By: Annie Steel

Fresh water management has become a topic of conversation and a growing concern globally. Bill Gates recently held a conference that was dubbed in the media to be ‘drinking poo water’. Matt Damon’s charity,, is committed to ensuring everyone has safe drinking water. After natural disasters one of the first things to be highlighted is the need for potable water.

It’s easy in our Western society, barring the poor denizens of California, to brush off this issue because drinking water flows in abundance from taps and showers.

Changing attitudes towards wastewater is an uphill battle. A small brewery in Hillsboro, Oregon is taking on this challenge. Trying to make a small impact in their community. Oregon has one of the most advanced reverse osmosis systems in the world and Oregon Brew Crew felt that on account of that, there was no reason Oregon’ waste water should remain, waste. Considering ‘natural water’ from underground wells and trapped in caves needs serious treatment to remove minerals and heavy metals before it’s potable, using waste water that has already been treated isn’t much of a stretch.

Water samples at the Clean Water Services brewing competition last year used to compare their high-purity water to other local sources of water. /Courtesy of Clean Water Services

Water samples at the Clean Water Services brewing competition last year used to compare their high-purity water to other local sources of water.
/Courtesy of Clean Water Services


What do you think? Does knowing the source taint your experience or as long as it’s meeting stringent metrics of human consumption and safety concerns are met allay any hesitation? After all, people have been drinking fermented beverages long before Food Safety protocols were even an imagined concept.

Gray Malin is known for his stunning aerial photographs of everything from beaches to penguins to mountain ranges, taken all over the globe. To capture his iconic images, Malin flies in door-less helicopters and leans out of the side and shoots away. “It’s an exhilarating experience dangling from the side of the shaking helicopter while the wind is whipping you in the face, and having seconds to manually adjust the light to capture a perfect timeless moment,” he says. “During my aerial photo shoots I started snapping pictures of my Sperrys dangling from the side of the helicopter and it inspired me to reach out and see if we could collaborate to bring my images onto the shoes. We are both brands who celebrate a mutual love for the sea and stand for classic style and adventure.”

Womens-Group-Shot-Full-1940x1582 Womens-Seacoast-Lisbon-Umbrella-5-1940x1940

Malin and Sperry teamed up to create the perfect capsule shoe collection for spring. The exclusive line pairs four classic Sperry styles with three of Malin’s photographs, which were all recently taken in Portugal, Sicily and South Africa. Now available at and select Sperry retail stores, the line retails from $75 to $88. “The theme of the collection is artistic beach imagery translated onto iconic style, allowing you to bring the essence of escape into your everyday wardrobe and lifestyle,” explains Malin. “Working with Sperry on the design was a great experience. They did an amazing job working to translate the prints beautifully onto the shoes.”

We can’t wait to get our hands on a pair of these classic shoes!

Everyone’s favorite male models made a surprise appearance at Tuesday’s Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week. And, no surprise, they were really, really ridiculously good-looking. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprised their roles as the vacuous models from the popular 2001 film “Zoolander” at Tuesday’s women’s couture show.


Extreme ponytails were scene on the runway of the Dior Couture show in Paris this week. This bold, chic and colorful look has us craving the end of winter hat season. The ponytails were fastened with colorful metal rings created by designer Raf Simons, and finished with swishing waist-length extensions and a blast of Redken hairspray for ultra clean lines. “It’s quite a lot of style, but still very simple—it’s the couture ponytail.”holding-dior-couture-beauty



Christian Louboutin has brought extravagant nail polish to a whole new level. The brand’s latest red lacquer—Starlight, which retails for a whopping $675 redefines the term luxury. The celebrity-favorite shoe designer has transformed his Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour into a “beautiful art object” that brings all the luxury of the label’s heels to your fingertips.

Why is it so expensive?  The limited-edition holiday hue comes in a bottle encrusted with 1,500 hand-applied Strass crystals that reflect the architecture of the glass bottle and extreme-height cap. The polish is also  encased in a velvet dust bag and comes displayed in a black lacquer box that’s decorated with leather and crystal flowers.

