• Food

Anything with garlic is probably a no-go. Listen, I love garlic just as much as the next person, but if you plan on any kind of kissing, I sincerely doubt that your partner wants to smell garlic. Or maybe they do! I don’t know, it’s 2018, I guess anything is possible? But still, unless your partner has explicitly said “I love smelling someone’s garlic breath while making out!”, it’s best to avoid it altogether. While we’re on the subject, I’d avoid onions and pickles too. – Adina Heisler, Contributor

One must steer clear of the burrito. Delectable but messy. – Rachel, Contributor

There are no no-go zones when it comes to food. Eat your heart out. — Hoon, Managing Editor

  • Gifts

Avoid Lingerie.  It’s a little presumptuous.  Best to play it safe with a nice t-shirt or a funky new blazer. – Rachel, Contributor

Pets. Best not gamble with a live thing. — Hoon, Managing Editor

  • Songs

Paul Simon’s I Am a Rock wouldn’t be my first choice for serenade. – Rachel, Contributor

FKJ and Masego’s Tadow. It’s just too sexy that both of you might end up swooning. — Hoon, Managing Editor

  • Places

Chipotle? – Rachel, Contributor

Your mom’s. — Hoon, Managing Editor


  • Best Song to Play While Getting Some Valentine’s Loving

The best song to play while getting some Valentine’s loving is At Last by the great Etta Jones One of the best song ever, not to mention that it’s also Barack Obama favorite song. This ballade will make you want to be in love again. Aurore – Fashion Contributor

Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie Amour. This soul classic is dangerously smooth. – Rachel, Contributer

Miguel’s Arch & Point. Or Pussy is Mine. Or How Many Drinks. Honestly, Kaleidoscope Dream was a great album. Play it on repeat until you get tired and fall asleep. – Jana, Contributor 

D’Angelo’s Really Love. That is, only if you really love. If not, definitely something less loving. Don’t want to get your signals mixed up. — Hoon, Managing Editor

Janet always knows how to get it steamy. AnyTime, AnyPlace from her fifth album Janet will definitely turn up the heat. – Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief 

  • Best Movies to Watch to Make you Feel Less Shitty About Being Single

No need to think twice for this one. For me the best movie to watch to make you feel less shitty is Sex and the City 2 and I insist on the 2 because in the first one it’s all about Carrie and Mr Big and how he reached to manage his fear of being engaged again. At the end of the first, they are getting married and everybody is perfectly happy. In the second at the contrary, it’s all about cheating and how Samantha is back in the game. Single and fabulous again. Aurore – Fashion Contributor

If you’re single, and feel so alone about it, might I recommend watching the iconic Legally Blonde? Elle Woods once thought that she needed a boy to make her happy. Then she realized that it’s better to get into Harvard Law (with 179 on the LSATs, thank you very much), tell your ex to eff off, befriend his girlfriend (who will dump him for being a loser), and, most importantly, become a kick-ass lawyer. Sure, Elle was initially bummed about being single, but she soon became way better off for it. Do yourself a favor and watch this ASAP. Adina Heisler, Contributor

Lost In Translation will help to quell any bachelor’s blues. Coppola reminds us: one moment you might be in love with your husband, but before you know it, you could be drifting aimlessly through Tokyo, developing an unconsummated love-friendship with an apathetic movie star during his mid-life crisis. Who wants any of that? – Rachel, Contributor

How To Be Single. I mean…it’s in the title. I might or might not have learnt a few things – you be the judge. – Jana, Contributor 

Happy Together will make you want to visit the Iguazu Falls with your ex-lover and push him/her gently into the heartless and beautiful wonder. — Hoon, Managing Editor

  • Best Love Ballad (Tongue in Cheek)

Like any good love ballad, Michael Bolton’s How am I Supposed to Live Without You? is romantic to a point of discomfort. This song will leave you longing for your lover and wishing that the eighties never happened.  – Rachel, Contributer


Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man always struck me to be equal parts romantic and sardonic. You’ll mean every word you utter as you sing along and regret the fact. — Hoon, Managing Editor

  • Best Quirky Places to Go on Valentines Day

When I think about the best quirky place to go on Valentine ’s Day, I think about a place I was used to go on a date with my boyfriend. It’s a secret bar in Paris named El Clandestino. To know this place, you really need to know someone who know someone… To access to the bar, you have to go through a 4 stars kitchen hotel which is pretty cool. The decoration of the bar gives a muffled and intimate atmosphere and the particularity of the bar is that it has a gigantic Christian cross on the ceiling. Aurore Evee – Fashion Contributor

Why limit your lover to a few chocolates when you could take them to the source?  This season, take your date grocery shopping.  Let them scour the entire candy aisle. Allow them choice of their favourite exotic fruits, whole grain breakfast cereals, and aphrodisiacs. Lunch on prepackaged sushi. And after an afternoon of strolling through glistening aisles of plenty, you may even have enough ingredients for a nice home cooked meal. – Rachel, Contributor

