nails

OPI Katy Perry Collection

January 28, 2011

Following the release of the new OPI Katy Perry Collection, I knew I had to get my hands on a couple colours that had been released. Despite usually being very conservative with my nail colour choices, the black shatter polish really appealed to me for some reason.

After weeks of waiting, due to delayed shipments, I was able to locate the collection and obtain one of the last couple bottles in the city. I also picked up 'The One That Got Away' from the collection, cause it just looked so beautiful!!


in natural light



with flash



shatter!


You'll notice in the picture with the shatter layered on top, my pinky finger seems to be lacking in the pink colour. This is what happens when you apply shatter when your base underneath isn't quite dry yet :( Shatter will also dry matte when applied, so make sure to seal it in with a top coat if you want it to last you longer :)

Pick up a bottle for yourself if you can!

dessert

Mixed Berry Cream Puffs & Chocolate Mousse

January 20, 2011

This past weekend, my parents had a get together with their friends at our place, so I decided to try out a couple dessert recipes that I love!

First up was cream puffs, but I did a variation on them, in which the cream was flavoured with fresh berries.




Second on the dessert menu was a decadent chocolate mousse.




So delicious. I want to make them again now!
Let me know if you want the recipes :)

Burger

Lunchtime: Rodeo Burger

January 20, 2011

For lunch today, Lisa and I decided to venture a little off campus and visit our nearby Rodeo Burger. Previous experience review can be found here




The burger was tasty, just as it was the first time I had been there. It took a little longer for them to make though, since they didn't have an assembly line going, haha.

dessert

Beard Papa's!!!!

January 19, 2011

The day has finally come!! Beard Papa's has officially opened here at West Edmonton Mall. They are located near the body shop, straight across from McDonald's, and one location down from Edo Japan.

Everytime I go to Vancouver, I will hit up Aberdeen Mall in Richmond and pick up one of these delicious cream puffs. With the variety of fillings, its always fun to try out their different and unique flavours that you can't find in normal cream puffs.




After class, Vince and I headed to the mall to check this place out. Upon our arrival, we found out that it was their second day open, and we had really high hopes for this place! They had all their flavours listed out on the board, so he chose green tea, while I chose mango. But upon ordering, we were told that they only have two flavours available each day. Vanilla, which is going to be offered year round, and the other will be the feature flavour of the day. On this particular day, it happened to be strawberry. So we purchased both, and were on our way home to enjoy them.


menu options



prep area


Once I got home, I was thoroughly disappointed :( The filling on the inside was so runny, had a powdery/clumpy texture, and just made a big huge mess everywhere. This was completely different from the cream puffs that I had in Vancouver, but I'm hoping that the problems will be fixed and the experience I had was just a result of some issues happening during their first couple days open.




I do highly recommend their cream puffs because they are delicious, but maybe give them some time before checking them out, so that they can fix up their minor errors!

Beard Papa
8882 170 Street
Edmonton AB
Beard Papa's on Urbanspoon

ETA - this past weekend, a coworker picked up some creampuffs for everyone on shift, and they were MUCH better! The filling was smooth and held together, so I think it's safe to check them out now!

Birthday

Happy Birthday Alyssa!

January 17, 2011

Back in the day when I was a kidlet, I remember mom & dad would bring my sister & I to Swiss Chalet cause we loved it so much! The kids meals were so good, and totally worth the prices too! It was a kid sized entree, bottomless drink, dessert and free toy, all for $5. That was many years ago though, so I have no idea what they are like now. I think what always made me want to go there on the weekends, was their delicious Chalet sauce, and the fact that their shirley temples were the most amazing things I had ever drank in my life. The shirley temples there aren't like the usual ones with orange juice in them, these I think are a mix of syrup and sprite, haha. But they're so good! I don't know why I love them so much!

Anyway, this weekend we saught out our childhood memories, and cravings for the delicious sauce by heading to Swiss Chalet for my sister's birthday dinner.

Since I wasn't able to order a kids meal, I opted for the shirley temple. Still just as good as always!! :) Vince thinks I'm gross for liking it though..




I ordered the quarter chicken with garlic shrimp & rice pilaf, served with a dinner roll. The chicken was tender, and very yummy with the Chalet sauce. Yes, I do understand that the sauce is made with lots of oil and fat, but hey, I come here maybe once every couple of years, so I think I should be allowed to indulge! What I didn't expect though, was how good the rice was! The herbs were mixed harmoniously and just tasted so good with the perfectly cooked rice. Little bits of tomato here and there were a nice touch as well, to switch up the texture.




