28 October 2013

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans"

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in a long while, and let me tell you- it's good to be back!

My life these past few weeks has been a nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. Between starting my graduate program at McGill, a new job, celebrating my mom's 50th birthday, attending restaurant openings, having my boyfriend home for Thanksgiving, apple picking, and lots of cottage time -  it's been a crazy- happy- exciting- fun- emotional- bitter-sweet kind of month.  

I'll go into more detail as the weeks progress- but for now, let's talk about this beauty of a fall jacket by Line Knitwear

03 September 2013

Fall Favourite - Zucchini Bread

Hi!

I hope you all had a good labour day weekend :)

When I woke up this morning, the weather really seemed to have changed from summer to fall - so I decided to make one of my fall favourites - zucchini bread. 

Thought I'd share the recipe, since it's a great one!

16 August 2013

The Girl Code

Ladies,

There's a certain "gender code" which includes some very important spoken and unspoken rules. These rules have been on my mind for the past while, and I thought I'd share my perspective with you.  

Girlfriends are people who should have their friends' backs at all times...

So let's talk about...

13 August 2013

Summer Bucket List

40 days left of summer...

Where has it gone? 

This is the first summer in a number of years that I didn't spend in Europe. I spent part of my morning looking over some of last summer's posts and reminisced the days under the Tuscan sun (haha!). When school ended in April I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. For almost a month after graduation, I was a walking zombie. Damn it, I never slept so much in my life. Once I woke up from that stupor, it had sunk in that I had reached a milestone and was now embarking on a fresh new chapter in my life. 

12 August 2013

Sandals x4

As the saying goes, 'shoes are a girl's best friend'. Summer is always best when your feet are trimmed with pretty sandals. It's so wonderful to have your toes happily displayed and your heel planted flatly on a thin sole! It's only in summer that bright colours can be worn without a worry about whether or not it matches the outfit you're wearing. This summer, I bought these four pair of sandals / flip-flops. They didn't put a huge dent in my bank account, unlike winter boots, which can really cost an arm and a leg!! 

31 July 2013

Friendship Bracelets

There's something so intriguing about friendship bracelets. From a young age, we learn how to make them. As we get older, we begin exchanging them with our favourite girlfriends. When we hit our 20s we bring them back from our trips around the world as souvenirs for our loved ones. They serve as more than just an accessory, and often symbolize friendship and remind us of different people and moments in our lives. 

17 July 2013

Bahia Honda & Key West

July 4th was definitely one of the most memorable days of my summer so far. My friend and I spent the morning at Bahia Honda State Park, then headed over to Key West for the rest of the day. The drive from Hollywood to the Keys of Florida was long, but super enjoyable and well worth it! With loads to talk about, and breathtaking views along the way, we certainly weren't bored! We even saw Fiat 500s driving through the harbour and boats driving on the streets! It was awesome!

15 July 2013

Rough Days Don't Count

Rough days...

...we all have them. 

Mine started last night and followed me through the early hours of the morning. Unable to sleep, I got a hold of one of my best girlfriends and decided to get together in the morning for brunch & a serious vent-sesh. 

Whether you're fighting with your significant other, missing someone terribly, dealing with a loss, or just having 'one of those days', we all need little 'pick-me-ups' sometimes. Today was the ultimate pick-me-up day for me, so I thought I'd share some of the things that usually make me feel better. 

12 July 2013

Miami & Hollywood Beach

The Setai Hotel and the Westin Diplomat were our 'go to' places in Miami and Hollywood beach. The Setai boasts Asian inspired decor and is truly a hidden gem of South Beach. As we lounged poolside in the early afternoon, we were astounded by how few people were actually in the pool area. It was a refreshing change to the Delano or the Ritz Carleton, which are very crowded and happening. 

09 July 2013

West Palm Beach

Florida is literally a little piece of paradise on earth. 

Between waking up late, spending hours on end at the beach, and being with my favourite people in the entire world - I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. 