Okay, first off, shout out to Rachel for shouting out grocery stores. Nothing sexier than aisles of fresh produce. After a day of grocery shopping and subsequent romantic antics, head over to Black Dice Café on Dundas West for Japanese whiskey, Hitachino beers, microwaved takoyaki, and rockabilly tunes off the Seeburg jukebox. If you get tired of each other, take a break at the vintage pinball machine. — Hoon, Managing Editor

Your grandparents’ super cheesy Valentines Day 50th Anniversary. This can go either of two ways. You’ll be inspired by a love that’s lasted so long, or you’ll realize you don’t want to be together for that long. It’s a win-win situation. – Jana, Contributor 

  • Best Home Cooked Meal to Impress

Here is a tip, the best meal to cook at home for Valentine’s Day is the one you can order on Uber Eat… Yep no jokes; Depending on what you order, you will eat like in a real restaurant. It’s tasty and still pretty cheap. Ideally, to pretend you cooked everything by yourself, order a little bit before the arrival of your girlfriend or boyfriend and put everything in super fancy platters. Try to make your kitchen look a bit messy and leave some spices everywhere. You can also wear an apron to look like a real chef. Aurore – Fashion Contributor

You can’t go wrong with Turducken. There are no compromises here – a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey. Not to mention, it’s incredibly difficult to pull off. – Rachel, Contributor

I say skip dinner all together and get to what’s really important. Nothing you eat is going to sit that well anyway. Stick to a safe and sexy menu: wine and chocolate. – Jana, Contributor 

Bread service is a thing for a reason. With a bit of fancy olive oil for boiled and salted veges with a plate of cheese and chacuteries, you’re set. If not, pizza. Pizza always signals Hot n’ Ready. — Hoon, Managing Editoe


Ones to Watch For in 2018



Tim Presley — best known as front man of psychedelic rock bands Darker My Love and White Fence—is an institution in the California tradition and a passionate champion of local L.A. talent. Back in 2012, Presley started his own label, Birth Records, for the sole purpose of producing the music of folksinger Jessica Pratt. Since then, Birth Records has been home to a select few — most recently, The Mad Walls. “The moment I heard [The Mad Wall’s] title track ‘Somewhere Anywhere’,” says Presley, “I thought I had unearthed a rarity, an old bootleg or new music from a lost group.” To Tim’s surprise, this was a living, breathing band; it was “draped-static-dim-seed-Los-Angeles-music, a flame that gets passed on down and through the avenues. Designed to be found.”

Led by Christopher Mercado, The Mad Walls started out in 2016. August 2017 saw the release of their first ever EP, Somewhere Anywhere, while their debut music video came out just this month. At this point The Mad Walls are in their musical youth, far from the mainstream, below Pitchfork’s radar, unbeknownst to college radio stations. I look forward to seeing what comes of the band in the upcoming year. With Presley’s guidance and support, I believe we can expect to see some creative work. — Rachel, Contributor 

Dayna Tortorici is not really a new talent — she’s been up and coming in the shifting pile of writers of political analysis, essays, and cultural commentary since 2011 when she joined the illustrious n+1 magazine. She’s an editor at n+1 now. But even now, she doesn’t get the readership her nuanced and brilliant essays deserve (or the readership that I think she deserves, despite signs that nobody reads anything longer than 5 sentences anymore). She recently asked in the magazine’s latest “The Intellectual Situation” section, “Who in a showdown would accept the subjugation of women as a necessary political concession? Who would make peace with patriarchy if it meant a nominal win, or defend the accused for the sake of stability?” This as a contemporary spin on Dorothy Thompson’s 1941 piece in Harper’s, “Who Goes Nazi”. Many went Nazi. Many would accept the concession. Needless to say, we can use more of Tortorici’s essays in the coming days when more will reveal their tropism toward nominal wins and artificial stability. — Hoon, Managing Editor

London R&B singer Bassette’s voice is as raw and soulful as Erykah Badu’s or that of the late Amy Winehouse. The soul singer has an intense, quiet vulnerability in the way she sings. I’m sure we will hear a lot more from her in 2018 on this side of the pond. Check out her latest single Bermuda produced by Joe Hertz. — Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Photographed by @theresbianca, Source: Refinery29

Dani Roche is my latest Instagram “find” – she however, is not so new to the online creative scene. Based in Toronto, she is the creative director and owner of Kastor & Pollux, a creative production agency. She recently launched Biannual, a genderless outerwear label and let’s just say I’ve added every piece to my wishlist. In 2017, Roche was recognized by Vogue, Refinery29, HYPEBAE and Coveteur to name a few. In many of her interviews, she’s expressed that comfort, confidence and a good thrifted piece are key to her unique personal style — she’s not just another fashion blogger, she’s a businesswoman. As a twenty-something creative myself, I am always looking for some inspiration so I will be keeping an eye out for Roche’s upcoming projects (and vibrant Instagram feed) in 2018. — Jana, Contributor 