Swiss Chalet is a nice place to go to once in a while. The food was good, albeit not as amazing as I once though it was as a child. But that's understandable, tastes change, and kids aren't always the best food critics ;) The prices here are very reasonable, and a pretty good deal when it comes down to it.

Baby sister turned 15 .. makes me feel so old! Waitress gave her a free cheesecake for her birthday :)




Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill
2203 99 Street NW
Edmonton AB

Makeup

Sephora Collection Skincare

January 13, 2011

I'm so excited to finally be able to write this post! I've been itching to write about this new line of skincare, ever since the first day I tried it out. I absolutely love two new products that Sephora released this month with their skincare collection.

Now, despite what you may think, I am SUPER DUPER LAZY when it comes to skincare! Give me an all-in-one solution, and I'm happy! What exactly does this mean? Well, I don't like taking off my makeup before I wash my face, and I hate having to layer millions of products on my face just to keep it looking nice!

For the past 6 months or so, I've found something amazing that works well for my skin: Shiseido Perfect Oil.




This stuff is the bomb! It's perfect for me because it removes all my makeup, and washes it right off after I wet it. This product here is a pure oil, and it emulsifies all the make up that I have on my face at the end of the day - add a little water and this baby washes off clean, leaving my face feeling hydrated! But then I started to think to myself, what am I going to do when summer comes around? Using a oil as a cleanser is definitely going to be heavy for the summer months, so I started searching around to see what would work for me.




I also use Philosophy's Purity cleanser, which does all the makeup removal for me as well, but I find that to be a little creamy sometimes, especially if my face is a little oilier. After a while, my search was over when I looked into the Sephora Skincare Collection that recently launched over the past couple days.




Formulated with Hydrosenn+, this beauty giant claims their breakthrough product is even more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. Ding ding ding!! With our winter weather this year being so nasty, my cheeks have been abnormally dry! I knew I had to check this out.

I picked up their supreme cleansing foam, which is promises to remove makeup and cleanse the skin all in one step. The pump itself makes the product into a nice foam, and I find 2 pumps is enough for my face. The smell is pleasant, and it does indeed remove all my makeup. However, I find that sometimes it stings my eyes HAHA, only on certain days though. I tightline my eyes with eyeliner, which is why I have to use the product so close to my eyes. I guess that's my punishment for being super lazy. Its opthalmologically tested, so I don't suppose I will go blind with continued use.




It's a very nice, light cleanser, and I'm excited to start using this once the summer months come around!!




Now for my face. Dang Jack Frost just isn't leaving me alone this year! I normally do not have problems with dry skin in the winter, but after all the moisturizing and exfoliating I have been doing, little patches around my nose, cheeks, and eyes are showing bits of flakiness. I decided to check out their instant moisturizer, which also contains Hydrosenn+, and guarantees to moisturize 'intensively'. It has the same scent as the cleanser, which I happen to like. The cream texture is not very thick, it runs a little on the watery side, which made me wary of it's effects. However, after one application overnight, my skin was NO LONGER DRY! Crazy, I tell you. I am so impressed with this moisturizer. It makes my skin super smooth and hydrated, and for the price tag of $24, I'm so happy! It doesn't take much product to moisturize your face, so it's going to be lasting a very long time. I seriously use just a little dab!

I am oh so happy. Now you know why I've been excited to write this post! Try it out :) I guarantee you will like it!

beauty

A Couple Extra Goodies

January 07, 2011

I was so excited that my Sephora Hello Kitty order arrived, that I forgot to post up the rest of the goodies that had come with my order, oops! I really don't like the fact that because I'm in Canada, I have to spend a minimum $120 to get free shipping, and pay extra for my products even though the dollar is pretty much on par. I guess their fast shipping & awesome return policy make up for it though!

Here's what I picked up!

Philosophy stuff as always. I'm always compelled to buy their cute little sets because then I can carry them with me when I travel, rather than packing up their heavy, large sized counterparts. For every cute set I've bought, I have kept their boxes! I think they're just too cute to throw out! *yes I hoard*

Philosophy Home for the Holidays Creme Brulee Set


The smell is AMAZING, right on point!


Philosophy Let it Glow Set


It's funny, the only skincare item I use from Philosophy is the Purity cleanser, I have yet to try out Hope in a Jar


Smashbox Master's Class Style Files










I absolutely love this kit! It's so nice that everything is separated, and won't be prone to mixing with one another. Also another great item for me to bring on trips, so that everything is kept together & I won't lose a single thing!

