Rave: The perks of eating at home

It’s 6 p.m. Work
clothes are off, couch mode is fully activated. The tell-tale rumble of an
empty belly reminds you it’s been hours since sustenance. You: 


a)    Download the Pizza
Pizza app on your iPhone. Rollin’ with garlic dipping sauce in 40 minutes or
less (and with minimal human interaction).
b)    Treat yourself to a
can of Zoodles and a margarine sandwich.
c)    Take three shots of
NyQuil and pretend it never happened.

If you answered yes
to any of the above, for shame! Food is fuel for your bodies, people, and you
wouldn’t put sugar in a gas tank would you? Granted, stepping into the kitchen
for the first time can be a little daunting, and while there are a million and one
reasons not to, learning basic cooking skills is an integral part of an adult
life. Before you go spouting off the same old excuses as to why you should stay true to
take-out and frozen food staples, like “But I’m a terrible cook”  (Have
you tried trying?); “But it’s just so hard cooking for one!”  (It’s
called a freezer, rookie); “My kitchen is infested with raccoons and I’m
afraid to go in there.”  (
You need to address that ASAP); take a look
at all the perks of learning your way around a kitchen.

Start small and dedicate a week to eating at home and in no time you’ll find yourself:
1. Happier

We all have to start somewhere.

Just like with
anything, practice makes perfect. If it’s day one in the kitchen, we wouldn’t
suggest trying to whip up some coq au vin or puff pastry but there are plenty of recipes for beginners that are so delicious and straightforward, you’ll wonder why you
ever ordered Swiss Chalet in the first place. Even if your first forays into
culinary excellence are not so much Giada at Home and more Kitchen Nightmares,
learning to cook can be a hilarious and rewarding experience.
There’s a reason why
the cliché about the way to the heart being through your stomach exists. Think
about it. Being able to make a meal for somebody is proving that you’re able to
provide one of their most basic needs. Aside from how impressed your
friends will be when you coyly wink and say “Oh this? It was nothing”, the personal
feeling of pride and accomplishment that accompanies putting together a
beautiful meal for yourself is a real attitude changer. You could have that
every day!
2. Healthier
Make the healthy choice.
When you make the
decision to put together your own meals as opposed to relying on
take-out, delivery or pre-made meals, you’re taking charge of everything that goes
into your body. It is much easier to keep track of what’s going in when you’re
sourcing ingredients yourself, as opposed to making sense of nutritional labels
or in the case of most restaurants, having no nutritional information at all.
What do you think your body wants more: fresh food from your friendly
neighbourhood grocer? Or a stranger showing up to your house with food that
has passed through the hands of two or three other strangers before getting to
you? And it’s not just your health on the line, preparing food on your own
reduces the amount of packaging involved with take out and pre-packaged foods,
and Mother Nature thanks you for that.
3. Wealthier
A day at the market is more fun than fast-food any day (and cheaper in the long run).

Short term, hitting
up the McD’s dollar menu might seem more wallet friendly than going to the
grocery store but the trick is to keep a well stocked pantry of dry goods. Once
you’ve got the basics (things like rice noodles, pasta, rice, herbs and spices – all
stuff you can get on the cheap), you can supplement with fresh produce, tofu and meat
for meals that cost under $5 .
Places like Kensington Market, Chinatown, and St. Lawrence Market are a mecca
for frugal foodies, or if you’re really ambitious, roll your sleeves up and
start urban farming for unlimited fresh fruit and veg. If a
day in the market or digging in the garden just isn’t your bag, sign up for
organics delivery (like Organics Live) for delivery that won’t leave you with a wicked food hangover (but slightly lighter in the pocketbook).



Some of our favourite blogs for getting started with cooking are:

1. Smitten Kitchen: some recipes are advanced, but there are some very good basics here with tons of helpful tips and tricks. Plus, these dishes always turn out. 


2. Skinny Taste: Appealing food, pretty photos, lots of options for entrées and desserts, and most importantly, the recipes are healthy.


3. Food Network: This site, home to the popular chefs that you see on TV, has some great recipes and a ton of hints to get started if you’re a noob. Chef Michael Smith and Rachel Ray (seriously) are good ones to look to first.

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Fashion-able: WMCFW shows we’re excited for

Seems like just moments ago that we wrapped another successful World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, but here we are again: ready to soak in the looks that our Canadian designers have created for next fall and winter.

