A Shameless Plug bc I’m So Proud to be LAO!

I started writing this while I was sitting on the plane ride home and I decided not to post it until today…This past weekend I accompanied my mother to DC for my lil cousin Hannah’s wedding.  I was quickly reminded how amazing my mother’s side of the family is and where I get my hospitality skills from….

The moment we landed, my cousin Seng rolled out the red carpet.  We saw DC/Va the way Seng sees it..everyday…you see…my cousin is a little famous…famous for her amazing restaurants.  These aren’t just restaurants but she opened the VERY FIRST LAO restaurant in the DC area.  We don’t have ANY in Toronto..

On Friday, we ate at Thip Khao. Her largest restaurant which has garnered tons of attention because the food is unlike most “thai” restaurants you go to..they’re not “americanized”. The food is made how “we” would eat it…stinky fish sauce and all!  We ordered Pun Mieng which is a hand wrapped, make your own lettuce wrap that featured lemon grass, fresh herbs(picked from her own garden) that you would never think to put together!

collard green wrap, dill, padaek-pineapple sauce, raw herb & vegetable
whole pampano 28 | fried catfish 25 | fried tofu 16
my kids favourite..
crispy sesame jerky, coconut rice, fermented chili-fish sauce, cucumber, pickled radish
beef 17 | pork 17
wok rice noodles, fish sauce caramel, egg, tomato, bean sprout, lime
shrimp 16 | pork belly 15 | chicken 15 | fried tofu 12
and of course ….our staple…STICKY RICE

Most people are familiar with Thai cuisine. Unless you’ve travelled to Laos, the majority of the population has no idea where/what Laos is…which is unfortunate especially since Laos was heavily bombed during the Vietnam war as US military dumped artillery on their way back from Vietnam missions.  There are still millions of bombies left undetonated…that’s another story…a story that the late Anthony Bourdain thought that he should dedicate an episode of his Parts Unknown to. My cousins’ kua mee noodle recipe is also showcased. https://explorepartsunknown.com/laos/recipe-kua-mee/ 

On Sunday, we had a late lunch at Padaek with our friends who live in Maryland.  We ate like kings. The kids couldn’t get enough of the beef jerky, sausages and tried the Khao Poon for the first time which is a traditional curry noodle soup. We even got to hang out in the kitchen and meet the cooks! (who by the way is also Chef Seng’s brother)

Opening a Lao restaurant was a daring step as an entrepeneur to showcase cuisine in a market that has never experienced this type of food let alone garner attention from the JAMES BEARD FOUNDATIONThip Khao AND Padaek have both been nominated and achieved semi-finalist status!  Today Chef Seng got her semi-finalist notification in the mail.Chef Seng’s announcement


I’m truly inspired now that I’m back home in Toronto to learn how to cook More of my grandmother’s recipes & style of cooking. Thank you to my cousin Chef Seng who has reminded me how great our family is…how delicious the recipes are…how much I should be proud of being LAO and most importantly a ….LUANGRATH….SO if you’re ever in DC…or Virginia…you need to come by Padaek or Thip Khao OR their new soon to be open..Hannuman.(I even got a sneak peak).and make sure you tell them I sent you….you won’t regret it….THIP KHAO PADAEK  

who knows?? I may open my own Canadian version….;)

Thank you for your hospitality and all your efforts to educate the world on Lao food #laofoodmovement @chefSeng #mycousin #laofood @Luangrath #proud


Assignment SALE

181 Bedford Road
Listed at $894,900

Enjoy Toronto’s most distinguished urban lifestyle at Annex Yorkville Connection, a new community of luxury condominiums and townhome residences that connects you with the life you’ve always wanted.

AYC is ideally situated to offer some of the finest unobstructed views in the city.

AYC Condo 2 Bedrooms+ den (834sq.ft) plus 2 Balconies. Great layout with no wasted space. 2 Balconies with ample sun in the afternoon on a high floor. Unobstructed view on 20th floor. One parking and one locker.

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Heart of London FOR SALE


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1033 Waterloo St MLS# X4168514

A rare opportunity to live in the heart of London across from the peaceful St. Peter’s Seminary. This beautifully maintained home built on 3 lots offers over 3,000 square feet of luxury finishes with 4 bedrooms upstairs, featuring a master suite with custom built-in closets and claw tub. A gourmet kitchen updated with Jenn-air appliances, Carrara marble countertops and eat-in kitchen noon overlooking the manicured backyard and oversized salt water pool with outdoor change rooms complete with cabana and pool bar perfect for entertaining. The main floor living room is fully equipped with surround sound and a wood burning fireplace. Relax with a glass of wine in the sun room after a long day. When you are feeling restless, the basement boasts a billiard room and sauna for those spa inspired days. You never have to leave this oasis as there is a room for everyone.


