VALENTINE’S DAY WORST ARTICLE

  • 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

VALENTINE’S DAY BEST OF

  • 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

 

Valentine’s Day Outfits

Are you one of those who think that Valentine’s Day is overrated? Indeed, society makes us feel pressured about the day, especially if you are a  man. You have to concentrate all your efforts to make your sweetheart feel loved more than on any other day, find the best place (usually a super fancy restaurant you can’t afford), and get the best gift. But, fortunately, things are changing and, when it comes to finding the best V-Day gift, more people are looking for gifts for their friends more than for a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Whether you are in a relationship or not, you should do something that night, something special that will make you feel good. If you are in a relationship, you probably already have plans. But if not, just get together with your friends and go grab drinks. Or stay home. Whatever you do, just have fun.

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a day where couples celebrate their love. It should be one where we get to celebrate love in general. Self-love included!

Because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and because every occasion is a good excuse to go shopping, it’s time to think about your outfit. Here is a selection of pieces you could wear depending on your plans for the day.

A date with your new boyfriend

Let’s say you just met someone and you really like the person but it’s so brand new that you don’t want to be too “natural” for that occasion. Having a date for Valentine’s Day after only few days/weeks ointo a relationship is not easy to handle. At least with this outfit you will be confident enough to seduce him/her properly. It will be more like a game than a real serious date. Find this dress on Missguided website.

No date at all

If you are in the opposite situation and you don’t have any date at all well, at least this super sweet jumpsuit will make you feel less desperate. At home, yes, but like a sexy housewife. Find this cute piece at H&M.

A date with your long-relationship boyfriend

You have been dating this guy for years, you know everything about him, his mom… and you even live with him. Maybe that night will be the one he is going to propose… Valentine’s Day is actually a good occasion for a proposal because no need to be extra romantic, the situation is doing the job for you. Well, because you never know, don’t go too “sexy” that night. You want to remember that day as the one he proposed and don’t want to show the pictures of the moment at your wedding, wearing the Missguided red dress we were just talking about. Get this beautiful dress at H&M.

A night out with your girls

Who cares about having a date for Valentine’s Day when you have a bunch of best friends ready to go party with you. As Charlotte from Sex & the City said, why can’t we be soulmates with our girlfriends? Don’t you think it’s a healthier way of thinking? Get this cosmo dress at H&M.

A date with your best friend

This item is one of our favorites for several reasons. First, both the shape and the color of the jumpsuit make us think about the ’70s — a really good decade in terms of fashion. Also, we really like the ribbed knit pull-on effect on the kinds of items that makes it even cozier and perfect for a lunch or dinner with a friend. We finally like the fact that you can style it up the way you want, for example with a belt and a moto jacket like on the picture. Find this jumpsuit at Urban Outfitters.

A date with your mom

For those who don’t care about Valentine’s Day and just plan on grabbing a dinner with their moms as usual, this super cute outfit can be an option. This pale pink is perfect for the occasion and the frills on the crop top makes the look really fashionable. It could also be a good way to send the subliminal message to your mom that she doesn’t have to worry about your single life: It’s a choice and not something you put up with. Like really… Look how gorgeous you are in this outfit! Find it at Urban Outfitters.

Better Places to be than Valentine’s Day Dinner

If you’ve been too busy to find a Valentine, your life isn’t over. There are some wonderful concerts happening around town that are going to be a much better time than eating dinner with someone you’re probably never going to talk to again in two months. Here are some awesome places to celebrate your freedom.

Sampha

It was a busy 2016 for South Londoner, Sampha. He brought his personal brand of vulnerability to Kanye West’s Life of Pablo, Frank Ocean’s visual album Endless, and Solange’s A Seat at the Table. In February of 2017, Sampha will finally be blessing fans with his debut album, Process, which is being released by Young Turks. It includes previously released singles ‘Timmy’s Prayer‘ and ‘Blood on Me.’ If you missed him performing at the Drake last October, he’ll be making crowds swoon on the 12th and 13th of February at the Mod Club.

Sampha – ‘Process’ Tour – Feb 12 and 13, 2017 @ 8:00PM at The Mod Club, 722 College St, Toronto, ON

Mykki Blanco and Cakes Da Killa

Mykki Blanco and Cakes Da Kill are coming to town with their the Stunt Queen Tour. Blanco refuses any kind of tired label and has created an imprint, Dogfood Music Group through !K7 to support fellow artists who share her vision. Blanco has conjured much hype around herself with various mixtapes and EPs, but she finally dropped her debut album, Mykki, in 2016.

Cakes Da Killa, a Novella favourite, will also be touring with his debut studio album, Hedonism. The album brings together key parts of his life, his queerness, his roots in jersey club, and his talent as an MC. Like Blanco, Cakes refuses to fit into one conventional sphere and instead opts to create a space that is entirely his own. If you’re looking for a good time, the Stunt Queen tour is a sure place to dance away your Valentine’s Day woes.

The Stunt Queen Tour: Mykki Blanco / Cakes Da Killa – Feb 14, 2017 @ 8:00PM at The Velvet Underground, Queen St W, Toronto, ON

Sean Nicholas Savage

Sean Nicholas Savage is a Canadian singer-songwiter. He’s gone from being one of Montreal’s indie darlings to performing at NYFW for MM6 Maison Martin Margiela and being one of Solange’s favourites. With multiple releases on Arbutus Records, there’s no point trying to categorize Savage, as he’s constantly experimenting with songwriting. His latest release, Magnificent Fist, was recorded in Berlin and Glasgow. “It’s all about the energy of the swing and the fist — not a punch, it’s not called ‘Magnificent Punch’, it’s about the fist,” he told Dazed and Confused in 2016. See him crooning accompanied by fellow Canadian talents Juant and Dj Daydreamz (Charlotte Day Wilson) at the Baby G.