Even though we don’t want to think about another fall now that we’re in the homestretch toward spring, there’s still something exciting about brand new ways to wear leather and fur. Plus, we’re always pumped to spot the best in spring street style at the tents.
Check out (just a couple shows on) our can’t miss list for this season’s World MasterCard Fashion Week:


MIZ by Izzy Camilleri
Monday at 5:30 p.m. / Runway



Izzy is a vetran who designs for the confident woman. This collection will feature sleek separates in jersey, stretch wool twill and faux leather. A neutral colour palette incorporating houndstooth and animal-print has us thinking back to the Fall 2010 IZMA collection and its richness of attitude. 




Chloé Comme Parris

Monday 6:30 p.m. / Runway




The return of sisters Chloé and Parris Gordon breathes effortless, youthful cool into this season’s roster. A bit more New York than Paris, the girls’ focus on custom and hand-made elements make their wearable collection covetable.


Pink Tartan
Monday 7:30 p.m. / Runway




Kimberley Newport-Mimran wowed crowds this past season with her ability to incorporate a punk edge in a collection that was ultimately soft, sensual and ladylike (in the 50’s sense!). We can’t wait to see what she comes up with for fall – and what colour palette she’ll be working with.


Mercedes-Benz start up presents: DUY
Tuesday at 7 p.m. / Runway




Winner of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Start Up Award, Duy Nguyen will present his new collection this season. We are hoping to see more of his intricate pattern making at play in fall/winter layers.


Joe Fresh
Wednesday at 9 p.m. / Runway




The Mimran’s are taking over! It’s okay, we really don’t mind. Frequently enticed by the affordable, on-trend fashions available at Joe Fresh, we want a glimpse into what Joe will have in store for us this fall. And we will be on the look out for special guests on the runway – like Pat Cleveland (pictured above).


Soïa & Kyo
Thursday at 6 p.m. / Runway




Ilan
Elfassy,
designer of Soïa & Kyo (and sister Brand Mackage), says that this
season he has “channelled the timeless elegance and malleability of metals, such as
copper and nickel.” The Quebec-based brand is most renown for it’s winter-wear – a can’t miss given the season.



VAWK
Thursday at 8 p.m. / Runway




Luxury label VAWK, by Sunny Fong, pushed the boundaries last season with light-weight feminine fabrics, sharp metallics and revealing cuts. We’d be OK with another take on the awesome gold cone bra above.


Travis Taddeo
Friday at 4 p.m. / Studio




Expect Travis Taddeo to own the studio this season with his signature raw, minimalist and edgy style. Known for pushing conventional expectations, we are looking forward to seeing what his unique blends of street wear and luxury will bring this year.


Stephan Caras
Friday at 7 p.m. / Runway




Established, Toronto-based designer Stephan is rejoining Toronto’s official fashion scene this season. We can’t contain our Canadian glee at the thought of seeing the master of collections that incorporate femininity and movement present on home turf.


Pavoni
Friday at 8 p.m. / Runway




Mike Derderian & Gianni Falcone know how to make a woman feel like a queen. Literally. The detailing on their dresses is so delicate it makes this Fourth-Floorer feel faint. Hope you’ve already RSVP’d.


We could go on. Get the full calendar here. Ladies, don your gem-toned or graphic print dresses and men lace up those brightly soled shoes – this is a season you don’t want to miss.

Photo Friday: Shirtless Dudes

Okay before we even get into this, to our hetero male readers – don’t be mad. Don’t think of it as objectification or fitsperation.  Just let it happen. It’s been a long week and we’re going to encourage just a little bit of SFW ogling. TGIF Y’ALL!












For the record, Brandon Jay McLaren is only our second favourite power ranger.



Wait..What?

Who is your fave topless hearthrobs? Tweet your (SFW) fave babes @rockitpromo


Media, Darling: Sharlene Chiu

Sharlene Chiu was born in Vancouver and graduated from Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program in 2005. Before starting MTV News Canada, Chiu helped launch MTV
in Canada in 2006, and worked behind-the-scenes as a segment producer for MTV
Live
. This included producing a music segment that ran on the show called On
the Radar
, where she established an exceptional reputation for selecting
and featuring new independent bands. 