I spent most of my time travelling between Miami, Hollywood, West Palm Beach, and the Keys. Each place was unique and special, and I'm so glad I got to experience these places in such good company. It was truly astounding to see both a relaxed and laid back atmosphere mixed with the hustle and bustle of city life. Florida is definitely a State that I'd like to live in, since it's got the best of both worlds!

28 June 2013

Beach Vaca - The Packing Challenge

Hello from beautiful Florida! I meant to post this before I left but I totally forgot until today! I'm going to keep it brief because I'm about to head out to the beach. I just wanted to share some of the things I brought with me on this trip. 

18 June 2013

The Undergraduate

3 years, 1,095 days, 26,280 hours, 1,576,800 minutes. A process that cultivates perseverance and puts into question where this will all lead. An undergraduate degree. 

Last Tuesday was a momentous moment in my life. As I sat in the humongous Wilfred-Pelletier Hall at Place des Arts, surrounded by about 800 graduates and their families, waiting for my name to be called, I thought back on the past three years. Back to my first university class in the FG building on St. Catherine's street Ouest... 'where the eff is that!?' I thought about Sara Terreault and Penny Pastermajian, the two teachers who encouraged the notion that books do not always give us the practical knowledge that life does- that there is more to school than memorizing facts and formulas.  I thought about the people I've met, and the lessons I've learned. As Romeo Dallaire gave his speech, I thought about the greatness I've witnessed. I thought about my own triumphs and inevitably, the challenges I've overcome. I thought about my city, Montreal, and how lucky I was to be able to study in such a diverse and culturally enriching environment. As I walked across the stage, the fondest of all my university memories came rushing back to me. My time spent abroad - studying in the beautiful city of Florence. Perhaps it was the wine, or the constant sunshine and endless summer nights that influenced me, but it was Florence that taught me the truest lesson of them all. There, I learned that life is meant to be lived and that school comes as a close second to the lessons that life teaches you.  

In retrospect, my university degree is far more than a piece of paper attesting to my specialization. My degree is a cumulation of experiences and  life lessons that will lead me into the future, with new-found meaning, and new perspectives.   

07 June 2013

1 Year Blogiversary

Last year at this time, I had embarked on a whirl-wind trip through the homeland of my ancestors, Italy. It was the beginning of a new found independence, as well as the beginning of allthingskma.com. In many ways, I have been able to put words to different life events, and document them for a group of known and unknown readers to enjoy. At first, the mission was the simple telling of a story, which later became a critique of products, places, and things, and now it has evolved to mean much more. 

06 June 2013

Hangout of the year: UNIVERSEL

No matter what the occasion, Universel always manages to be the perfect rendez-vous place! Can you believe that in the last week alone, I have been there three times? I had an enchanting morning with C, a great debrief with E, and an emotional good-bye with S, each time the venue suited the purpose. 

I first discovered this Montreal gem last winter, when my bumblebee BFF and I decided we wanted to try out a new place for brunch. 'I heard Universel is pretty good', said K... Located at 2055 Rue Peel, right next to McGill, we decided that the location was too good to pass up! 

Since that cold winter morning, about six months ago, Universel has become my go-to restaurant for brunch. I'm there at least twice a week and I've literally recommended it to every single one of my friends! I figured it was about time I shared it on the blog too...

16 May 2013

BA STAR Natural Shadow Palette Review


Last week, BA Star sent me their Natural Shadow Palette to review. BA Star is one of the leading makeup companies for dancers and cheerleaders in North America. Having spent a considerable amount of my time in the performing arts during high school, I was excited when I was chosen to try this palette out. 

The Natural Shadow Palette contains three mineral shadows and two gel glitter shadows and retails for $8.75, which in my opinion, is reasonably priced, considering the size of the palette. 

15 May 2013

I wish I may, I wish I might

From the moment the clock struck 12 until the day ended, I was showered with unforgettable acts of love and kindness from family and friends, near and far. The surprises came when I least expected them and each birthday wish made me feel so special. 

06 May 2013

Round Two

Yesterday my family and I joined E's family to celebrate Orthodox Easter. It was refreshing to learn about the Greek Orthodox traditions and to share their happiness on this special occasion. We ate a ton of food, talked to no end, blew bubbles in the back yard, and played the traditional Easter 'egg' game. 