Pick up a bottle of Christian Louboutin Starlight nail lacquer on or now.


We all know Thanksgiving is a time for decadence and gluttony. This Tiramisu recipe from HGTV is our favorite decadent dessert perfect for any Thanksgiving table.


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin pie filling (includes all the spices)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Almond Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup amaretto

2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
2 cups mascarpone
2 vanilla beans, seeds only, pods reserved for another use
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1 bag of amaretti cookies, crushed (found at many grocery stores or at any Italian market)

Yield: Serves 12


For Cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Spray with cooking spray, then line bottom of pans with parchment paper; spray again, and dust pans with flour. Sift flour and next three ingredients into a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat both sugars and oil in large bowl until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add pumpkin pie filling, vanilla and orange peel; beat until well blended. Add flour mixture; beat on low just until incorporated. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool cakes completely in pans on rack. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper. Turn cakes over, rounded-side up. Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops of cakes to level, then divide cakes in half horizontally to make 4 thin layers.

For Syrup:
In a saucepan combine water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Strain into a sealable container, allow to cool, then cover and store in refrigerator.
When ready to use, mix in amaretto.

For Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and cream of tartar, then beat until stiff peaks form.
Meanwhile, combine mascarpone, vanilla beans and amaretto in a small bowl. Beat with a whisk to combine, then fold into whipped cream.

To Assemble:
Brush a couple spoonfuls of amaretto syrup onto the cut side of each cake layer.
Put the first layer, uncut-side down, on a cake stand and spoon a generous layer of mascarpone filling over the top. Sprinkle a layer of crushed amaretti cookies over the filling. Repeat this process until all cake layers are used, ending with a thick topping of mascarpone filling and a generous sprinkle of amaretti cookies. Drizzle a little extra syrup over the top of the cookies and serve.
Store in the refrigerator — it’s great the next day!

Just in time for Halloween MAC has released a 21-piece make up collection completely dedicated to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. There are glitter pots for every sparkle loving one of us out there,  four lipsticks in varying shades of red, and a set of false lashes that would make anyone’s eyes heavy. Basically, this is the Rocky Horror haul that everyone who has ever gone to a midnight showing of the film desperately wished they’d had.

Who is ready to time warp?

image (1) image (2) image

Nuit Blanche is just around the corner and on October 2nd AGO First Thursdays is offering a sneak peak of some of the eye-popping installations that will fill the city two nights later. Featuring a headlining performance by Tim Hecker, whose 2013 album Virgins made the 2014 Polaris Prize Long List and was tagged by Pitchfork as Best New Music upon its release, the night focuses on artists who push boundaries and experiment with exciting new ideas and approaches. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche artists featured include the Toronto-based Anandam Dancetheatre, whose stunning work Cascade will fill Walker Court from 7:30 – 9:30 pm. The piece will see dancers repeatedly climbing and rolling down ropes affixed to Walker Court’s glass ceiling as visitors gaze up from below. Don’t miss it. Legendary Canadian artists FASTWÜRMS will park their Fortune Teller Machine outside the AGO, where visitors can exchange a coin and some information in exchange for a personal fortune message. Plus, see interactive installations by Shasti O’Leary Soudant and Chélanie Beaudin-Quintin.


We all secretly (and some not so secretly) wish we could look like Olivia Pope. Now we can. Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress Kerry Washington and costume designer Lyn Paolo, in partnership with Elliot Staples, head of design from The Limited, have developed a new fashion line exclusively for The Limited inspired by Shonda Rhimes’ top-rated ABC drama, Scandal, which airs Thursdays at 9pm EST and premieres its fourth season this fall.  “The Scandal” Collection which contains more than 70 items, with prices from about $49 to $250 will be released September 23rd and are scheduled to be available through May, the end of the 2014-15 television season.

We can’t wait to shop the fierce jackets and pant suits!