Inside Square One’s Food District Media Launch

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Last week Square One hosted media and influencers for a preview of their upcoming Food District, opening to the public on April 1st.  The ultimate influencer, the Food God, Jonathan Cheban was on hand to experience all of the deliciousness.

All photos courtesy of Ryan Emberley
Natasha Koifman, Square One’s Marketing Director Toni Holley and Jonathan Cheban
Jonathan being interviewed by etalk

Guests sampled appetizing eats, coffee, juice and beer from some of the merchants and restaurants that will be part of The Food District. Take a look below and prepare to get hungry.

BRøD – The Danish Bakery
Oysters from Pier 87
Seed to Sausage’s charcuterie board
Arvinda’s Specialty Indian Cooking
Blackjack BBQ
Collective Arts Brewing
Village Juicery
Hale Coffee
Sweet Jesus
Tiramisu from Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta to Go
The Macaron Boutique
Gorgeous pink roses provided by Blossom Moments

Details of a grand opening event are coming soon!

Backstage at the Oscars

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The lead up to this year’s Oscars may have been shrouded in controversy (Kevin Hart dropping out as host because of homophobic tweets and the Academy reversing their decision to hand out awards in commercial breaks), but the biggest night in movies still delivered some standout and historic moments. All eyes were on Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper during their intimate performance of their Oscar winning song Shallow, Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter made history becoming the first African-American women to win Oscars in their categories (Production Design & Costume Design for Black Panther), Mahershala Ali is now the first African-American actor to have won two Best Supporting Actor trophies, and Billy Porter turned heads when he stepped onto the red carpet in a tuxedo gown.

There were also plenty of moments that happened backstage that you didn’t see on TV.

After winning for Best Original Song Lady Gaga got emotional with her co-writers Mark Ronson and Anthony Rossomando.

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Best Supporting Actress winner Regina King couldn’t contain her excitement posing in the Oscars backstage portrait studio.

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Rami Malek also hit the portrait studio after taking home the Best Actor trophy for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

J.Lo (who looked like a stunning human disco ball in Tom Ford) checked herself out in the mirror before heading to the stage.

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When it came to Julia’s bump-in with Paul Rudd, the hashtag says it all…

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Former Game of Thrones co-stars Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke shared a sweet squeeze!

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah caught this candid moment of Spike Lee preparing some notes in case he had to accept an award. Spike ended up taking home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film BlacKkKlansman.

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Crazy Rich Asians stars Constance Wu and Awkwafina couldn’t believe they presented at the Oscars.

Jennifer Hudson was left pretty much speechless while meeting Bette Midler for the first time.

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@bettemidler @theacademy

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And Melissa McCarthy spoofed the bunny loving Queen from the nominated film The Favourite, and really got into character.

Take a Look Inside Kindness HQ

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On Valentine’s Day NKPR’s Toronto office was transformed into Kindness HQ for our 4th annual 26 Hours of Kindness.

https://www.facebook.com/NKPRO/videos/399943814106241

 

Over 60 volunteers, made up of our staff, local neighbours and friends, came together to pack lunches for Toronto’s homeless as part of the #hashtaglunchbag initiative. 650 sandwiches were assembled and then packed into bags with juice boxes, fruit and notes of kindness. The lunches were distributed to St. Felix Centre (Liberty and Augusta locations), Ve’ahavta, The Scott Mission and Good Shepherd Ministries.  A huge thank you to Brodflour, The MRG Group, Phil’s Produce, Jonny Kim, Chef Romain Avril and Fiera Foods for donating the food.  Here’s a look at how the day unfolded. 

 

Commuters on Adelaide picking up coffees (courtesy of Thompson Toronto) outside Kindness HQ.

 

Hundreds of sandwiches being assembled by our awesome volunteers!

Beautiful notes of kindness were written on lunch bags and on pieces of paper that were put into the lunch bags.

Team love! We’re already looking forward to next year!

The Best ‘Grams from the Grammys

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From Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s incredible performance, to Kacey Musgraves winning Album of the Year, and Cardi B becoming the first woman to win best Rap Album as a solo artist – last night’s Grammys was all about the ladies.  And when the stars weren’t up on stage, they were sharing their favourite moments on Instagram.

One of the biggest surprises of the night was when Michelle Obama walked out on stage to help open the show alongside host Alicia Keys, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga.  The former First Lady received a monstrous applause and spoke about how music has always helped tell her story.