29 April 2013

D-

11:15 PM: "GRADES ARE UP!!" read a message from Val, a girl I met in my macroeconomics class.

Shock. That was fast... a mere two days had passed since we wrote the final exam. 

I jumped out of bed, grabbed my laptop, logged onto my university portal. Nothing. No grades.

"They're not there!!" I practically yelled into the phone as soon as V answered. 

"Check your e-mail, Kate."

There it was... the most anticipated, yet most dreaded e-mail of the year. The Excel attachment would reveal my grade for the last undergraduate university class I'd ever take...

21 April 2013

The Little Pink Dress

Every girl probably has an item of clothing hanging in her closet that is both her best friend and her worst enemy. For me, it is a pink Dolce & Gabbana dress that my parents bought me in Italy a few years ago. The first time I wore it, it was for M's 40th birthday bash. It was hell getting it on, only because I was feeling really bloated that day. M made me do exercises in the dress so that it would stretch a little. It kind of worked...

18 April 2013

It's finally over.

Allow me to introduce you to a side of me that you have never seen before! This is me in 'studying for finals' mode!!! With exams behind me, and an undergraduate degree under my belt, I''m officially back to blogging... and will never use the 'I have to study' excuse again! WOOHOO! 

Seriously though, you'd think finals are killing you? THIS is what I looked like this morning at 5 am... after spending my waking (and sleeping) hours with my head in my books, literally! Hot, I know. Two bottles of Powerade and about six coffees later, I wrote my Financial Management exam... it's finally over. 

09 April 2013

Are you a magazine junkie?

One of my favourite things to do at the beginning of every month is to stop by Shoppers and pick up my favourite magazines. We all know that magazines can add up to a pretty hefty bill, especially if you're getting a few of them! Here in Canada - mainstream magazines such as Cosmo, Vogue, and Vanity Fair can run you anywhere from $6 to $15 per issue! 

When I heard about Digital Magazines, I was a little skeptical about reading them online. Thanks to Chantelle of Belle Chantelle and Zinio I was able to give them I try, and I don't think I'll be going back to paper copies any time soon!

08 April 2013

Dad

Here's to the man who puts up with all of my ridiculous requests...
To the man who believes in me no matter what
To the man who puts me first
To the man who loves me unconditionally
To the man who would drop anything to come pick me up
To the man who speaks to me in French... for no good reason
To the man who makes hilariously bad jokes
To the man who sees no fault in me
To the man who has cried in front of me
To the man who puts up a good fight
To the man who has given me everything

To the man I can't imagine living without...

07 April 2013

Watch This

Santa (a.k.a. mom & dad) got me this beautiful limited edition Michael Kors watch for Christmas last year! I've never paid it proper homage on my blog, so here it is! Isn't it the most perfect colour?! I have a two tone silver and gold watch, but it just doesn't compare to this beauty!  The brown metallic colour isn't typical of Michael Kors, so I always get tons of compliments on it... and for good reason!

06 April 2013

SuWu Montreal - A Must Try!

Zach Macklovitch and Nathan Gannage graciously hosted the grand opening of their new restaurant on Wednesday, SuWu (located at 3581 St. Laurent), in Montreal. The place was buzzing with media & socialites, and it's no doubt that everyone was impressed by the fabulous food, drinks and old-school hip-hop vibe. The restaurant boasts a vintage meets urban decor and is set up with quaint tables and lounge areas throughout. 

01 April 2013

Celebrating

Hi there!

I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter. 

This year, I spent the Holiday with my entire family (all 35 of us!) at my Fairy Godmother's house. The event was especially important because we not only celebrated Easter but also my Grandparents' 70th wedding anniversary! Yes... 70 years of devotion for one another & above all, devotion for the family they built together! 

26 March 2013

Spring Cleaning 101

When we moved into the new house a little over ten years ago, I was way too happy with my new bedroom and washroom to notice the little things... like not having a light in my closet. Ten+ years later, I decided that my closet needed some TLC, so I went out on a mission to make it happen.

