There's nothing new about
floral prints for
spring. Bright, beautiful blossoms are a surefire hit this time of year, and tend to pop up in every brand's spring collection in one form or another. What
IS new, however,
is the pretty, painterly take on floral prints that I'm seeing this season.
Watercolour" line of floral printed cushions puts a fresh (and utterly charming) spin on this old decorating standby, and they caused quite a stir at the brand's recent Spring/Summer preview. Check them out:
Bluebellgray Miki pillow, $70, Indigo.Photography courtesy of Indigo.
Bluebellgray Taransay pillow, $80, Indigo.Photography courtesy of Indigo.
Bluebellgray Maura pillow, $70, Indigo.Photography courtesy of Indigo.
Bluebellgray Bella pillow, $70, Indigo.Photography courtesy of Indigo.
Wildflower Field pillow, $50, Indigo.Photography courtesy of Indigo.
You know the glee with which you first rebuffed parental admonishments to blow dry your hair or pull on a scarf before heading out on a wintery day?
Research had proven that cold weather per se won’t make you sick. It was the close quarters of the season that were to blame for the spread of all those viruses and bacteria, we thought. Alas, mom may have been right after all. In a new study out of Yale, researchers have discovered that when it comes to our immune systems, cold temperatures can allow the common cold to flourish in our bodies.
"In general, the lower the temperature, it seems the lower the innate immune response to viruses," said senior author and Yale professor of immunobiology Akiko Iwasaki in a Yale News piece on the study.
Instead of looking at how temperatures affect the rhinovirus — the main culprit in causing colds — Iwasaki and her colleagues looked at how cold temperatures might depress our immune system's ability to cope with the virus.
They sampled cells taken from the airways of mice, which were chilled to 33 degrees Celsius, four degrees lower than the mice’s core body temperature. At the lower temperature, the immune response was "impaired," they found, and the virus fared better.
Sure, the research at this point remains mouse-centric. But for the 20 per cent of us who host the rhinovirus in our noses as any given time, according to the Yale News piece, this is a clue as to how we might curb the virus in the future.
For now, a nose-concealing scarf is not a bad place to start, especially during the deep-freeze much of Canada is enjoying this season. Maybe your mom will even be kind enough not to say "I told you so."
Measha Brueggergosman's voice is otherworldly, but her roots are firmly planted in the Maritimes. Born and raised in Fredericton, she still thinks of the city as home—and that's where you'll find her when she's not performing.
On a Wednesday night In Fredericton, you can likely find Measha Brueggergosman with her braids up and hat on, drink in hand, catching a reggae set at The Capital Complex, a live music venue. Saturday mornings are reserved for the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market, where there's a buffet of delicacies that mirrors Canada's multicultural flavour: Dutch sausages, Indian samosas, Greek souvlaki, German pastries and, let's not forget, the cheese counter. The next day, she'll be front row of her brother Neville's parish in nearby Maugerville to attend his 5:17 p.m. service (the start time is a nod to 2 Corinthians 5:17, a Bible verse about recreating yourself).
It was between the pews of her church and her grade school's music room that Measha, now widely considered one of the foremost sopranos of her generation, found her voice. By her teenage years, she had blossomed into the city performer, singing at every function, from bar mitzvahs to funerals. "Fredericton is a very musical community. I enjoyed a lot of early music education, and it's what set me on the path that I'd eventually take. I had access to many performance opportunities in the way only a small town could afford, which nurtured my desire to entertain," she says.
Measha has always felt a deep connection to her hometown, but she discovered more about her East Coast roots during the filming of Who Do You Think You Are?, the hit genealogy docuseries. She traced her family's history from slavery in Revolution-era America to their eventual freedom in Eastern Canada. She also learned that her ancestors hailed from Cameroon; they descend from the Bassa, a Bantu-speaking tribe known for its musical prowess. This revelation, and her family's past, is a recurring theme in Measha's new and most personal Christmas album, Songs of Freedom, a collection of traditional and spiritual songs that have been given modern arrangements.