 

Miley Cyrus and Shawn Mendes hit the stage together and performed Shawn’s hit “In my Blood”, but on the red carpet the two shared a cute moment posing for photos. Shawn also seemed to love Miley’s black Mugler tux, and so do we!

 

Also, Miley’s gold initial heels! No need to say more.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Btuh8g8hgij/

 

J.Lo’s main man Alex Rodriguez shared this candid snap of the couple backstage, and well, the caption is spot on.

 

Drake took home the Grammy for Best Rap song for “God’s Plan” and surprised everyone when he accepted the award in person.  In his speech Drake said that success isn’t always about winning awards…”you’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you are a hero in your hometown. If there are people who have regular jobs, who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here, I promise you, you already won.”

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Chromin Gold for the 6

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Every second of Diana Ross’ performance was epic… including this moment with Jaden Smith, shared by proud mama Jada!

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Jaden’s moment with an Icon Liv’n✨

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Janelle Monae did not disappoint with her unique red carpet look and the same can be said for her hair.

 

The single pony was done by Maui Moisture celebrity hairstylist ambassador Nikki Nelms who said she “wanted to maintain a high fashion look that complimented the outfit, but still stood out on its own.” Mission accomplished!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtuQfn8h1ui/

 

Dua Lipa playfully juggles her two Grammy trophies backstage.  The singer won Best New Artist and Best Dance Recording.

 

Finally, while this post may not have been at last night’s show (it’s from Saturday at Roc Nation’s annual brunch), it still needs to be included, because well… they’re Bey & Jay.

NKPR 26 Hours of Kindness: #HashtagLunchbag

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NKPR 26 Hours of Kindness: #HashtagLunchbag 

It all started in 2015 as a way to spread random acts of kindness during the holiday season. For 26 consecutive hours, the NKPR team went out across the city to volunteer at various shelters, collect clothing and toy donations, raise money for the homeless community, hand out tea to commuters, and so much more. Last year we made the decision to move 26 hours to Valentine’s Day in order to reconnect with the day in a meaningful way, and to celebrate what love is all about: showing compassion for others and spending time together.

 

 

For our fourth annual 26 Hours of Kindness, we’re bringing the #HashtagLunchbag movement to Toronto. Empowering and inspiring the community to give back during one of the coldest times of the year, we’ll be assembling and bagging lunches for those in need. The lunches will be distributed to food banks and homeless shelters across the city along with handwritten notes of kindness.

 

On February 14th from 9 AM – 1 PM we’re inviting friends, community members and neighbours of NKPR to ‘KINDNESS HQ’ (our offices at 312 Adelaide Street West) to help us assemble the lunches and notes of kindness. If you’d like to join us, please email 26hours@nkpr.net with your name and the time slot you’re interested in (volunteer sessions are available every half hour between 9 AM – 1 PM).

 

Grab your colleagues, friends, partner or family members and join us in celebrating Valentine’s Day a little differently this year! 😊

XO

TEAM NKPR

The #10YearChallenge

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The latest craze taking over social media is the #10YearChallenge.  People are posting photos of themselves from 2007- 2009 comparing what they looked like then, to what they look like now. Over the past few days it’s gone viral, and now everyone in your feed, from your friends to celebrities, are sharing theirs.  Here are a few of the best (starting with our very own NK!).

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsqx-WNBjj5/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsqZBpmhz71/

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BsoYSrvgEOM/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsnwgIQg28p/

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#10yearchallenge closer now ❤️❤️

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2008-2018 #10YearChallenge 2008 – I’m married with one baby and just realizing I’ve taken over a mammoth platform in Cityline. I’m unsure of how to feed my baby, what his cries mean, how to stay on top of feelings of inadequacy, how to be myself on tv and how to introduce myself authentically to the country through a screen. I’m smiling. 2018 – I’m married with two children, in full gratitude mode for having taken over the mammoth platform that is Cityline. I’m sure of how to feed my babies (mostly), they verbalize how they feel, I fight feelings of inadequacy with self-reminders of all I’ve achieved, I’ve found my voice on tv and I’ve successfully introduced myself to the country (and beyond) through a screen. I’m smiling. #BlessingsAlways #GratitudeAttitude

A post shared by Tracy Moore (@thetracymoore) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BspaRlqAqsZ/

Tips for a Healthy New Year   

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We’re now a week into 2019, which means those resolutions are in full swing and thoughts of bettering oneself are becoming a reality.  Below we’ve put together a list of some ways to help achieve your goals and slide into the New Year in the best possible way.

