Men’s Style: Ode To Canada …

Growing up in the Midwest, I am accustomed to cold weather and snow for the holidays.   It wasn’t Christmas unless I had shoveled the driveway in below freezing weather all the while silently cursing my parents for being too cheap to buy a snow blower.  Bone-chilling cold, corrosive salt stains on my shoes and second-guessing if I had frostbite were the hallmarks of a Lake Family Christmas.  Needless to say when it came time to leave the nest, this birdie flew South ….well West to California.

However, while my feet are firmly planted in California, my head (and my heart) tend to find they drifting over the border to our snowy northern neighbors.  Over the last few years, I have found myself becoming more infatuated with Canada.  Maybe, because many of my design mentors are Canadian and thanks to this great thing called social media have cobbled together a merry band of amazing design oriented friends who support and inspire this little ole’ American.

Looking through my Canadian friends Instagram shots made me a touch nostalgic.  My Canadian friends embrace the cold weather, rather than run from it.  They pull out fashion-forward coats, cute hats and functional but stylish boots. They mix pattern and materials with abandon for a look that is undeniable chic.  For this next installment of Men’s Style: Holiday Edition, I channeled two of the most fashionable Canadians I know, Erica and Jonathan to create a look that I am calling …

Courtney_Canada_Lead

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Food Coma…

I am still recouping from my whirlwind trip to Canada and have promptly put myself on a strict diet of water, air and lemons.  Sweet meats and cheeses, my Canadian hosts know how to show a boy a good time.  I was treated to some great restaurants and am still in food coma from the experience……

Meredith and her husband treated me to the most amazing family style dinner in Toronto that for the life of me I can’t remember the name of and I think Meredith is secretly keeping to herself out of fear it will get overrun with American tourists.  But seriously, the restaurant Cafe Belong is simply amazing on all levels…

CAFE BELONG – Toronto

Melissa and Erica rolled out the red carpet and took me to some excellent meals on the town in Calgary….

BLINK

WURST – Calgary

However, I don’t think any will top the EPIC dinner party that Melissa threw at her gorgeous house.  15 courses (yup) with wine pairings … it was amaze balls and about half way between, I had to lie down and take a little nap.  It truly was a culinary experience to the likes I will doubt I will see again….

Now if you excuse me, I need to run a marathon to lose the weight I gained.

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Exploring Canada Continues…

After five days in Canada, I have yet to acquire a taste for maple syrup or say the word “aboot” but I have acquired a taste for its fantastic designers.  Seriously folks, Canada has something in the water because I have met some talented folks these last few days.  Again major thanks to Meredith Heron for playing my “God Design Mother” in Toronto.  All you publishing peeps out there, somebody better grab a sister and give her a book ASAP because she has CRAZY knowledge to share.  If nothing else, she needs to give a master class or two…..

Speaking of “sisters”, I am off to yet another Canadian city to meet up with my two design diva “sisters” Erica and Melissa to continue the learn spree.  So up next on my Canadian road trip….

I get 2 days in Calgary with my lovely ladies and I don’t plan on wasting a minute of it.  So check back on Monday for updates from my road trip as well as some tasty design tidbits from my other design projects.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Check me out on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and now Instagram (@CourtneyOutLoud).