Summer is Here…AKA Bikini Season!

Living in Canada is like living near the artic. Winters are cold and long Dec.-March and Summers are short and only hot July-August. And well, that means for us, swimwear fashion starts in February/March, before the spring break where there is a scramble to find a bikini for the “escape the cold” vacations in March. We all want to go south to Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic…it’s all fair game to those of us frozen by 4 months of winter and desperate for a chance to thaw out. So let’s do the work of bikini shopping. Yes, the swimwear shopping season is upon us, and hopefully it can be pleasant and hopefully we’ve lost our holiday gut! But alas, bikinis can actually be forgiving to weight gain because they are not that confining. But I digress. Let’s talk about what to look for in the best swimsuit for 2022.

For this article, I have focused on bikinis that are easily accessible from known retail chains in North America. Because nobody has time to wait for an expensive designer bikini bought online to be shipped to home, only to find out it’s not gonna work…And I focused on affordable choices, cuz, girl…we want more than one set and we do not want to break the bank!

Before Shopping: Know thy body, know thy style: There are so many styles of bikinis out there and they all do a different things. Some are more athletic, and offer more support for the breasts, some are skimpier, leaving less tan lines and less support. Bottoms can be boyshorts, thong, tanga, strong thong, classic bikini cut..etc. So there is just so much to choose from. I noticed I didn’t have many string bikinis in my repertoire so for my shopping haul, I focused on this style. The classic string bikini was not always easy to find, so I did deviate slightly from this style by buying suits that were just on the skimpy side. Haha, if I want modesty I would go with a one piece anyway! Knowing what general style I wanted is key to finding the best suit for me! So let’s go try on some bikinis:

H & M: Padded String bikini top and bottom with recycled fabric: $40. CAD

Details: Loved the top with non-removable pads because they don’t move around or crease. The padded cups were also slightly contoured and sown into the top triangles, giving it support and shape. It was a classic side tie string bikini bottom with medium cheekiness. and medium front coverage too.

Colour: A delicate floral print with colours in sweet pastels like lavender, pink and yellow…

Pattern: Not overly floral, it was a very fine pattern, reminiscent of floral pjs once had (sweet but sexy?) I liked the gold jewelry on the ties, made it look more expensive.

Overall fit: Very good string bikini, with enough coverage on both the top and bottom to keep it innocently family, but the frills and the string cut makes it more demurely adult. B+

Aerie Eyelet String Bikini top with bikini cut bottoms $54 CAD

Details: Not sure if a cotton eyelet material is that racy (think country summer dress), but something about using it in a string bikini says naughty! In the past I’ve notice Aerie Swim tended to not be that dishy, but this year, their cups got smaller and excess coverage was shaved off for better lines. Also, the bikini bottoms with this set was slightly cheekier that usual too!

Colour: Not white, not lavender, but light lavender? It’s such a cool toned colour that can compliment any tan. It’s also pale enough to make my skin colour look less ghostly after 6 months of no sun.

Pattern: Solid colour bikini with a subtle eyelet embroidery designs are very pretty, and it also has lettuce edges for a feminine softness about it.

Overall fit: Lovely . The size Small cups were padded, but not overly structured, which I liked. The triangles were not overly big, leaving just the right amount of coverage, while maximizing curves. Good deal and good for pool or beach, it sends out a lounge like vibe. A-

Victoria’s Secret Terry Cloth Halter/Bandeau top bikini with High waisted Cheeky cut bottoms

Form: Supportive bandeau top. The decorative gold buckle in the middle makes for a bit of glam. The addition of the halter straps can add more support and visual interest. It has just the right sized cups, but I went with the xs size since VS Swim sizes seem larger in general. I felt a bit more Bond Girl in this suit. It’s more grown up with less frills. The bottoms are nicely high waisted, while having a modest amount of cheeky.

Colour: love the mid toned lavender! It’s a unique colour and so fun.

Pattern: Solid coloured suits are great, especially when it is made of a different material. The focus is shared with the texture of the terry cloth.

Overall fit: perfect amount of coverage and overall the silhouette of the bikini top is flattering and supportive. The high waisted bottom is good as a way to tame that extra pouch all women have under the tummy and the cheekiness is playful with out be distasteful. A

So there it is. 3 excellent bikini sets for pool, or beach For fashion and fit the Victoria Secret Swim rose above the others a tiny bit. But if I was to look for a classic string bikini silhouettes with ties, it would be the H & M bargain. If it was based on which suit was prettiest, it would be Aerie’s take on Eyelet swimwear! Thanks for reading and happy swim suit shopping!