Get your Vitamins

Vitamins are considered essential nutrients that can help your body in so many different ways, but sometimes, it’s easy to forgot to take them.  One way to remember is to use Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies. They are delicious and packed with key nutrients contributing to healthy hair, skin and nails, and in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums.  Another great thing is that they’re created for women, by women!

Try a New Workout

For many people, hitting the gym or getting active is high on their list of resolutions. Whether it’s trying your first Spinco class or getting into the boxing ring at Bolo, it’s important to be wearing the right gear.  MEC has workout wear that’s fashion forward, yet super functional. Their new core train line comes in tanks and tees for both men and women, and available in a variety of colours.  The fabric is airy and breathable so you can work hard without overheating.

Drink more Water  

One way to stay healthy in 2019 is to stay hydrated and there are so many benefits to drinking water like better skin and weight loss.  When you drink Flow, you’re getting 100% natural alkaline spring water (from Canada), and it’s an excellent source of electrolytes and essential minerals.  The packaging is made with a plant-based cap and it’s 100% recyclable.  One fun way to remember to drink water during the day is to make mocktails at your desk using Flow’s different flavours including: lemon and ginger, cucumber and mint, strawberry and rose and watermelon and lime.

 

Manage your Money  

It’s no surprise that saving money is one of the most common made resolutions.  The Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada’s Director of Corporate Citizenship Doretta Thompson appeared on a recent episode of our podcast The F Words and shared her tips on how to get back on track after all that holiday spending.  Doretta also discussed why talking about money has become more taboo than talking about sex!  Click here to take a listen.

 

 

What You Didn’t See at The Golden Globes

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At last night’s Golden Globe Awards the red carpet couture was next level and the winner’s speeches were from the heart, but there were so many moments not captured on television. From selfies to breakfast cereal, here’s a look at what you didn’t see!

Lady Gaga had a sweet ending to her night celebrating her win for Best Original Song in bed with a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles!

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what a rager. ❤️

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Earlier in the night, Mark Ronson snapped this post-win selfie proudly showing off their statuette.

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WE’RE OFF THE DEEP END #goldenglobes

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Julia Roberts had the right idea hitting up In-N-Out burger with hubby Danny Moder and sealing the night with a kiss.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsUfe3bgBJX/

Taraji P. Henson gave Regina King some mad love on Insta sharing this selfie with the winner and her son Ian.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsUcKndgciL/

Nominee Timothee Chalamet brought his proud mom as his date to The Globes (she also attended The Oscars with him last year) and they both looked incredibly stylish wearing designs by Virgil Abloh.

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momma !

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The Golden Globes Instagram account shared some beautiful black and white portraits with winners and presenters backstage.

Instyle shot some fun videos of stars in an elevator and things got cheeky! You’ll understand once you’ve watched both of these…

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When the cat’s away…

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BsUV-QalygD/

And Janelle Monae just looked cool (in Chanel), like usual.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsUupBzlGUT/

Riverdale star Lili Reinhart got the E! glambot treatment and showed off her beautiful Swarovski earrings.

And before the night even started, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Alex Bornstein had us laughing after she shared her Globes beauty prep.

LAST MINUTE STOCKING STUFFER IDEAS FOR $25 AND UNDER

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You’ve done your holiday shopping, the menu is planned, the cookies are baked, but you still need to fill those stockings!  Here are some last minute ideas that won’t break the bank and are guaranteed to please.

Must-Have Make-Up

For the beauty lover in your life make-up makes a great stocking stuffer and it’s so much fun to mix and match products like these ones below.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Skyline Mascara

This mascara brush grabs all lashes — even the finest, shortest ones — by curling and propelling them upwards.  It’s perfect for short and straight lashes as well as the bottom lash line. $12.95

 

 

Annabelle Chrome Single Eyeshadow 

An exceptional creamy texture for either a hint of shimmer or a bold metallic finish.  The best part, it comes in 10 different shades including rose gold (pictured below).  $8.95

 

 

Lise Watier Neiges Sparkling Lipstick

This crystal duo lipstick features sparkling pearls and a coloured core.  Its universal shade suits all complexions. $25.00

 

The Chuck Hughes X CXBO Chocolate Truffle Collection 

Stuffing chocolate in a stocking is always a crowd pleaser and this year you can up your game with this stunning truffle collection.  Pusateri’s has partnered with celebrity chef Chuck Hughes, CXBO’s chef Brandon Olsen and artist Sarah Keenlyside to create three different flavours that include ingredients from Chuck’s food line (grade A maple syrup, jalapeno hot sauce and balsamic vinegar).  It also comes in a collectable hand-painted nine-piece box.  $22.50