"Dad! I'm going out to buy new hangers!" I said, as he sat at the kitchen table with my cousin's husband having an espresso.

Little did he know he'd be spending the rest of his afternoon in my closet installing lights, shelves, and racks! 

20 March 2013

The sun must set to rise

Welcome to spring! It's the season when everything comes back to life after a sleepy winter. The sun peeps up early and beams through giving us sleepy heads the right amount of light to start a new day. I really love this season because it reminds me of lilac trees, rain, Easter, and above all, longer days. In the Persian culture, the first day of spring is also celebrated as the first day of their New Year. It is called, Nowrūz.  It's actually a great idea if you think about it. Spring is a season of new beginnings. Happy New Year! 

17 March 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My best friend and I were never big fans of St. Patrick's day before last year. When we found out that McGill hosts a yearly event in honour of the Saint, we decided to give it a shot... what did we have to lose, right? We dressed in green, stuck stickers and bows all over ourselves and ventured off into the unknown world of green beer and leprechauns. 

It was probably one of the funnest nights we've had together.

12 March 2013

Mont Tremblant Part 2 - Village Lovin'

During our weekend away, my brother, E, and I also spent a couple of half days in Tremblant Village. On Sunday afternoon, after the cousins packed up and left, we decided to head out and enjoy the village by taking gondola rides up and down the mountain and indulging in a bit of (overpriced) shopping. It was truly spectacular to be able to see the little city from above. I love the vibrantly coloured condos so much... they reminded me a bit of Cinque Terre. The Roots store in the village is probably the best I've seen as of yet! They had so many cool things. I just couldn't help myself! E and I got sweaters, pink ski socks and lavender candles!

10 March 2013

Mont Tremblant Part 1 - Country Livin'

We spent spring break weekend at a huge ranch up North. My cousins on my mom's side organize an annual weekend getaway, where the goal is to unite all 27 of the "kids" and spend three days together (without killing each other). This year was the first my brother and I attended. It was interesting to spend time with my cousins and their families. Mostly, I liked spending time with the little ones. They are truly the precious ones because they are so pure and non-judgemental. Giuliana, the oldest of the kids, is so sweet; I loved making friendship bracelets with her and the other girls too.  It brought back a lot of memories; making crafts was a favourite pastime of mine when I was their age.

09 March 2013

Update from Mont Tremblant

Just a quick update to show you guys a few pictures before we head out to do some skating! It's so beautiful here and the weather is super nice! Couldn't have picked a better weekend to come up!

Spending lots of quality time with the family. Woke up early this morning, made bracelets with the littles, went tobogganing, and took a mini power nap. 

These photos were taken yesterday right after we arrived. 

07 March 2013

Packing for a weekend getaway

It's funny...

You'd think by now I'd be a seasoned packer and have no trouble deciding what to bring along with me when I go away. Truth is, I dislike packing SO MUCH that I almost always leave it to the day of my departure. I'd rather go to the dentist... or eat an entire tomato (which pretty much tops my list of things I hate!) than pack.

Tomorrow I leave on a three day getaway to Mont Tremblant with the cousins. I'm on my game this time, and I actually packed a day in advance! It surprisingly wasn't so bad...

Here's what I'm bringing: 

05 March 2013

Chic me.

Hello gorgeous ladies!

I've been meaning to sign up for Chicisimo for the past few months but never got around to doing it. For those of you who don't know, chicisimo.com is a platform where anyone can share their personal style, inspire people, and be inspired! I'm really loving the site so far!

27 February 2013

Eyewear You Wear

You're in a crunch. You've been told you need glasses! Mom and Dad's insurance doesn't cover you anymore... What do you do?

You could go to the dollar store and buy a magnifying glass and carry it in your purse...
You could borrow your grandmother's...
You could take a hiatus from reading or driving or anything else that requires any kind of eye focus...

... or you could log on to firmoo.com, choose a frame, plug in your prescription, and get your first pair for the cost of shipping - around 8$. 

When Firmoo contacted me to try out their product, I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient and prompt they were in mailing me my pair. Their website is user friendly, allowing customers to virtually try on glasses by uploading a photo of themselves. I chose a pair of tortoise wayfarers. My friends have all complimented me on them, and I was happy to tell them about what awesome deals Firmoo has. 