Now, staring out her window, she spies the lobster pound bustling with activity before it closes for the year. She, too, is hard at work—writing her memoir, which she wants to finish before blowing out the candles on her 40th birthday cake this June. There's a lot to cover: her ancestral ties to the East Coast; her childhood in Fredericton; her journey to operatic stardom; her stories of pain and loss (she underwent emergency open-heart surgery at 32 and, only a few years later, suffered more heartache with the loss of her unborn twins). She knows she still has years of life to experience, but she wants to share what she's learned—up to this point, at least.
For now, though, Measha is relishing the East Coast scene. She'll soon be embarking on another international tour, but until then, she'll be in a tiny fishing village outside of Fredericton, where her dad has owned land for years, writing, eating lobster every day until season's end and soaking in the sights, sounds and views of home. "I like that my home base is here," she says.
Three insider tips from star soprano and Fredericton native Measha Brueggergosman.
1. Check out the music scene
"Lamèque is an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, just off the Acadian Peninsula. They have a music festival, the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival, that's a destination for the world's music experts. People go because it's this utopia. It's hard to get to, but it's so worth it."
2. Eat at The Dip
"I would argue that the best 24-hour restaurant in the Maritimes is The Diplomat—which everyone calls The Dip—in Fredericton. It looks like a cross between the set of 9 1/2 Weeks and your stylish grandmother's living room. I get the special fried rice and bring it home to my parents."
3. Grab a coffee at Jonnie Java Roasters
"You have to go downtown to Jonnie's for the coffee. They were the first to roast their own beans, like 10 years ago. I would say they're the best at it."
We spoke (and ate) with one of Canada’s favourite celebrity chefs, cookbook authors and restaurateurs about eggs and one of this season’s biggest trends in holiday entertaining.
Turns out, even top notch celebrity chef (and new mom!) Lynn Crawford is looking for new ways to celebrate with friends and pull out the entertaining stops and still find time to cook her signature dishes—all without going crazy. The solution? Brunch. This beloved morning meal might just be the new cocktail party for entertaining this holiday season.
“Making brunch doesn’t have to be complicated,” says Crawford. Given the trend of simplifying and streamlining, it makes sense that some of our cooking and entertaining styles shift from night to day. Hosting or going to brunch “doesn’t eat into your day,” says Crawford, and it still gives both parties those extra pre-party hours everyone covets. If you’re cooking brunch at home, Lynn advises to pick dishes that can easily be made ahead of time or whipped up quickly, like her Spicy Chorizo and Tomato Frittata with Pepper Jack Cheese, which she had breezily mixed together moments before we arrived for this interview.
Since we’re all looking to trim budgets, brunch is an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on flavour or fun—since it’s a shorter window of time, you tend to eat and drink way less. But, that doesn’t mean the menu will be boring, and don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for cocktails, too! Brunch is a moveable feast and can be as intimate or jam-packed as you want. Lynn recommends starting sometime after 11:00 A.M. but cautions that brunch isn’t something you should ever have to set an alarm for.
Try Lynn’s make-ahead frittata:
Preparing this delicious frittata during the holidays has become a Crawford Christmas tradition. It is a perfect dish for brunch, lunch, dinner or even a late night snack on cold snowy nights. Frittatas can easily be made ahead of time, saving you from spending the whole night in the kitchen. Plus, they’re great to make for a potluck dinner—this recipe will feed a crowd and the dish is easily transportable.
SPICY CHORIZO & TOMATO FRITTATA WITH PEPPER JACK CHEESE
8 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, finely diced
2 chorizo sausage, casings removed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup pepper Jack cheese, grated
¼ cup parsley and cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 375*F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, peppers and chorizo. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion and peppers are soft and the chorizo is completely cooked thru. Add the eggs and tomatoes and stir together. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until egg has set and cheese has melted. Top with cilantro and parsley leaves.
Check out the cutest holiday gift ideas for the pet-obsessed person in your life.
See Gord Downie's emotional reaction when the Assembly of First Nations honours him with an Indigenous spirit name, Wicapi Omani (meaning "man who walks among the stars") for his reconciliation efforts.
Watch Manchester By The Sea. It's an emotional drama starring Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck, about a man who becomes the guardian of a 16-year-old after the child's father dies.
Joseph Boyden's novella Wenjack—the tragic story of an Objibwe boy who runs away from his residential school.
Madonna sings some classics, vogues and kisses-and-tells about locking lips with Michael Jackson when she joins James Corden for the latest "Carpool Karaoke."