 

 

Nicole Guerriero Limited Edition Shampoo & Conditioner from OGX Beauty 

With names like Mistletoe Wishes, Ice Berry Queen and Midnight Kisses, this line is made to be in a stocking.  The shampoo and conditioner work to help smooth and hydrate hair making it bright, clean and fresh!  $8.99

 

 

Maui Moisture Hair Masks 

A fun thing to do after opening presents and enjoying a holiday meal is doing hair masks.  It’s also a great way to battle dry hair in the winter.  Maui Moisture offers three different masks that use 100% aloe juice.  They leave hair soft, healthy and smelling amazing.  $10.99

 

 

Square One Gift Card Plus 

Square One’s souped-up gift card could possibly be the best stocking stuffer of all time. The reason? Well, your stocking recipient can use it at any of the 330 stores or in any of the restaurants at Square One. And it can also be put towards a flight on Porter Airlines or a stay at multiple hotels across Canada.

 

WAXON Loofah Scrubs 

This delicious smelling scrub (that works as both a loofah and luxurious soap) comes in three scents including citrus twist, lemonrazz and pomtini. $11

NK’s Holiday Gift Guide 2018

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The holiday season is a time for self-reflection, a time to think about what we’re grateful for and a time to get together with family and friends. Here are a few of my favourite things that would make great gifts for your loved ones… or to treat yourself with!

Links of London 

Nothing is more thoughtful, I think, than a personalized gift. Links of London’s Sweetie Bracelet is beautiful on its own, but it can also be customized with diamond keepsake charms. Above is an idea of how I would customize my own Sweetie Bracelet, using my initials and my lucky number!

Hounds Vodka

If you know me, you know I live for the colour black, and what’s so cool about Hounds is the vodka is…black!  It’s perfect for that innovative mixologist in your life who loves creating unique and striking cocktails.  And I have to say it also looks great on a bar cart! 

Available at the LCBO and La Saq

SPINCO

Spinning has become an important part of my life and weekly routine. For that 45 minutes on the SPINCO bike I’m able to disconnect from the world and work up an amazing sweat.  Grab a gift card for that special someone and book a class together, or buy yourself a package to get motivated for those New Year’s resolutions.  I’m also a fan of SPINCO’s workout gear, which you can pick out at one of their studios.

Thompson Toronto // Bloor-Yorkville 

A sleepover or staycation at a beautiful hotel is always a good idea and The Thompson Toronto is the place to do it! On top of the amazing service, stunning lobby and rooftop with panoramic views of the city (perfect place for a cocktail), the hotel was voted #1 in Toronto on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards and awarded Trip Advisor’s certificate of excellence.

Once you’re checked in, head up to Bloor-Yorkville for some of Toronto’s best shopping (Holt Renfrew is a must), a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum, indulge in float therapy at Rest Nest, have a magical selfie moment in front of the holiday lights on Cumberland Street, and grab a bite at neighbourhood staple Trattoria Nervosa.

South Hill Home

If you’re on the hunt for something one of a kind (and ready to invest) South Hill Home has you covered. From furniture and lighting, to accent pieces and board games (like this KIFU Paris chess set) their designer collections are incredibly curated and like no other.

DAVIDsTEA

When everyone else is bringing bottles of wine as host/hostess presents to holiday parties, why not bring a DAVIDsTEA gift box instead?  It’s a great idea for friends you know aren’t big drinkers.  The boxes include a variety of their delicious flavours and some even come with a portable tea press.

Swarovski

Some of the most iconic Christmas trees in the world shine bright with the help of Swarovski crystals, and this year the brand has three trees on display at Toronto’s Union Station.  Escape the cold and head inside for a festive outing with the fam, and if you’re looking for another thoughtful host/hostess gift, there’s the 2018 Swarovski Ornament.  It’s a beautiful keepsake to help commemorate the past year.

 

Flow x LCBO

This month the LCBO has partnered with my favourite water, Flow, to encourage people to drink responsibly! You’ll be able to pick up special co-branded Flow at different LCBO stores across Ontario over the last two weekends leading up to Christmas. You can also find it at Union Station on December 14th.  It’s a great reminder to include water in the mix when serving those festive cocktails at your holiday parties.