Chiu introduced MTV News to Canada as a weekly segment
on the original hour long version of MTV Live. The regular segment featured
her traveling around the world reporting on music trends and covering
festivals such as SXSW, Austin City Limits, Osheaga, V Festival, and T in the
Park. This included over 250 honest and entertaining interviews with a wide range of artists, including
Coldplay, Rihanna, Kings of Leon,
Cee Lo Green, Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix and Feist.  

After winning the 2009 Travel Journalism Award presented by
VisitBritain for Best in Broadcast for her special, MTV News Pounds Britain,
Chiu created SHARLENE VS., an MTV News music travel series that takes
viewers beyond where the tourists go. In each city, Chiu meets artists of all kinds who take her under their helm, showing off unique, off-the-beaten-track spots that are special to them.

Photo credit: MTV Canada
Twitter: @sharlenechiu
Website: news.mtv.ca

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers
were on the horizon?
I
had always wanted to do music journalism on television when I was growing up.
If I didn’t go for that dream job, I would have gone into photography, which
was also a huge passion of mine as a kid.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Five
years from now, I hope I have my own production company creating badass TV
shows internationally in the food and travel realm.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Patience
and perseverance!

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
I’ve
been obsessed with Nowness.com since its inception 3 years ago – they feature
the brightest, most innovative artists in fashion, food, music, film, and art
in wonderfully written articles and beautifully shot film forms. I also love
watching the video segments on Vice like “Munchies.”

Best interview you’ve ever had?
Cat
Power in 2008. This was just after she had released the album, “Jukebox,” and
had gone through a rather public hospitalization/breakdown. She’s one of my
favorite music artists ever and I remember how easy this interview went. We
chatted for about half an hour and she was incredibly sweet and candid about her
childhood and her struggles with alcohol and performing live. The
press/interview grind can get monotonous, so it’s rare you get someone who’s so
open, genuine, and unrehearsed.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
From
my mom: “Work hard and never give up!”

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Follow
your instincts and (this one’s a hard one) try not to worry.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know
who you are reaching out to and make the pitch personal. For example, certain
publicists know I’m a sucker for knowing what’s new in music, fashion, food,
film, and travel so when something comes up in those areas, I get a personal
email with a simple “heads up, you’re gonna love this…” I see so many generic press
releases so this helps to grab my attention.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about
#wins.
I
was at an event where manicures were being offered so of course I indulged and
while my nails were getting painted, I was telling the nail artist what a horrible
time I was having with my lips cracking and peeling out of nowhere. The
loveliest PR pro was sitting beside me and told me about a product that helped
her with her lips. The next day, I got a package with the said product and a
note saying how fun it was to hang out and that she hopes that the product
helps like it did for her. It was so unexpected and memorable.

I hate?
Liars.

I love?
Laughing.

Reading?
Cook
books.

Best place on earth?
My
bed.

Hero?
My
parents.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Instagram.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.

Voicemail or email?
Email.

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
Cat
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
you.

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:



Fashionable: Eyewear Trends of 2013

Listen up four-eyes; you always knew it would come to this.  In middle school, you were the one squinting
at the board. When Lasik became a thing, you started rolling your pennies. When
the 20/20s were saying “I wish
I had
glasses” you were like, talk to me when you have calluses behind your ears. But
lo, it’s finally YOUR TIME. Now you see
all these white-belt scenesters walking around with their plastic no-prescription lenses and
you are the
ultimate face accessory hipster. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite glasses looks for 2013, PLUS we’re giving away a pair of Derek Cardigan glasses from Clearly Contacts (details at the bottom of the post).



You
wore glasses before they were cool, because you NEEDED them. When we
look at you, we aren’t seeing this:

“Nice glasses! They cover your face hawhawhaw”.

We’re seeing this:
And this:
And we are celebrating. Because we love you and your slightly flawed windows to the soul, and we
are sorry you can’t really get that much out of scuba diving (do they make prescription
goggles?), we are dedicating today to the top eyewear trends of 2013.
Cat Eye


Let us be clear: the cat eye frame is not for cat
ladies.
 The frame’s flared outer edges
and distinct style is a bold fashion choice that conveys confidence and sex
appeal.
 They bring a vintage feel and a
whole lot of sass.
 Notable cat eye
wearers: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and of course, Lisa Loeb.