Natasha Oakley is my number one business woman/influencer at the moment. From Australia, this young woman has been really famous on Instagram. Not only a pretty face (and body), Natasha is also the co-founder of two famous brands. A Bikini A day which is a beach, beauty and fitness brand and Monday Swimwear an exclusive bikini brand. – both own with her best friend Devin Brugman. This blond girl is close to perfection as she always looks beautiful (and natural) but also talented in everything she is doing. If you are looking for a beauty/fitness guru this year… go for Natasha Oakley! Aurore Evee – Fashion Contributor

Where Toronto Eats: Chop Chop

Succulent dumplings and glistening stir fried noodles are by now a mainstay in many Torontonians’ diets — they are everywhere and affordable, unselfconsciously delicious despite their stints as American-Chinese food. In the precarious food world where trends bubble over, these classics seem somehow eternal. We’ll be slurping up versions of glistening noodles long after toasts become toasted bread again, terms of authenticity are redefined, and the kingdom come. And if there is a place to slurp, slurp as the world pirouettes out of orbit, Chop Chop on Dundas West is the place to do it.

The tall windows, the white walls, and the high ceiling of Chop Chop would put one in mind of a hip brunch place with colorful hollandaise sauce and ‘creative’ takes on French toasts, if it weren’t for the subtle nutty smell of woks being worked in a small open kitchen. The simple menu, divided into three short sections, ‘Dumplings’, ‘Appetizers’, and ‘Mains’, feels like a bridge between a menu at a corner takeout joint and one at a place marked authentic. Ginger beef, Shanghai Noodles, and General Tao chicken sit side by side with mapo tofu, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup, and spicy cucumber salad. The daily specials menu that includes braised eggplant and pig ears continue the theme. Chop Chop does not cater to the shooters in search of the authentic, nor does it fall back on the comforts of the simulacrum. It’s truly welcoming, in the way eating at a friend’s place is: Come eat what we like to eat.

If you luck out and find the pan-fried vegetable dumplings on the daily specials, start there. The thick and chewy skin that’s absorbed the nutty oil lead the way to the sweet fillings of cabbage and other veges I was frankly too absorbed in eating to decipher. The Shanghai noodles is unsettling as it reminds diners of how good this simple dish can be: vegetables sautéed to be soft with a hint of crunch, slivers of pork and small shrimps swimming in the tangle of oil-glistened, perfectly seasoned noodles. The mapo tofu, more mellow and tangy than it would be in a Sichuanese restaurant, is silky and comes with just the right amount of kick to offset its own sweetness. The braised eggplant makes the apostate believe in vegetables again.

Among the fortune cookie-like aphorisms written in crisp red letters throughout Chop Chop, every syllable of “Happiness begins from within your stomach” rings true like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

ZIN – Extraordinary Denim, made Extraordinarily

ZIN is a happy marriage of form and function.

Even in the middle of fashion’s sparkly courtship with the tech industry, ZIN stands out for its quiet specificity — dedication to making a technology-backed, safety-focused motorcycle wear.

There are no gimmicks here, no flashy indicators of a future neon-city, or a grave metaphor for the runway. Just demonstrably true practicality weaved — seamlessly — with denim aesthetics. There’s more than what meets the eye in the subtle technology of ZIN, though what does indeed meet the eyes are something detailed and rough, beautiful.

That a true protective gear should not only be wearable but also desirable and fashionable is such a simple idea that one would think it obvious. But the technical details that make wearing denim on a motorcycle going down a freeway something outside of a daredevil’s purview came after years of trials, errors, and detours.

ZIN Motowear was created by George Rabuzin, Mike Mulik, and Stephanie McNeil who is the creative lead of the brand that went behind the scenes of the behind the scenes of the textile industry to make it all happen. Finding Dyneema, the luxury brand name for ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene, was like a deus-ex-machina – a powerful fiber with a higher yield strength than that of high-strength steel became commercially available for the first time in the middle of ZIN’s search.

In other words, just as they were thinking of a way to make denim withstand a reasonable amount of damage in the case of an accident, a fiber that elevates denim into what one would have dreamed of as an imaginative sci-fi reader: ordinary clothes, extraordinary powers.

But that was just the start. Gaining access to Dyneema, traveling all over the world to find factories equipped and willing — both with machines and do-or-die commitment to craft — to work with Dyneema, testing out samples, and an array of details had to come first before the obvious idea became a real product.

ZIN’s form and function went through what can only be described as a saga before it ended up a cohesive whole. So, perhaps it is not true that all happy families are the same. Not all families can claim ZIN credentials of getting the best of both worlds, of both having and eating the cake, merging the yin and yang, or any other supposedly impossible feats.

Find out more about ZIN Motowear and ZIN Lab here