Sean Nicholas Savage – Feb 16, 2017 @ 9:30PM at The Baby G, 1608 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON

Nicole Dollanganger

Hailing from Stouffville, Ontario, Nicole Dollanger may look like a doll but her lyrics revolve around themes of of sex, violence, illness, death, and paranoia. Her dark words are carried out by her soft angelic voice over lo-fi beats. Dollanger’s rerelease of her LP Natural Born Losers was the first output of Grimes’ Eerie Organization label. The songstress will be bringing her haunting sounds to the Smiling Buddha.

Nicole Dollanganger – Feb 12, 2017 @ 7:00PM at the Smiling Buddha, 961 College St W, Toronto ON

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

When Valentine’s Day inevitably comes around every February, there are two types of people in relationships: those who inexplicably know the perfect gift and those who scroll through online gift guides with a fervour that grows increasingly panicked as the deadline looms.

I should probably point out at this moment that Valentine’s Day is not meant to be a stressful holiday. It should be about the time you spend with your loved ones: whether it’s with a romantic partner, friends, family or just yourself. Even if you are looking at the holiday from a romantic perspective, there are lots of things you can do that don’t involve buying a gift, such as making a meal, planning a small trip or organizing an activity to do within the city.

That all being said, Valentine’s Day is a day with heavy commercial implications, so if you are one of those people who just have no idea what to get your significant other, allow me to provide some ideas.

FOR HER

Fragrance

Fragrance is such an individual thing that it can be difficult to give as a gift, especially if you have no indication about what kind of scent she usually likes. If there is such an indication, definitely use that for inspiration. If you don’t have that, use your own knowledge of her to determine what she would like, because I assume/hope if you’re buying fragrance for this person, you know them pretty well. If you’re still stumped, I’ll make a recommendation: if your girl is the type of likes right, floral scents, Arlésienne by L’Occitance En Provence is definitely a safe bet. It’s got rose, violet, and saffron notes, so you know it’ll be a crowd pleaser.

Lovefresh Body Lotions

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You straight up can’t go wrong with one of these. Body lotions and scrubs from any brand would be good, but Lovefresh is a personal favourite and I’ll tell you why: the products are high-quality, luxurious and made in Canada. The scents are all so nice that I’ve had a hard time picking a favourite in the past, so any option is a relatively safe option. Anyway, who doesn’t love having ridiculously soft skin? Lovefresh products are available through their website and in select stores across Canada.

A Boudoir-Approved Robe

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The traditional route for Valentine’s Day always seems to be lingerie. While that’s not a bad thing, I would like to put forward an alternative idea: a nice robe or even some luxurious sleepwear. It still brings the feeling of romance without having to figure out what your lady’s bust size is. Speaking from the female point of view, I’ve always enjoyed having one of these around to throw on in my particularly high-drama at home moments. Might I recommend this Valentine’s-themed robe from For Love and Lemons? Very cute, very romantic and a little sexy.

Jewellery

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Just saying jewellery is vague, I know. If the person you’re buying for seems to favour a certain kind (i.e. if she wears a ton of rings or seems to like a good necklace) then it’s a good idea to draw inspiration from what she already has. Jewellery is so versatile and so easily personalized, and that’s actually more helpful than overwhelming. If you go to a store like Victoire, which sells products by Canadian designers, you can easily find jewellery that will reflect her personality, whether she’s more classic and romantic or a bit more quirky and humorous.

Magazine

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If you don’t want to go the way of a book, then a magazine is a great alternative. There are so many wonderful quarterly and periodical magazines being published with compelling articles, fascinating interviews, and gorgeous design. Look for magazines that double as coffee table books such as Kinfolk or The Gentlewoman. You can find some great ones at Chapters, or at independent magazine shops around town, such as Type Books on Queen St. W.

FOR HIM

Fragrance

As I said in the “For Her” section, fragrance is so specific to the person who wears it that it can be a difficult buy. The best thing to do is to work with a scent he already uses. If he has a favourite cologne, see if there’s a corresponding shave balm or lotion. If he doesn’t have one, try to find one that would fit with his overall self. If you’re still a bit stumped, I can recommend the L’Homme Cologne Cédrat by L’Occitane en Provence. The scent is super masculine and fresh, probably the smell of a guy who vacations in the French Riviera and speaks multiple languages.

Cufflinks

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Cufflinks are a pretty traditional gift for men, and there’s a reason for that. For so long, men were held under pretty strict rules of dress and in many workplaces, still are. Accessories such as ties, socks, and cufflinks are the easiest way to show some creativity and individuality while wearing a suit. If your man is a traditional guy, a pair like these classic ones from ASOS is a great and affordable option. If his style is a little more quirky, these Paul Smith cufflinks will be perfect.

Watch

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Another classic accessory, the watch. Especially good if you’ve noticed that he 1) doesn’t wear one 2) has one that needs replacing or 3) has the same sports watch he wore in high school. While it would definitely be nice to get everyone a Rolex, there are other beautifully designed watches that are more affordable. Daniel Wellington watches are hugely popular and have a minimalist design, perfect for any guy who just needs to know what time it is but also wants to look good.

Coffee-table book

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The way of the magazine could definitely apply to the guy, no problem, but there are also some gorgeous coffee-table books circulating the stores that could serve as sources of inspiration and would also just look really impressive sitting on that coffee table. May I recommend: Icons of Men’s Style by Josh Sims.

Wallet

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The wallet can go by the same rules as the watch on whether it would be a good gift. If he’s still using a velcro wallet à la Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid Love then it may be time to not-so-subtly suggest he use a new one. If you’re looking for suggestions, the brand Matt + Nat has some great minimalist wallets that are pretty cost effective, and are also made with vegan leather.