For more information Contact 647.999.1747


Our Cancer Story


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     A year ago in April, my husband began experiencing headaches. They came and went but while we were in Jamaica for a wedding, the dizzy spells and smell of ether overcame him.  Finally on Mother’s day, the headaches became unbearable. This lasted 10 days.  At first the walk-in doctor gave him migraine meds.  I too suffer from migraines and knew it wasn’t that simple because no headache lasts that long.  I sent him back to the walk-in clinic and they immediately sent him to St. Joseph’s Hospital to emergency where he was transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital.  It was there that we found out that our lives would change forever….
     He was diagnosed with Glioblastoma.  The same cancer that Gord Downie had. Currently, there is no cure but Sunnybrook is at the forefront of Brain Cancer research in North America. Dwayne underwent brain surgery 5 days later under the trust of Dr. Yang.(who is brilliant…he has over 25 patents on microscopic cameras that are fed into blood vessels to assist in these types of intricate surgeries.)  After 4 hours of surgery, he emerged ever so funny…if you know him, he’s got a sense of humour…no side effects, no brain damage…just a really cool scar.
     The aftercare at Sunnybrook was incredible unlike most hospital experiences due to the nurses Dwayne had.  We met a fellow whose name is Dr. Ironside.  She is the first doctor to participate in the new program at Sunnybrook with thanks to Gord Downie and the Hip’s donations.  Dr. Ironside was in the O.R during my husband’s surgery and it was she who gave us the news that they had removed 92% of his tumour.
     I have never known ANYONE to gain VIP access to a CANCER ward…within 2 weeks, Dwayne was labeled the most favourite patient at the Odette Cancer center.  He had won the hearts of the radiologists so much by bringing them joy and smiles that one nurse came and told me that “he’s our favourite patient..we’re supposed to make HIM smile but he brings US smiles”…melt my heart..
     We were scheduled to get married August long weekend.  Dwayne had 8 weeks to recover and had to undergo 6 weeks of daily chemotherapy AND radiation to treat the remaining cancer cells…and recovered so well & FAST that we were able to enjoy 4 amazing days with our families and friends in Niagara on the lake! Magical is the only word I can find for that weekend as we even had a friend fly in from Australia to join us..
     Since last June, Dwayne’s undergone 2 craniotomies and recently had a 3rd surgery because he got an infection in the bone and skin where the incision is.  They’ve replaced his skull with titanium mesh and he’s now on 6 weeks of IV antibiotics which are fed through a piccline in his heart that feeds a tube directly to his heart.
     With this knowledge and everything that she’s going through at school, home, bullies.. my stepdaughter, Isabel was inspired to write a letter to her principal asking her if they could dedicate (civvies day) dress down day to Sunnybrook’s Brain Cancer research foundation in her father’s and Gord Downie’s name.  They agreed and the Toronto Catholic school board got behind the cause and supported her. TODAY was Brain Cancer Awareness day at her school.. Friday May 25th.  Each child will donate $2 to Isabel’s chosen charity which is Gord Downie’s Brain Cancer Research Foundation and in return the children get to wear their civvies BUT are encouraged to wear “grey” which is the colour for brain cancer. She even has sponsors! Special thanks to Elly Mancinelli from TD Wealth, Acme Works & of course AutoOne Leasing! 
     In addition to this initiative, Isabel also wrote a letter to Mayor John Tory to ask that he also do the same and declare May 27th Brain Cancer awareness day(which is the actual date)..
     We are also working on an actual fundraising event for next May 2019 as the past 6 months have been very difficult for our families as we are adjusting to juggling our lives and hospital visits plus 3 surgeries. I am currently working through TD wealth to start a foundation in my husband’s name as well. The Dwayne Andrew’s Brain Cancer Foundation to potentially assist families who have financial difficulty paying for their chemotherapy and other expenses. ie. parking, medications because they don’t have coverage or just can’t afford it.  Most people are not as fortunate as we have been to have the family support that we have had and even with that support, the costs have nearly bankrupted us. None of the Chemo which is “outpatient” care is covered by OHIP. Dwayne’s undergone 4 rounds of chemo since this original 6 weeks of treatments with 2 more to go potentially. It costs $26 just to park at the hospital for one day..
     It is my hope that maybe we can work together in not letting Gord’s foundation be forgotten and educate and assist others who are affected by brain cancer.  It also allows our children to carry on their father’s memory and make an impact such as Gord’s did for ours. We couldn’t have gotten through this past year without the love and support of our family and friends.
We’ve set up a donation page on Sunnybrook’s website.  Please share our story and DONATE TO SUNNYBROOK
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Brain Cancer Awareness Day

May 27, 2018

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This is Vaughan’s Future – Get in before they are gone!


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In order for a purchaser to take full advantage of the Lowest Prices, Best Selection as well as Platinum Access Incentives & Promotions you need to buy before the public opening. Prior to opening day of a new condo to the general public, prices may have gone up by several thousand dollars and special Insider PLATINUM/VIP incentives are no longer available. The best time for you to invest in a unit at the lowest price possible is before it is open to the general public.

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If you are not currently working with a Realtor, we provide a personal consultation to ensure your purchase is a much smoother process. We will answer your concerns and questions, provide you with very important information about the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, your rights as a Buyer and assist you all the way to the closing and any after sale assistance.

If this is your first time buying a pre-construction, there is a lot to know and you will definitely need some professional guidance. If you are an investor, speak to us first. You will get some great advice as to what to look for. We provide this service free of charge. As members of the Toronto Real Estate Board, our team also represents Buyers & Sellers of re-sale properties.

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Move into the Thompson Hotel Residences!!

Have you always wanted to be in the mix of everything? Move into this FULLY FURNISHED 815 square foot 1 bedroom plus den at the Thompson residences!! This open concept unit comes complete with cable, internet and an office! Thompson residents also have access to the gym, rooftop pool, rooftop bar & patio, Colette cafe and 24 hour diner that delivers!!! For more information please contact Odie 647.999.1747

click here for more details!