Staying your “hot self”, even when no dates are happening

I’m single. I have been single for longer than I want to admit on here. And while I haven’t been totally under a rock and in my own shell; (.I’ve dated around since being married last in 2006) It’s not a goal of mine to be perpetually single. I do want to meet my soul mate, for once and for all, and run into the sunset without abandon with him. But I know it ain’t happening. It ain’t happening anytime soon. Toronto has only started reopening since the last panicked winter covid quarantine. So technically I am two years behind in my dating search progress for the “one”. I say this to make myself feel better. Another thing that provides me comfort this early summer in TO is this: I will date myself. I will go out to nice dinners and enjoy a city re-opening even if I’m not coupled., That’s right…I got the idea from so many other liberated souls with bad luck in love too; I know that hot girl summer has to happen, whether or not Mr. Romance is knocking on my door. Summers in Canada are so short and I’ll be damned if I don’t visit all the patios and gourmet rest stops this city has to offer. My work at the salon has suddenly slowed down for the month of June and I am ready to enjoy this sun and warmth. With my son in tow, we are visiting yummy, trendy spots on TO, with no sign of stopping. I want to experience this summer 2022, and we all deserve it after two years in quarantine. My fun won’t be dependent on waiting by the phone for “him” to call. It’s happening now and happening fast!

This is my neighborhood in Toronto. Taken just the other day, one can see the vibe in the air: the streets are full of things to explore!

How to Have an Awesome Single Gal Summer Post Pandemic:

  1. I decided to search out all the yummy, unique restaurants and wonderful patios that exist in the city.
  2. I then go to these places, with children, with friends and anyone who wants to.
  3. I primp and preen myself for myself to be seen and be fabulous.
  4. I order new dishes, things I really want to taste and experience
  5. And I just enjoy! Like I said, summer in North American cities are so short. There’s no time to waste waiting for Mr. Right to appear and ask me out. I will make my own sparkle and shine!
At this really cool Pilipino bar and resto on Queen West called Islas. They have great barbeque skewers for the carnivorous bunch, Buck a Shuck oysters on Tuesdays!
The hottest new thing in Toronto Annex (central west location) is an Asian Night Market called Super Fresh with vendors serving street eats from the East! A bit over rated and probably not worth the lines, the Taiwanese Fried chicken/any fried chicken is the bomb!

Women often get all dolled up when we know we are going on a formal date. And even extra primping is involved when it feels like a potential match. But I promise, primping up and going out for oneself is a beneficial exercise in having joy in life. And going on a date with friends and family will build social bonds that always need strengthening. At the end of the night, I don’t have to wonder and fret if the date I went on was a success. I will know that time was well spent with myself and those around me.

How Ice Cream can solve everything

Words of wisdom on the wall of the ice cream parlour in pink neon. yaas.

The summer is hot this year in Toronto…and I am currently observing how things are re opening here. Restaurants now have inviting patios, shops are allowing people inside to browse again, and there is a bustling, busy fun feeling in the air. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my low days. Those are days where something that is not in my control, has gotten me anxious or worried, and I just don’t know what to do about it. I wrote an article a while back about mental health and how to handle feeling depressed and sad. Check it out HERE. But this article is more about how ti use ice cream to sometimes cope with theworries, and persistent problems in my mood that can not be solved immediately, or even completely solved. It can drive me mad when I dwell on things I shouldn’t be.

This is the ice cream parlour I went to in Toronto. Super fashionable, modern, no? They specialize in asian flavour inspired soft serve icecream!

Think about it: in movies, tv shows, in songs…the most satisfying treat for a unrested mind or broken mood is ice cream. It’s the reward often given to children for being “good”. It’s the familiar remedy for emotional pain post break-up…it comes in so many flavours that there is no excuse to not like at least one flavour of ice cream! So ya, grab a couple of scoops whenever stressful situations arise and then desert the worries they present by enjoying this dessert. What better way to “solve” unsolvable problems than with a few scoops of decadent, sweet, cooling, ice cream! For me, even just forgetting a problem for a moment in time can be a way of solving it (kinda). Just enjoy things for the pleasurable moment it offers and feel like everything is okay in the world. Let’s be kind to ourselves and watch our problems melt away–just the problems that is, not the ice cream.

What flavour did I end up getting? This is the black charcoal icecream that has a mild coconut flavour with ube flavour (light purple) Ube is a purple Asian yam with a delicate flavour often used in desserts.