Dramatic Patterns

Let’s face it; we can’t all rock animal print all the time. A dramatic patterned frame is a great way to
spice up a drab ensemble.
 Also, you may
find a solid colour frame to be too harsh on lighter skin tones and a
tortoiseshell frame is a perfect compromise.
 

Colourful Arms


If you want a subtler look face-on, but still want to show
your dramatic side, then colourful armed frames are the way to go. This way you get the best of both worlds; a
versatile frame that you can wear day and night, as well as an extra dimension
of style and flare.
Statement Frames

If you just have one of those faces that can’t commit to a
rectangular or square frame, statement frames are made for you.
 Just a bit more pronounced than your average
frame, statement frames are just that – a statement.
 YOU wear these babies, they don’t wear you.
Keyhole detailing


Keyhole cut bridges are a fun detailing that can range from
very pronounced to hardly noticeable. This
funky retro look can be seen on some of our favourite modern style icons and is
a unique way to rock a classic frame.
Got a vision deficiency and want to stay on trend? The first fourth floor follower to tweet a
pic of their favourite coke-bottled celeb to @rockitpromo will win a FREE pair
of Derek Cardigan frames from ClearlyContacts.ca


Media, Darling: Hannah Yakobi

Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist.
Throughout her career, she has written for the
National Post, OK! Magazine,
Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications worldwide. She is
currently the editor-in-chief of
FAJO Magazine, an international publication with staff in
Canada, U.S., U.K. and Italy.


Over the past decade, Yakobi has interviewed and photographed many fashion
and entertainment icons, including John Fluevog, Mariah Carey, Jeanne Beker,
Enrique Iglesias, Deepak Chopra, Catherine Malandrino, Paul Venoit and Bryan Adams. A graduate of Carleton University‘s renowned school of journalism,
Yakobi speaks four languages and has lived in five countries. In her free time,
she enjoys raising awareness and funds for various Canadian and international
charities.



Dress by David Dixon. Photography
by Robin Gartner for FAJO Magazine.



Twitter: @FajoMagazine,
@HannahYakobi

Web: www.fajomagazine.com 



Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on
the horizon? 

My career trajectory was somewhat unpredictable: I wanted to be a ballet dancer when I was very young (who didn’t?), for many years I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer (I even took some courses)
and later I briefly thought psychology was the field for me. But then, at 18, I became a
reporter and have never looked back. 


Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d like to continue to do exactly what I’m
doing now, but on an even larger scale.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
You need to be hard-working and dedicated. Some
people have an expectation that fashion is all about glamour and fabulous
parties – it certainly does have that, but in order to stay in this industry
for a long time, you need to earn it. Expect long hours and plenty of stress.
When you start, say “yes” to almost everything. And never be rude to anyone –
it’s a small industry and the word about bad behaviour travels fast. 


What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
I grew up reading Harper’s Bazaar, so that
publication has always had a very special place in my heart. And I love the
British edition of Glamour, the small, mini-size version – I’ve been reading it
for years.


Best interview you’ve ever had?
Dominique Szabo, Senior Vice-President of Estee
Lauder. She was remarkable on every level.


Worst?
This is a hard question. I’ve had some
interviews that didn’t start on a good note. But almost always, after chatting
with each other, the interviewee and I were able to get the conversation
flowing.



Many of my friends who are also journalists
frequently tell me crazy stories about some of their interviews. I think I have
been lucky to never experience that. At least – not yet.   


Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“University education is very important” is what
my grandfather always used to say. When I got my degree, I understood the value
of those words.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Hard work pays off. 

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Do the research before you contact media folks.
If someone says they are not interested in a pitch, do not pressure them.
Maintain relationships with people. 


Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
The folks at National PR. They are quite
amazing.


I hate?
Cold weather, pretentious behaviour,
unprofessionalism. 


I love?
Charity work, hosting parties, travel and
getting my hair done. 


Reading?
About to re-read Life of Pi. Just saw the movie
in December and loved it, so decided to read the book again.  


Best place on earth?
Barcelona, Spain.

Dinner guest?
Valentino Garavani. I have great respect for
that man. 


Hero?
My mother. She is an incredible woman, who has
dedicated her life to my sister and I. She has had quite a spectacular career,
and always has incredible business ideas. 


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Instagram.

Pool or ocean?
Can I say “the sea”? Mediterranean sea!

Voicemail or email?
If you want to chat, I’m on my phone. If you
want a response right away and it has to do with business, email is where you
can find me.