Harajuku Lovers Sunshine Cuties Organizer Bag







Adorable. How could I say no to this??

beauty

Hello Kitty has Arrived!!

January 07, 2011

After making my order with Sephora mid-December, and losing some hair trying to track down my package (Canada Post said it was delivered, when it hadn't been!), my Hello Kitty order has finally arrived!!


HK Order!!


As stated before, I ordered the perfume rollerball, full size perfume, and the two eyeshadow/lip gloss palettes.


Full size fragrance


The fragrance full size fragrance and the rollerball contain the same scent. On Sephora, it was described as being made with some of Hello Kitty's favorite things, such as green apple and Japanese fruits to "make you smile inside". As listed, the perfume is supposed to contain notes of Cassis sorbet, Italian mandarin, apple, magnolia blossom, freesia, orange flower, tonka bean, vanilla, and musk.


Rollerball


On first sniff of the fragrance, I could immediately sense the floral notes, but not so much the apple or citrus. Despite being floral, it was still sweet, and I actually really like this scent. After a bit of wear, you start to smell the sweetness of the vanilla, and the deeper musk scent. Although I don't need two of the same perfume, I can't resist the packaging! The rollerball will be nice to carry around in my bag as well, it's a great size!

Now onto the palettes. The eyeshadow and lipgloss palettes come in two varieties - happy fun and super fun. I don't know how they came up with the names, because I don't necessarily see those terms when I look at the colours!

Happy Fun Palette


Happy fun eyeshadows



Happy fun lipglosses



swatches


- Ice Cream (pearl white) eyeshadow
- Airplane (taupe) eyeshadow
- Chocolate Milk (brown) eyeshadow
- Peppermint (sage green) eyeshadow
- Baby Pink (pink) lipgloss
- Peach Pudding (peach) lipgloss
- Strawberry Jam (dark pink) lipgloss
- Springtime (apricot) lipgloss

Super Fun Palette


Super fun eyeshadows



Super fun lipglosses



swatches


- Raindrop (grey) eyeshadow
- Sugar plum (pale lilac) eyeshadow
- Sweet plum (purple) eyeshadow
- Goodnight dreams (black) eyeshadow
- Sweet Plum (purple) lipgloss
- Pink confetti (pink) lipgloss
- Strawberry cookies (brown pink) lipgloss
- Snowflake (white) lipgloss

Honestly speaking, these are not the best eyeshadows I own, but they are not the worst I have ever tried. They are actually much higher quality than I had expected. The eyeshadows are mostly matte, some have a metallic character, and contain little hints of shimmer. Upon application, however, you can't see the shimmer. The lightest colors in the palette are not very pigmented, and require a couple layers in order to build up on the colour's intensity. The darker colours, however, are quite pigmented and show up very well on the eyelid. The formula is very smooth, but a little on the chalky side, so I had a few issues with fallout during application. Make sure to wear a primer, and pat some powder on before application, so fallout can be easily brushed off after :)

In terms of the lipglosses, I like the fact that it they are housed in a layer separate from the eyeshadow, so that there is no mess created. The lipglosses themselves have hardly any pigmentation, and putting them on the lips show very little differentiation between shades. They are a tad sticky, but nothing I can't deal with. The formula is hydrating and sweet tasting, so they will be nice to wear on top of a lip stain or lipstick! Don't expect to get any colour out of these though.

In this collection, part of the price you are paying definitely goes toward the novelty of having Hello Kitty makeup. BUT, the packaging is sturdy, and I like the colours Sephora put into the collection in comparison to the black that MAC had used in their collaboration with Hello Kitty. At first, the palettes gave me a bit of a hard time when I tried opening them (I have long nails), but overtime they have become much better.

As I have said previously, this collection is limited edition, and not part of the permanent Sephora collection. Make sure to test everything out before you buy, because this collection is proving to be relatively expensive for make up (the full size fragrance is marked at $77, palettes are $46).

Now what would this post be without a makeup look? I did a smoky eye using the super fun palette - goodnight dreams on the outer half of the lid, sweet plum on the entire lid, sugar plum on the inner corners, raindrop to contour the outer v, and sweet plum lipgloss on my lips (told you there is no colour!)


*muah* love Hello Kitty!


The collection is now available up on the Sephora website for purchasing, and will be arriving to the stores within the next couple days - Sephora at Southgate said they will have it by Monday, January 17. Give your local store a call so they can give you an estimate :)

Also, for those interested, Sephora is teaming up with Ebay to host a Hello Kitty charity auction, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Starlight Children's Foundation. More info can be found here at Beauty Pro Division

baking

Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins :)

January 07, 2011

Going through my mother's old recipe book, I came across a recipe that I had made with my mom eons ago. I think we made the recipe when I was in grade three! That would be about.. 11 years ago. Needless to say, I was excited to make these for my family: chocolate cream cheese muffins!

