hosts Karen Chu, Colin Felton, Chris Kohler and Dana Nelson are self-confessed trivia junkies and bring you random facts about just about any topic you can think of. If this doesn’t prepare you for weekly trivia night at The Drake Hotel, nothing will. 

Listen and download here. Start with: episode one! Might as well start at the beginning, for maximum knowledge acquirement. Plus, it’s about alcohol and candy. Delish. 

Fave Five: Young Local Artists

Here on the fourth floor, we appreciate
the finer things in life and as such, are taking a moment to honour our Fave
Five young Torontonians who contribute to the arts and entertainment scene
in Toronto.

Born and raised in Toronto and a
graduate of OCAD’s fine art program, Aaron Li-Hill is one of our favourite visual
artists. His dreamy, industrial inspired
pieces employ a variety of mediums; from traditional paints and sketches to a
contemporary use of graphic design and graffiti. His art has been shown in galleries
throughout Canada and was recently included in SPiN Toronto’s first Plywood graffiti
art exhibit. http://li-hill.carbonmade.com/

Not only do we love fashion, we also
love Mother Earth! This is why Little.White.Dress is a local
designer that we’re keeping our eye on. Made up of Ryerson grads
Jessica van Enckevort and Alexandra Wilson, Little.White.Dress focuses on
making unique, eco-friendly bridal wear, cocktail dresses and accessories. We
love their use of vintage and repurposed fabrics, and that each of their
dresses is one of a kind. @LWDressToronto

No stranger to the Canadian music
scene, Devin was literally born into it. Son of Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Devin inherited more than just the famous
Can-Rock name and has been carving out a place for himself with the Devin Cuddy Band. Their country and New Orleans
blues inspired debut album Volume One was released on the Cameron House’s label, where Devin and his band can be
spotted playing every Wednesday. @DevinCuddy

Photog phenom Petra Collins  has made
her indelible mark on the art world with her nostalgic, sometimes
controversial, but always honest portrayal of young women. At just 19 years old,
Petra’s commercial clients include Urban
Outfitters, Vogue Italia, Chloe Comme Parris and Refinery 29.  In addition to that, she curates the female
art collective The Ardorous We love her unapologetic embrace of all
things feminine. @petracollins

Since she moved to Toronto from Nigeria
as an international student in Ryerson’s Broadcast Journalism program,
Shasha has been an up-and-comer in the documentary film world.  She works full-time at award-winning
documentary production company Storyline Entertainment, and as a
producer/director for Squire Entertainment with Rich Williamson. Her very first documentary Baby
Not Mine
went on to win awards at the Human Rights Docfest and the Montreal
World Film Festival in 2009. Recently,
her documentary about the sugarcane industry in the Philippines, The Sugar Bowl  took Best Documentary and
Best Film at the 2012 Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, UK. @ShashaNakhai