24 February 2013

Up close and personal: KMA's space


Since I started my blog last June, I've received quite a number of 'show me your room' requests. I've never been overly comfortable with having people in my bedroom (duh!), but since this topic seems to be trending - I figured I'd share some tid-bits with you guys. 

I don't really have a theme going on... it's basically just a 21 year old collection of things I love. 

13 February 2013

Get Fresh Faced and FABULOUS with Korres

When E came back from her summer vacation in Greece two years ago, she talked about a product she had stumbled upon by a Greek company called 'Korres'. Some time later, I received a gift package with a Korres Lip Butter, and that's when the romance began. 

I have always known that skin care is by far the most important aspect of maintaining long-lasting beauty. You could wear a ton of makeup, but at the end of the day, if the skin that it is applied on is not treated well, it will suffer. I'm a strong believer in investing in gentle and natural skincare products and starting good skincare habits at a very young age. When choosing a cream, it is important to learn about the philosophy of the creator. By this, I mean that the ingredients chosen must have passed the test of time. There is nothing synthetic about Korres, which is why I trust it and endorse it completely. 

I started using one of their many skincare lines over the Christmas holidays and it has been a pleasure to keep up the routine until now.

09 February 2013

Montreal Fashion Week 24: Highs and Lows

As Montreal Fashion Week came to an end, I thought about my week and how absolutely blessed I was to have been able to attend such an awesome event. In retrospect, I realize that as much as I enjoyed having the opportunity to sit in the front row and observe the designers upcoming collections, it was the environment and meeting new people with similar interests as me that I loved most. 

06 February 2013

Défilé Automne / Hiver: Ralph Leroy

"OMG"...

... are the only words that come to mind after seeing Ralph Leroy's unbelievable show last night, entitled "Kenscoff". The mix of fashion and dance certainly made for an unforgettable one. As I sat in the front row alongside a surprising guest (Will Smith!) I thought to myself 'this is my scene'. Leroy's whimsical show included everything from beautiful fairy-like dresses to tailored suits. 

05 February 2013

Montreal Fashion Week - Mélissa Nepton

As Montreal prepared to host its 24th fashion week, I got ready to attend a week full of runways and fun at the stunning Arsenal Gallery. Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of attending the MFW opening cocktail, followed by shows by Pedram Karimi, Mélissa Nepton, Nadya Toto and Thomas Collection. 

Of all the designers I saw, Mélissa Nepton and Nadya Toto certainly impressed me most!

04 February 2013

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at the gorgeous new top I will be wearing to the day 1 fashion shows. SO EXCITED! 

03 February 2013

New & Exciting

Hi everyone,

This is just a quick post to let you know that I'm back (yay!) and that allthingskma.com will be on content overload this coming week! I'm very excited to announce that I will be covering Montreal Fashion Week! I was fortunate enough to receive a pass that will allow me to go to all of the shows from Monday to Thursday. Looking forward to sharing the latest in Montreal fashion and design with you all!

On another note, the reason I've been so absent lately is because I was out of a camera. Luckily, today I treated myself to a brand new Canon Rebel... just in time to take some awesome photos at MFW! 

See you soon!

x

K.M.A.

21 January 2013

Be Happy!

Just a little Monday morning inspiration! Grab a coffee and BE HAPPY!

20 January 2013

Winter 2013: Montreal's Igloofest

For the first time ever, I had the pleasure of attending one of Montreal's biggest winter parties. Igloofest is an outdoor party hosted in the old port of Montreal. The event boasts performances by some of the best local and international artists in the electronic scene. The visual ambiance is definitely one not to miss, with it's 'ice-and-steel' decor, one can expect igloo-like structures, sculptures, and much much more. My favourite part of the entire event were the fire pits conveniently located throughout the venue where guests were invited to roast marshmallows!

06 January 2013

The Green Thing

I saw this on Facebook last week and I really wanted to share it on here because it's SO TRUE! It's definitely something that I gave some thought to!

The Green Thing

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.