I can remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother, when she found the recipe in the community league newsletter, and to this day I'm so glad we cut it out and saved it!




The chocolate cake in the muffin is very moist, yet light, to offset the dense cream cheese in the middle. The cake also isn't very sweet, which is the perfect pairing to the chocolate chips hidden within the cream cheese mixture. They are perfect when you take them out of the oven! Warm, moist, and so satisfying when paired with a glass of milk!


Hungry yet?


Can't wait to make this again! If you want the recipe, just let me know :)

dinner

Winter Hot Pot

January 02, 2011

As I always say, hot pot is a WINTER food, not something you can eat all year round. A lot of people disagree with me, but hey, I'm never gonna eat hot pot in the summer! It's just not satisfying and it makes you so much warmer than you need to be! (aka you sweat, eww.)

This week we had a hot pot get together at Calvin's. I'll admit it, when he first invited us all to his house for hot pot, I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out. I've never imagined being able to have hot pot with 15 other people at the same time.. and this week it happened! Kudos to Calvin, he's a genius! And the hot pot food was so delicious :)





Yum, happy hot potting this winter!

New Years

Happy New Years!

January 01, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

My night started with a nice sit down dinner with my family, cooked by my father. Nothing like perfectly cooked prime rib, salad, and a shrimp cocktail platter made by my mother!


Dinner Spread



Momma's shrimp platter :)


It was so cold out last night, there was no way I was going to see the fireworks downtown this year. As an alternative, Vince & I stayed in to have chocolate fondue paired with a movie: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.


Fondue fruit



Marshmallow & Brownies!


We had a great night, super chilled and relaxed. Hope you guys had a great night too!

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS FOR 2011

- eat out less, try to cook home more often
- budget my spending: no more than $150/month on shopping & food (this is the hardest!)
- yoga at least 1x per week
- be more tidy, clean my room 1 or 2x per week as necessary
- be more studious, hit that 4.0 GPA!

What does that mean for my blog? Well, there will likely be less posting with food and shopping entries, but hey, I'm still entertaining, right? ;)

Edmonton food

Not quite "mmm.. pho" [CLOSED]

January 01, 2011

With the last day of Winter Camp finishing up at one of my jobs, my coworkers and I decided to head somewhere closeby for some New Years Eve pho. After passing by this place numerous times in the summer, I needed to check it out! There's just something about a little boy in a rice farmer hat that I can't pass up! And there I was standing, outside of.. mmm...PHO!


Such a little cutie on the sign!


Walking into the restaurant, it was quite empty, but that's understandable considering it was only 3:30pm. However, I was surprised when the hostess chose to sit us down at the very back of the restaurant, far from the kitchen or any human interaction. It wasn't a big deal, because we were together in a big group, but I found it to be kind of odd..


so empty..


Opening up the menu, it was decent sized with a variety of options to choose from. One thing I liked was the fact that you were able to choose exactly what you wanted in your pho, and they didn't pre-determine options for you. I ordered pho just the way I like it, with raw beef and tripe! I was excited to see how it would turn out.


the menu


After what seemed to be forever (weird because we were the only customers..), our dishes arrived at the table, and I was a little disappointed just looking at it. It was obvious there wasn't a big portion of noodles inside the bowl, cause I couldn't even see anything in it but the meat floating on top! My observations were correct as I dug through the bowl, to find a little ball of noodles sitting at the bottom.


sad little bowl of pho


Putting that aside, the broth was lacking depth. It was very watery, and comparing it to the tom yum noodle soup that Jobin ordered.. our soups tasted exactly the same. Her's had a trace of spiciness, but no lemongrass flavours or spiciness one would associate with tom yum soup. For the first time ever, I wasn't full after indulging in a bowl of pho. Vince was pretty much still starving, haha.


tom yum noodle soup


Philippe ordered their skewers, which were quite flavourful. The meat wasn't too tough, and the peppers & onions still crisp. This is one option on the menu that isn't bad.


skewers!


I guess I really was lured into this restaurant by the little Asian boy. Maybe when he's a little more grown up, I'll stop by and give this restaurant another shot. Looking at Urbanspoon, they have a pretty high rating of 85%, so hopefully this was just an off day for them.

mmm...PHO!
8205 83 Street
Edmonton AB

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